NYCC: Vertigo's New Era of Visionaries

A comics news article

While NYCC was indeed last weekend, it's never too late to catch up with all the info. And it's absolutely never too late to catch up with the premier writers from Vertigo.

Hosting arguably the most successful non-capes-and-tights library in comics, DC's Vertigo line has put out timeless comics from legends Alan Moore (Watchmen) and Neil Gaiman (Sandman), right up to the works of future greats Jason Aaron (Scalped) and Scott Snyder (American Vampire).

Akin to recent Vertigo staples Swamp Thing and John Constantine delving into the world of superheroes, the imprint will now also join the DC Universe with same day digital distribution.

It's great news for the more "mature" audience who enjoy their horror, sci-fi, and thriller novels…with pictures. Vertigo, along with other such major independents like Image and Icon, has not only provided countless unintentional storyboards for Hollywood adaptations, but has downright made it cool to read comics again. Or should we say graphic novels — whichever you prefer.

Along with Watchmen (and its disgustingly-underrated film adaptation), Jason Aaron's Scalped helped once again lean this journalist towards reading panels on the page. The organized and unorganized Indian reservation mayhem of Scalped will now conclude with issue #60, in an arc aptly titled "Trail's End." After Vertigo's Executive Editor Karen Berger spoke of the Native American crime drama in spades, Aaron thanked the NYCC audience for pushing Scalped onto others — which is typically the first book I recommend to those attempting to get into non-super comics.

Now, while most of our readers at Comics Bulletin will most likely know the very best Vertigo has to offer, the beauty of Comic Con is discovering the unforeseen. In San Diego, it was video games (I had not picked up a controller in nearly 2-years; thanks Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom!). In New York, it was Vertigo's impending series and graphic novels.

A.D.D. is what happens when kids break through society's shell using their attention deficiency disorder as an "adaptive strategy" to break totalitarian programming. That's right: videogame testers are raised to defy the negatively shielded side of entertainment. Sounds great to me, especially with Goran Sudzuka (Y: The Last Man) on art duties. Oh, and the book is only written by best-selling author and media theorist, Douglas Rushkoff ("Testament"). A.D.D. is slated for a January release.

Maybe my favorite moment of Comic Con — okay, so besides completing the Mass Effect 3 beta — was the announcement of Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child, mastered by former Source magazine editor-in-chief Selwyn Seyfu Hinds. Either this book will totally rock or Hinds is just a great public speaker. Hopefully, both.

Voodoo Child is a series about a city and a woman, a New Orleans of both Katrina and Mardi Gras, of Louis Armstrong and Lil' Wayne. For the first time, Vertigo will explore this haunted city's supernatural side, dealing with vampires, werewolves, and demigods. Yet, in the same series, the story will also present that spiritual context with the equilibrium of mortality. Yes, this means someone will get capped from a 9-milimeter in the Magnolia Projects, all the while these deaths and ghosts populate that "other" side of the city. I got goosebumps just listening to Hinds speak, so I'm hoping "this fusion of the ethereal and real" lives up to all this hype I'm giving it.

Now, about a couple of books you already know about. DC will continue to push Bill Willingham's ever-popular Fables towards adaptation territory despite a seemingly number of "rip-offs" flooding the fall TV season. Artist Phil Jimenez will join the writer for the first arc of "The Fairest," a new offshoot series focusing on the ladies of Fables, Sleeping Beauty and Ali Baba.

The ever-wild Brian Azzarelo said the few that have actually read his new ongoing title Spaceman and claimed it to be better than his acclaimed 100 Bullets was "bullshit." He continued to quip, "It's new. It's different. I'll give you that. It's been a real gas to work on. Eduardo [Risso] has been killing it." As for it's amazing 99-cent digital price tag, the writer yarns, "Do Vertigo a favor and make it outsell Justice League."

An intriguing project labeled "West Wing meetsX-Files" set for a February release is Saucer Country. This wacky story of a New Mexico governor abducted by aliens the eve of an announced presidency could only come from current Stormwatch and Demon Knights writer Paul Cornell and former Lucifer artist Ryan Kelly. Stay tuned.

Finally, no Vertigo panel can go on without talk about Sweet Tooth and American Vampire. Arguably two of Vertigo's biggest hits, it was easy to see why writers Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder had no problem with graduating to the New 52. While Matt Kemp will pen a 3-story arc for Lemire while the writer catches up on twin-killing at DC, the Sweet Tooth creator will shoot for at least eleven to sixteen in a row as he feels the need to "start closing up loose ends."

Snyder will introduce his own Van Helsing in a "rockabilly mental patient vampire-killing escapee" named, uh, Travis (thanks, Scotty). The 1950s-style four-issue arc will be framed by a car race (think: Death Proof) against those vampires responsible for all his troubles.

More Vertigo announcements from New York:

-Gone to Amerikay is an illustrative story spotlighting three generations of Irish Americans, written by Derek McCulloch and drawn by Colleen Doran.

-Fables #112 will be the first issue of the series available for same-date digital download.

-Rebecca Guay's Flight of Angels is a graphic novel anthology with an edgy, indefinable take on the angel and fairy perspective of "intrigue, murder, romance, and beautiful naked people." Bill Willingham will also contribute to Guay's wondrously painted art.

-Asked about the surprisingly successful iZombie's "lighter tone" in comparison with other Vertigo brands, writer Chris Roberson retorted, "For a girl who digs up dead bodies and eats them, sure, it's All Ages."

-Beginning next year, Vertigo will adapt Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo followed annually by its sequels. About the rare opportunity, Berger said "We could not turn [the Millenium Trilogy] down." No creative teams have been set as of this time.

-For an excellent interview with Marzena Sowa, the creator of Marzi – a new Vertigo graphic memoir of one child's bleakly-intimate life in 1980s communist Poland, check out the LA Times Hero Complex. Cross-pollinating plugs at its finest, kiddies.

-Sandman will go annotated with a first of four volume set towards the end of the year. Every panel will be diagnosed and completed interview-style, courtesy of Mr. Neil Gaiman. The author will also appear on The Simpsons November 20. Doh.

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