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JohnMcMahon

Vertigo back on the ledge

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Does WildStorm sell better than Vertigo?

That's one for someone else to answer, but I find I'm reading more Wildstorm than Vertigo at the moment. A year or so back, I wouldn't have thought that likely.

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Right now I'm not reading any WildStorm.

I'm waiting for Morrison to come to WildStorm, then it'll be tied.

Hellblazer & Testament at Vertigo and Authority & WildCATs at WS.

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I wonder if Vertigo would sell more comics if DC still advertised between its various imprints? Or even just the occasional advert in the Wildstorm stuff if they insist on imposing a firewall between the proper adult litearary stuff and the dirt stupid superhero comics...

 

I don't think there's a lot of crossover appeal between the average DC superhero comic reader and the average Vertigo reader.

Didn't do The Sandman any harm, did it?

 

WildStorm readers might find Vertigo appealing, but I'm guessing if the person is reading WildStorm books they'll already know about Vertigo.

 

It might increase sales very so slightly though, who knows...

 

Does WildStorm sell better than Vertigo?

Bloody everything sells better than Vertigo at the moment.

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Dammit and I was just getting into The Exterminators as well. Of course I've been downloading it and waiting for the trade rather than buying the single issues, so I'm part of the problem.

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Dammit and I was just getting into The Exterminators as well. Of course I've been downloading it and waiting for the trade rather than buying the single issues, so I'm part of the problem.

You'd think they could set up some sort of comics eshot: you pay a monthly subscrition (ideally at a flat, cheap rate) and for that get to download as many pdfs as take your fancy. I suspect there'd be a big take up on that sort of arrangement. (Unless they already have one, and there isn't, of course...)

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I wonder if Vertigo would sell more comics if DC still advertised between its various imprints? Or even just the occasional advert in the Wildstorm stuff if they insist on imposing a firewall between the proper adult litearary stuff and the dirt stupid superhero comics...

 

I don't think there's a lot of crossover appeal between the average DC superhero comic reader and the average Vertigo reader.

Didn't do The Sandman any harm, did it?

 

WildStorm readers might find Vertigo appealing, but I'm guessing if the person is reading WildStorm books they'll already know about Vertigo.

 

It might increase sales very so slightly though, who knows...

 

Does WildStorm sell better than Vertigo?

Bloody everything sells better than Vertigo at the moment.

 

I don't know that many superhero fans read Sandman. It seemed that DCU readers started out reading Sandman when Neil was using the DCU characters, but as soon as Neil left the DCU, it seemed like the superhero fans all lost interest in the book and left.

Sandman was just hugely appealing to Goths, high school outcasts, Fantasy fans, art types, pseudo-intellectuals, and even women.

Most comic fans are proud they're comic fans. They aren't ashamed to wear their Superman T-shirt. They don't need an excuse to admit to reading comics. They have the stories they like and they like to stick with those stories.

It seemed that Sandman was the comic book that people who felt they were far too high-brow to read comics would admit to reading, because it was counter-culture cool.

Sandman becoming a pop-culture phenomena was what made Sandman so popular. People who would never set foot in a comic shop were going to buy Sandman.

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It seemed that Sandman was the comic book that people who felt they were far too high-brow to read comics would admit to reading, because it was counter-culture cool.

Sandman becoming a pop-culture phenomena was what made Sandman so popular. People who would never set foot in a comic shop were going to buy Sandman.

True that, but I doubt that adverts in The Shadow, Swamp Thing and what have you did it any harm. DC did have a more heterodox line back then (largely because they hadn't yet ghettoised huge chunks of it) and there probably was interplay there, if not between that and the superhero comics.

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I bought a volume

of the traded

Love and Rockets

I'm afraid it's

not my cup of tea.

EBayed it.

 

Bought the first issue of Grip.

Didn't like it. What a rip.

 

Was L&R the Magey/Hopey stuff, or the Hispanic stuff?

