Comics Creators

The Ongoing New Comics Thread


Market saturation has killed Vertigo, same way it’s harming everyone

Too many people making comics not enough of an audience to go round

There’s probably as many creators as there is readers at this stage. Even today, when most are lucky to sell 10,000 copies of their books, it feels like a new imprint pops up every month in Previews.

Vertigo had a fairly unique selling point in the 90s, in that they were really the only people doing what they do - now there’s this this get rich quick attitude where you can see half the books at Image (for example) are designed as a movie pitch.

The market is flooded and needs to contract. It actually makes it very difficult as a reader to sift through the mediocrity to find the good stuff.


I think that’s it for me. Not to say Vertigo hasn’t made plenty of mistakes over the years but it has generally (with some exceptions) always been an imprint for new talent who go on to bigger things.

Now you have Image mining a lot of the same material - Monstress or Invisible Republic or Saga or Lazarus could be Vertigo books, then Bond and Berger have their own imprints unsurprisingly mining the same kind of material. Aftershock do stuff like that and Dynamite at times, as does the odd Boom book.

DC competed with themselves with some of the old Wildstorm material like Ex Machina (which is now rebranded to Vertigo) and still are to an extent with Young Animal and now the Jinxworld books.

Unfollow was a really really good book but it just got lost in all the material.


Another thing with Vertigo is that I think it captured lightning in a bottle. The era from about 1985 to 2000 that gave us Sandman, Preacher, Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and other titles, along with energing talent like Moore, Gaiman, and Morrison, is something that probably isn’t going to be replicated again, nor would it be sustainable forever. The audience at the time was hungry for things like The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, a matured audience that had grown up on superheroes, and wanted to see them deconstructed and taken to the next level. And that paved the way for original works like Sandman and Preacher because you can really only to a Watchmen or DKR once.

Today you can hand someone copies of _DKR_or Sandman and they won’t see what the big deal is, as that kind of storytelling has become commonplace.


I think what that period had, and all those important books you mention had in common, was an influx of UK writers bringing a different voice to the world of US comics which did not really exist at that point - bar Frank Miller, who had a different voice from what was going on in the US and also the influx of UK writers.

The world is now a smaller place, and their influence can be found everywhere in comics, and I think that is a lot to do with why we will not see such an influential period again.


Hawkman 4

Vendetti picks it up after a disappointing third issue, which has lifted me again.
I think Vendetti is a writer who is maybe better read in trade, because his writing is quite patchy at times, the lulls tend to be when he veers into the all action territory.
I like the overall structure of this series and the approach he’s taken with Carter being like an archaeologist effectively digging through his own history.
Those of you who are round about my age and read and loved Truman’s Hawkworld prestige mini series in the early 90s will enjoy this little trip.
It’s maybe a bit of a cheap way to get readers on board, by appealing to their childhood - but hey, it works and I’m not exactly complaining, I’ll dip back into my childhood any chance I can get.

Hitch’s art is incredible this issue. His rendering of Thanagar, all neon lights with rain pouring through the busy cityscape when we get near ground, then stunning mega structures stretching to the heavens when the action pulls out - it is breathtaking in places and he handles the action in a way very few artists can. Although the inkers and colourist Jerome Shipper I think deserve a lot of credit here.
As I was thinking this, Hawkman actually utters the line “Thanagar…how could I forget your beauty” which is rather apt. I wonder if Vendetti did the dialogue before or after the art was submitted.
The whole ‘National Treasure’ style clue hunt is still playing into the series and it remains its biggest strength. I hope that continues for a while longer at least, although I don’t think it can be stretched out too long.
When they wrap that up they could do worse than base the series on Thanagar to keep things interesting by setting it off-Earth.

The cliffhanger was the best thing about the last issue and this month’s is another cracker. This is a fun series, if you have any interest in Hawkman at all it’s probably going to work for you.


