Louie Falcetti wrote for Bleeding Cool from San Diego Comic Con.
A wise rule of Comic-Con is don’t do anything that you can do at home. The tendency is to get dazzled by the lights and toys and then suddenly you’ve spent five hours waiting for a sneak peak at a movie that is going to be released in three weeks anyway. It’s a smart rule to follow, since Comic-Con affords individuals the opportunity to see and experience things that you really can’t find anywhere else. It’s with this in mind that I tell you to avoid the Vertigo comics panel in the future.
Why? After all, next year is going to be Vertigo’s 20th anniversary, surely there will be some special things in store for those attending SDCC 2013. Maybe so, but if this year’s panel is the way that these things are done now, then it’s not even close to worth it. Sure, it was announced that Neil Gaiman would be returning to The Sandman to write a six issue mini illustrated by J.H. Williams III. But it was a video announcement. And it came at the very end of the panel. The vast majority of the time it felt like watching a Vertigo Comics infomercial and not even a particularly interesting informercial at that. I guess Vertigo cultists might delight at getting to hear long-time Vertigo heavy Karen Berger essentially read aloud a copy of PREVIEWS. It doesn’t seem to me that seeing cover art for a book that’s going to come out in three months is much of an exclusive.
Which is not to say that the panel wasn’t well attended, panel wise. Some of the finest creators working today were crowded on to the stage, but it wasn’t for a discussion about comics or even any real, special sharing. It was just, state your name, state your current project, make a wry remark, moving on.
Scott Snyder spoke about his upcoming American Vampire mini, Lord of Nightmares featuring first time Vertigo artist Dustin Nguyen. Bill Willingham spoke about his upcoming Fables OGN, Werewolves of the Heartland as well as Fairest. Mike Carey spoke about The Unwritten and Jeff Lemire spoke about his soon to be ending Sweet Tooth. Dan Abnett brought some unique energy to an otherwise dull affair, talking about his New Deadwardians. Sean Murphy arrived late but was still able to share a few words about his new Punk Rock Jesus. Mike Allred didn’t have a lot to say about the upcoming iZombie beyond his enthusiasm for enormous naked women. It wasn’t too much of a surprise when Karen failed to mention the DC exile, iZombie writer, Chris Roebrson, but Allred made up for it.
Vertigo is a lot like Lou Reed, no one will say that Lou Reed wasn’t cool and didn’t do some amazing stuff, but it’s still kind of embarassing when he gets tarted up and goes to the club with the kids. Vertigo began as a rebel yell, a creator owned primal scream of creative rage and inspiration. Today it’s graphic novel adaptations of movies (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), old standbys (Hellblazer, Fables) and thanks to the efforts of young talents like Murphy, enough barking mad brilliance to still give Vertigo the “edge” that used to be so cutting. Still, for what was once one of the most interesting imprints in the world of comics, the panel lacked punch, especially considering huge talents like Jeff Lemire and Allred were there to mark the end of their titles (Abnett as well, though he rallied the fans to try to get a New Deadwardians second volume).
Rich adds: I would like to add on this that any panel that ends with a video announcement with Neil Gaiman announcing the return of Sandman can’t be all that bad,,,