 

Cos I love Magey and Hopey. Even though they wouldn;t love me back, seeing as how I'm male.

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You know, I just picked up Kid Eternity (1991) and it totally reminds me that Vertigo used to put out such good stuff in both art and story. Now they are a mere shadow of what they used to be.

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Cool! Glad you liked Morrison's Kid E too, Lou.

I agree with you.

But, I seem to be in the minority who enjoyed Morrison's Kid E.

Apparently what I said before is true. You don't need to be mentally ill or on drugs to enjoy Morrison's more esoteric work, but it helps! heh

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Was L&R the Magey/Hopey stuff, or the Hispanic stuff?

 

Cos I love Magey and Hopey. Even though they wouldn;t love me back, seeing as how I'm male.

It was the first collection, Music For Mechanics. And what's wrong with platonic love? :)

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Cool! Glad you liked Morrison's Kid E too, Lou.

 

Many years ago I was taking a big comic book break because most titles at the time were shit. The kind of stuff Vertigo was pumping out in those days reeled me back in. To read Kid Eternity takes me right back to the days when comics could make an impact on you and it feels god damned good because a lot of title are crap right now.

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Yeah, there was a golden age in comics (mostly thanks to DC's mature comics line) for intelligent readers from about the mid-1980s to the early-1990s, where there were so many wonderful comics to buy and they were worth your money, because they'd stick in your mind, want you to reread them, and would just develop the more you read them.

Morrison's Animal Man, Doom Patrol, Kid Eternity

Sandman

Alan Moore and Rick Veitch on Swamp Thing

Delano's Hellblazer

Denny O'Neil's the Question

Shade

....Just to name a few. Lots more.

I agree there aren't many comics like that anymore.

Really, Grant Morrison's comics are the only comics that still give me a feeling like those books did. I wait impatiently each month for those comics to come out.

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Christian, I bought almost the entire series of O'Neill's The Question, and I've read a fair bit of it. I'm wholly underwhelmed by it. I find it especially surprising, because I really like O'Neill as a writer, and The Question is one of my favourite DC characters. But I have not like most of the issues. Was it better when it first came out? Or am I just not hip enough?

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Wow! I guess you're just not hip enough!

 

I don't think I know anyone who wasn't impressed by The Question. Unless, of course, they find Denny O'Neil's writing style "old-fashioned". If you're a fan of O'Neil and The Question, I'm shocked you didn't love it.

I didn't read it when it came out. I bought a couple of issues, but hated it. I didn't start at the beginning.

Then, for whatever reason, years later, I got the idea to buy the entire series. I found them for a dollar a piece, so they were cheap.

I read the entire series and absolutely loved it.

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There's something really kind of sad about GOD SAVE THE QUEEN, the new Vertigo graphic novel by Mike Carey and John Bolton. Not necessarily in the content of the book itself, although it's hardly the greatest thing that you'll read this year - or even this week, arguably - but just the fact that it's being published at all in 2007. For anyone who's read almost any Vertigo in the past - especially any high-profile Vertigo - then this book seems like nothing so much as the comic book equivalent of a Vertigo tribute cover band. The plot is just a mash-up of old Vertigo series (Look, the main character is a mix of Fairy and human, just like Tim Hunter from Books of Magic! But she's a rebel who doesn't conform, and has a well-meaning teacher try and reach out to her just like Dane from the Invisibles! And there're Titania and Puck, just like in Sandman!) with Carey bringing nothing new to the mix whatsoever. The plot moves along in exactly the direction you assume that it will, with dialogue that rings hollow and as if the characters exist in service to the plot instead of having a life of their own. The art, meanwhile, is a lifeless glossy mix of photoreference and Bolton's obvious-and-slightly-creepy love for his main model's body (which, considering she's meant to be a teenager, is really kind of disconcerting). This is a book that would've seemed cliched had Vertigo published it ten years ago, so I'm not entirely sure why it seemed like a good idea now.

