Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The New DC 52 are Vertigo flavored.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems to me that the New 52 DC titles are a combination of the old superhero comics and the Vertigo line of comics.

Which makes sense, in a way. The Vertigo editorial approach is to embrace modern themes-- cyber punk, mystery, horror, dark fantasy and so on. So by trying to upgrade superhero comics, it would be almost impossible not to go in that direction. The biggest successes in comics have come from this world: Preacher, Sandman, Y-the Last Man. Other adult comics, like the 300, Sin City, Hellboy, and the Walking Dead, while technically not Vertigo, have a Vertigo sensibility.

It is also much more adult.

Which probably runs counter to what most people would've advised. Over and over again, I've heard the sentiment that "comics aren't for kids" anymore. To which I always responded: "So?"

They've tried to have it both ways -- saying the above "comics aren't for kids" and inserting the word "JUST" for kids. But most of the increase in leadership has come from the increasing sophistication of the art and writing and themes, which has attracted the attention of critics and intellectuals in a surprising way.

Besides, there are still plenty of kid themed comics. They come from the flourishing young adult publishing world -- and the good old-fashioned kids comics of yore. But, as an example, they recently restarted Richie Rich comics. I didn't sell one. Not one.

It's pretty much not worked for years now. Believe me, they've tried.

In a way, they don't need to try so hard. So much of the kids books are the equivalent of kids comics -- that in a sense, kid's graphic literature never went away. It's still here, it's just not labeled the same way.

Almost all the new readers of the New 52 have been adults. In fact, I'd have to say ALL the new subscribers to the New 52 have been adults.

Which would also explain why I've been so entertained by the New 52 so far. My favorite line of comics is Vertigo. It's a brand that I know will almost always deliver a story I will like.

The only question in my mind is -- did DC editorial intend for this to happen? Or is just a by product of modernizing superheroes?

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