The Sunsets with Vertigo, DC’s Zoom and Ink Imprints

Say it isn’t so! DC shelves three imprints and replaces it with Age labels.

Beginning in January 2020, DC will be shelving the three publishing imprints for Age-Specific Labels; DC Kids, DC, and DC Black Label. Vertigo was the first separate imprint DC launched in 1993, had big hits such as Animal Man, Doom Patrol, Hellblazer, Preacher, the Saga of Swamp Thing, The Sandman, and The Books of Magic. But by the end of the year, DC will “Sunset” the imprint by the end of this year with no new titles to be announced at the interim.

What we’ve done here is apply ages and stages organizing philosophy 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.”

Jim Lee, DC’s Chief Creative Officer/co-publisher
DC Superhero Girls
Credit: Lauren Faust, DC Comics

DC Kids will most likely import the DC Zoom line into its Label line, with other Cartoon based titles such as Looney Tunes, Dan Didio had this to say about the new system:

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.”

Dan Didio, DC Comics Co-Publisher

The DC label will be for ages 13 and up, is largely the core of the DC Universe. But also with the Zoom titles. Now we move into the DC Black Label, it would contain mature themes but it beckons if it would be censored (hence the Bat-Wang Fiasco) in terms of creativity and due to the ideology of “You cannot do this with that character, his or her merchandise sells well. You’ll be endangering our brand!” This has Watchmen, Kingdom Come, Batman: Damned, All-Star Superman.

Then they have the imprints that are described as the “Pop-Ups”, Young Animal, Jinxworld, Wonder Comics and Milestone.

We’re returning to a singular presentation of the DC brand that was present throughout most of our history until 1993 when we launched Vertigo to provide an outlet for edgier material.”

Dan Didio, DC Comics Co-Publisher

As far as Creator-owned and Co-Owned projects go, Jim Lee had this to say for what they have planned:

We will also continue to publish creator-owned projects, and will evaluate and assign to the appropriate label to help our fans find the best books for their interests. These new labels not only bring greater consistency and focus to our characters, but they also open up a wealth of new opportunities for the talent working on our books.”

Jim Lee, DC’s Chief Creative Officer/co-publisher