Waking Up To A Vertigo Without Shelly Bond

Art by Philip Bond
Art by Philip Bond

The news went out as most of Britain was asleep. Which means a lot of Vertigo creators have been waking up to it. Here is the reaction to Shelly Bond being “eliminated” as VP and Exec Editor at DC Comics, after working over two decades on the imprint. From the people who worked for, and with her.

As we said last night, this is a mixture of timing – Shelly Bond’s guaranteed contract at the publisher being up, one year after she and her family relocated from New York to Los Angeles. Poor sales – amidst high acclaim- for the recent slate of DC Vertigo launches – though before the book market had a chance to sell most of them. She kept up Karen Berger’s antagonism with co-publisher Dan DiDio. And a lack of Eisner nods being the cherry on the cake.

But I am also told that it’s partly to do with Bond’s longevity at the publisher, which leads to an increasingly heavy salary package, something that has caused issues with other employees at the company, including her predecessor Karen Berger.

Karen Berger was demoted from Vertigo Editor-In-Chief, reporting to the publisher and her old boss Paul Levitz, to Exec Editor, reporting to Hank Kanalz and Bob Harras. She left and Shelly took her place. Now even the Exec Editor position has gone, leaving senior editors Jamie S Rich and Ellie Pyle, reporting in. This underlines the reducing importance at DC Comics of the Vertigo line. And, in the end, that might be the real reason.

But for all the sense of loss, this is not an obituary. Shelly will stay until the end of the month, to finish certain projects and hand them over. Her redundancy package is likely to be sizable and I understand that already there have been moves by other publishers asking about her availability. Non-compete clauses are illegal in California…

I might conceive this could include a certain planned imprint being arranged with Judith Regan?

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.