 

More here

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I've seen a few other people whose tastes I respect (even if, as with Graeme McMillan, I don't always agree with them) saying very similar things, which (combined with my personal dislike for the sterile photo-referenced style Bolton seems to favour) has rather sapped what little enthusiasm I ever had about this one. It was only ever Carey's name which had me interested, since the plot summary makes it sound like the sort of generic mid-90s Vertigo fare which I lost interest in a long time ago, so unless I come across a good number of very positive reviews, I probably won't be picking it up.

 

That said, Pål/Red's a big fan of Carey and Bolton, so I'd imagine I'll be able to borrow it from him if I'm curious.

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It's not the best John Bolton work.

I have to read it to comment on the writing.

 

Although in this day and age, I would say the idea of occasionally revisiting the Sandman Presents type stories has more integrity for Vertigo than "How can we do The New Sandman". It should be a paperback though.

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Although in this day and age, I would say the idea of occasionally revisiting the Sandman Presents type stories has more integrity for Vertigo than "How can we do The New Sandman". It should be a paperback though.

 

But not as much integrity as never doing another fucking Sandman Presents ever again.

 

In fact, have they even tried to do "The New Sandman" in a specific, ladies 'n' goth-baiting manner over the past five or so years?* People keep saying that Fables is "the new Sandman", but it's clearly completely different in everything except cross-culture and cross-gender popularity.

 

 

 

 

 

* I've qualified that because of course they're always going to be on the look-out for another comic that has the critical acclaim and mainstream penetration of The Sandman. They'd be nuts not to.

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Yeah - unless you're defining "the new Sandman" in very narrow terms indeed (ie., by its content instead of its artistic and commercial achievements), I'm not sure what you're getting at there, Ade.

 

I'd argue that what made Sandman worthwhile in the first place was the fact that it was a relatively original, imaginative and superbly-written series (with some great art by an interesting and varied range of artists), with a wide appeal to an audience who wouldn't traditionally have been interested in comics. As such, I can't think of anything more sensible for Vertigo to be aiming for in a new project.

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It's a one off spin off rather than a new series in that vein (GOTH ALERT!).

 

Vertigo's current line is much richer and varied for them moving away from what seemed to be an interminable search for "the new Sandman" - ie the same old thing. I'd rather they spent the money they've spent on God Save The Queen on supporting Crossing Midnight, but you know what they are like.

 

Having said that, Fables is clearly their new Sandman.

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Vertigo's current line is much richer and varied for them moving away from what seemed to be an interminable search for "the new Sandman" - ie the same old thing.

 

I agree wholeheartedly, but I'd have thought that would support the "Vertigo really should be steering clear of 'Sandman Presents'-type projects" argument, rather than opposing it, which your original post seemed to suggest you were doing.

 

I also agree that Fables is easily the closest thing to Sandman in their current line-up of ongoing series, but as James points out, it's still a long way from being simply A.N.Other Sandman clone. I also think it's massively overrated, but that's got very little to do with the price of fish.

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I'd argue that what made Sandman worthwhile in the first place was the fact that it was a relatively original, imaginative and superbly-written series (with some great art by an interesting and varied range of artists), with a wide appeal to an audience who wouldn't traditionally have been interested in comics. As such, I can't think of anything more sensible for Vertigo to be aiming for in a new project.

I'd question the originality bit, but the rest seems fair enough. I've taken the liberty of emphasisng the key point that Vertigo are missing by milking it until its tits fall off and comissioning all kinds of pastiches above.

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That's why I inserted the "relatively". As to the "key point that Vertigo are missing" - well, that's pretty much what we're discussing here, isn't it? The excessive, creatively-lazy milking of Sandman and its ready-made audience was a major criticism I'd have levelled at Vertigo a few years ago, but like James, I can't think of anything significant they've commissioned in the last 4-5 years which I'd describe in those terms.

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