This past Friday, DC Comics decided to finally shoot the shot that Rich Johnston called a while back. Vertigo will be concluding its run in January 2020. What our guy Rich did not let us know at a previous time, however, was that this would be part of a larger transformation at DC. It’s not just Vertigo going through a substantial change but the entire company. That’s right. It’s a complete reorganization.
That is a much, much bigger deal. But what exactly does it mean from a practical standpoint? It’s simple. The publishing side is now three lines built around specific age bands. They are:
- DC Kids: 8 to 12 year olds
- DC: 13 years old and up
- DC Black Label: 17 years and and older
As part of this move, DC’s most public-facing executives have been out there assuring everyone all is well while walking us through why this was the move to make. CCO and co-publisher Jim Lee said this about the age bands and the larger restructuring: “What we’ve done here is apply an ages and stages organizing philosophy 1 that will strengthen what we’re already doing well, whether that is our move into the young adult and middle grade audience or our long track record of success with creator-driven pop-up lines.”
Meanwhile, Lee’s co-publisher Dan DiDio had this to say: “That kind of material is now mainstream across all genres, so we thought it was the right time to bring greater clarity to the DC brand and reinforce our commitment to storytelling for all of our fans in every age group. This new system will replace the age ratings we currently use on our material.”
To further reassure everyone, Lee took to Twitter with what I have to imagine was a highly vetted tweet about the company’s plans: “Our decision to rebrand all content under the singular DC imprint is just that. Amazing bks that comprise the Sandman Univ e.g. will continue. Big plans for yr 2! YA, pop-ups & creator-owned comics will continue to be a big part of DC. No books are being cancelled or going away.”
That’s a lot. I wouldn’t typically drop that many quotes in a row, but I wanted to emphasize the company line: all is well! This is smart! Nothing to see here! The pop ups will survive. Creator-owned will still be a thing. Everything is being simplified to make the whole publishing line easier to understand. That all sounds good. So this DC reorganization is a good thing…right?
I’m not entirely sure about that.