League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest #2: Well, the original announcement pitch for this volume did not lie at all. The stakes are high and for that at least I am really enjoying this so far. That said - I do think it was rather rushed. The developments in the first issue felt a lot more earned because it used everything that was already on the board and drew a great culmination from it.

Plus, the “old pulp comic strip” format helped to alleviate any pacing issues. Which you don’t get with what happens here - making it feel very rushed and kind of lackluster. I like the development, but the execution could have been much better. Still really loving the backmatter and “Seven Stars” plot. Can’t wait for the “Mass” haha.


V For Vendetta was also a reprint (mostly) commissioned by Dez Skinn 5 years earlier.


Yeah, it was Warrior wasn’t it?




I have most of the issues, sold bundled in a plastic bag of 5 random editions for 75 pence in Merrets the newsagents Port Talbot, in the mid to late 80s.


Yeah, that most of that 80s class were from the UK is really interesting. Maybe there was something in the water. Moore, Lloyd, Gibbons, Bolland, Gaiman, Morrison, Milligan, Delano… just a flood of raw talent.

The Americans I would include in that 80s class would be Miller, Wagner, Bissette, and Veitch. Maybe Chaykin, too.


I think you could add Sam Kieth and Mike Mignola to the American class, and there’s probably a few more, but obviously not on the level of the UK writers at the time in terms of quantity.


Oh, yeah, agreed about Mignola. I’m not sure that Kieth has an extensive enough body of work outside of the first five issues of Sandman and The Maxx. I almost included him on my list just because of his work on Sandman, though he was off of that book before it really took off. If I included Kieth, it seems like I’d have to include some of the lesser-known American creators like William Messner-Loebs, Tim Truman, and Dean Motter.

Just remembered this, but I think the real turning point for Sandman was a lengthy article in Rolling Stone magazine around 1990 that hyped up a lot of the titles and creators who would go on to become the first generation of Vertigo titles and creators. It’s what inspired me to pick up issue #20 and the fifty five that followed it.


I think what happened to Vertigo was Snyder stopped working on American Vampire and without it there was no longer an anchor. I’m surprised no one else mentioned that? Or did I miss it? With no anchor, there was probably little reason to keep the imprint around. And if none of these new titles become one, it’s going to happen again.

Anyway, finally caught Superman 100-Page Giant #3, the start of Tom King’s story, and he sneaks in plenty of Batman, because clearly he’s gotten used to writing Batman at this point, but eventually the story turns to Superman, but almost more about Superman than starring Superman, at least in this first installment. King’s Superman, in this story, feels the weight of being Superman, of the awesome responsibility. You’d expect that from King, right? Where other heroes would be content to let something go, it gnaws at Superman. In this case, it’s a girl whose family is murdered and who is subsequently kidnapped into space. Hal Jordan promises that the GL Corps will do everything it can to track down her whereabouts (which is itself a great way to view the Corps, and hopefully some of what Grant Morrison will do in his space cops comics), and Perry White does everything he can to hammer home that Clark Kent belongs in Metropolis, but…Superman won’t give up. He’s going to have to go and search for the girl.

Anyway, I think it’s a great start.


suicide squad 46 is part 3 of the Sink Atlantis crossover and again it’s very good. Williams strikes the balance perefectly to keep readers of both books interested. Meaning that this is both a good Aquaman story and a good Suicide Squad story.
There’s politics, both above and below the surface, and this feels very much like continuation of the Aquaman book as opposed to an interruption.
On the Suicide Squad side, Williams has made me care about Master Jailer’s fate in the space of one issue and Lord Satanis levels up using magical artefacts from below the surface.
Loads going on here, not least the fate of Dolphin, who I fear for. Now we know that Abnett is leaving the book and Kelly Sue is ripping it apart, I won’t be surprise to see this brilliant character killed off. I hope that’s not the case, someone can always pick it back up again once The KSD run is over and forgotten about.

