Confirming the story that Bleeding Cool broke, DC Comics has officially announced that they will rebrand in 2020, “sunsetting” the Vertigo imprint along with DC Zoom and DC Ink, putting all of their publishing efforts into three brands from now on: DC, DC Kids, and DC Black Label. The brands will be divided by target audience age, with DC Kids targeting young readers, DC targeting readers age 13+, and DC Black Label targeting mature readers.
The company announced the news in a press release Friday, writing:
DC announced today that beginning in 2020, all of its publishing content will be organized and marketed under the DC brand, creating three age-specific labels – DC Kids, DC and DC Black Label – that would absorb all of its existing imprints and focus DC’s publishing content around characters and stories that evolve and mature along with the awareness and sensibilities of DC’s readers. As a result of this new labeling strategy, DC will sunset the Vertigo publishing imprint at the end of the year.
The new segmentation, featuring the new age rating system, will launch in January 2020. Books currently being published under the recently launched DC Zoom and DC Ink imprints, which are focused on the middle grade and young adult segments, respectively, will be assigned to the DC Kids and DC labels depending on the content and intended audiences.
The three labels will be structured as follows:
- DC Kids will focus on readers ages 8-12 and offer content created specifically for the middle-grade reader
- DC, focusing on ages 13+, will primarily be the current DC universe of characters
- DC Black Label will focus on content appropriate for readers 17 and older
With DC Publisher Dan DiDio commenting:
We’re returning to a singular presentation of the DC brand that was present throughout most of our history until 1993 when we launched Vertigo to provide an outlet for edgier material. That kind of material is now mainstream across all genres, so we thought it was the right time to bring greater clarity to the DC brand and reinforce our commitment to storytelling for all of our fans in every age group. This new system will replace the age ratings we currently use on our material.
And Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee adding:
What we’ve done here is apply an ages and stages organizing philosophy that will strengthen what we’re already doing well, whether that is our move into the young adult and middle grade audience or our long track record of success with creator-driven pop-up lines. We will also continue to publish creator-owned projects, and will evaluate and assign to the appropriate label to help our fans find the best books for their interests. These new labels not only bring greater consistency and focus to our characters, but they also open up a wealth of new opportunities for the talent working on our books.
The lesson? Always trust Bleeding Cool. Pip pip!
Oh, and… RESET THE COUNTER!