Good crossover masterminded by two brilliant writers. I hope the management of DC know what they have with Williams and Abnett, I feel they are both going to be under-utilised.

Somewhat related, here’s a good albeit short interview with Abnett on Aquaman and Mera

He wants to do an Adam Strange series.
Make it happen DC.
At a time when Orlando is given 6 issues on a Electric Warriors mini series, surely a writer of Abnett’s calibre should be allowed to pick and choose pretty much what he wants to do. Use him or lose him.


The Immortal Hulk #5 is what comic book perfection looks like.
Ewing is just a top writer, who has the ability to switch tones and jump across genres and page counts effortlessly.
He has eclipsed Aaron as the best writer at Marvel. He writes concisely and with restraint and has the craft, language and skill to match the ideas. This is where I see so many falling down just now at Marvel but I’ll try and focus on the positives.

This issue features an Aplha Flight cameo and Ewing is so good at this that he’s set up the story in two pages.
Banner is brought in to negotiate with Sasquatch, another man who has trouble controlling his alter ego. So simple. So effective. And it works on multiple levels because Ewing is so intelligent that he can have several things going on in the one panel but you don’t feel hit over the head with it, it’s almost incidental, like a single panel of Banner talking about Langowski/Sasquatch while his own reflection shows the Hulk angrily motioning to get out of the mirrored cabinets that Banner is facing at the time.
There’s a truly shocking scene about 6 or 7 pages in that both releases the Hulk and jolts the reader, reminding you that this is a horror comic.
The reveal on the next page is truly massive. Sasquatch is possessed. Possessed by Bruce Banner’s father
Ewing then reminds us that two monsters letting hell loose in a hospital is a scary thing as we remember there are patients, visitors and employees in there while this is all going on.
I’ll not say too much else other than this is resolved in one issue but also feeds into the bigger theme of the series and there’s more going on here that just the main story. All this in one issue.
Please let this be a long run. From both Ewing and Bennett, who I have not mentioned here but his depiction of the action and the montsters is fantastic and he has that old Wally Wood style of linework that fits this book so well.

Can’t recommned it highly enough.

Sorry this post is a bit of a mess I’ve got a 4 year old doing my head in at the moment so I hope I’ve put across the jist of what I’m trying to say.


Catwoman 3 continues to bubble along slowly, the whole thing dripping overwhelmingly with despair. We get a bit more background on who it appears the key antagonist will be for this arc, and she’s a nasty bitch and unreliable narrator, something Jones delivers well being the writer and artist. I wonder how long she can keep it up because it is the major selling point of the series.

Ennis and Holden wrap up this series of World of Tanks with issue 5, which ends abruptly, helping to emphasise the pointlessness of all those who died during these tank battles but also the level of ingenuity they used to survive for another fight. The characters all seem resigned to the shit hand they’ve been dealt, both with the pointlessness of war and also with the poor mobile weapons they are stuck in waiting on a likely horrible death. With no real hatred for their enemy, only acting on instructions it’s hard think about what these soldiers went through only for the world to continue to be full of cunts anyways

Onto Superman 3 and the cover being the first thing you notice about a comic, I also notice how rushed it looks and inferior to the two variants within the book (digitally anyway). Some people made a poor decision here. It’s generic, boring and it’s not as well drawn as Reis interiors, it looks like a rush job.
The story itself is a big ballsy move from Bendis, kicking off with earth being transported inside the Phantom Zone.
I enjoyed this issue, there’s no mucking about as Rogul bumps into a Kryptonian war criminal long banished to the zone, starts to amass his army while the hero’s and people of Earth start to struggle with the atmospheric incompatibility of the Zone and Earth and try think of a solution. In another era DC would have made this an event with a bunch of crossovers.


Immortal is on my trade-wait list.



This is my list for today. Really looking forward to all of them.

Batman: The Damned
Justice League #8
Mister Miracle #11
Hit-Girl #8