You can’t go to New York Comic Con without talking about the work coming out of Vertigo Comics. With names like Scott Snyder, Bill Willingham, Jeff Lemire and Brian Azzarello at the table, the information on the latest and greatest coming out of Vertigo at their panel was incredible. There were some fond farewells to old favorites, awkward questions about whether or not Brian Azzarello talks like his characters and details on some new books on the horizon. Here come the highlights!
American Vampire on Hiatus
It sounds like we’ll be saying a short so long to Skinner Sweet and our favorite characters in American Vampire. Snyder announced that the comic will be taking a brief hiatus after issue #34. But take heart, Snyder fans! It sounded like the team of Snyder and Raphael Albuquerque were just going to be working on other things together, perhaps over at DC Comics. Meanwhile Snyder was quick to reassure the audience that the comic was not going away, only taking a break for less than a year. Karen Berger, the executive editor of Vertigo, also dropped the hint that when American Vampire returns, the setting will time-jump to the 1960’s.
Snyder followed up by saying that the recent events in the book made this time jump possible. “We wanted to make a significant time jump in the series itself, and because of what happens in the story ‘The Blacklist’ the status of the characters—of Pearl, of Henry, of Skinner—really changes. And also what you’ve seen in the mini-series really changes Felicia and Hobbs and all those characters. So we really felt this was a great time to be able to to move away from the series and when we come back we'll be at a point that’ll be startling for everybody but really accessible.” If you haven’t been reading up until now, this break would also be a great time to catch up on the series before it relaunches again in 2013.
Introducing The Wake
Snyder might be taking a break from American Vampire, but that doesn’t mean the prolific writer will be gone from Vertigo’s line-up. Snyder announced at NYCC that he has a new maxi-series coming out in 2013 called The Wake, illustrated by Sean Murphy (Teen Titans, Joe the Barbarian, Hellblazer). Described as a scifi/horror piece, Snyder says, “It’s a horror/science-fiction story with certain post-apocalyptic elements that begins with this terrifying discovery about human evolution at the bottom of the ocean. So it’s really about the origins of a lot of sea myths from the sirens to mermaids, sea serpents, all of the things we’re terrified and in awe of about the ocean.” I don’t need much to convince me to pick up something by Scott Snyder – his work on things like Batman and American Vampire have been enough to prove he’s a master of horror and tension. But a sci-fi mermaid tale? Color me convinced.
Goodbye Sweet Tooth, Hello Trillium
Jeff Lemire has been one of the shining stars of Vertigo for the last few years with his beautiful title Sweet Tooth. Now that the comic is ending, there was a lot of talk about what comes next for this incredible creator. The panel revealed Lemire will begin a new series called Trillium: The Last Love Story Ever Told. The description sounds intense: a space scientist from the future falls in love with a soldier from the early twentieth century in an affair that might end the universe itself. The limited series will be written and illustrated by Lemire and is expected in mid-2013.
And Then There’s Fables....
Fables has been one of Vertigo’s mainstays for some years, and Bill Willingham talked a little bit about what we’re going to see coming up for our favorite literary characters. The next storyline that will kick off in issue #125 says goodbye to the current story arc and focuses instead on Snow White. Entitled “Snow,” Willingham joked, “If you have a storyline named after you, all sorts of crap is coming your way.” The storyline focuses on events that have happened in the series, as seen through Snow White’s eyes.
Running parallel to that is a special graphic novel story coming out called Werewolves in the Heartland. Says Willingham, “Most of what you need to know is in the title.” It’s a Bigby Wolf story set in the heartland of America and it’s full of werewolves. But hark, is the woman on the front cover a blond? That’s not his wife! What’s going on here? We’ll just have to find out.
The most exciting of all Fables announcements, however, came when talking about Vertigo’s other literary title, The Unwritten. Willingham announced that there would be an Unwritten event in which, “Some—one or more—of the Unwritten characters find their way into the world of Fables. It doesn’t turn out well for folks.” He took pains to point out that it isn’t a crossover, as all the dimension-hopping story goodness will happen in The Unwritten. Fans interested in fully understanding the story ought to be fairly caught up with Fables and should “delve deep” into The Unwritten, as well. What does this mean? Will Tommy get a chance to meet our favorite Bigby? What’s the deal? This is the announcement that got the audience to gasp aloud, yours truly included, so I await with bated breath.
Between these announcements and titles like Saucer Country and Voodoo Queen, plus long-running classics like Hellblazer with the unparalleled Peter Milligan at the helm, Vertigo is poised to remain the leader in powerful comic reading for the coming year. I urge fans with superhero burnout to look to this intense alternative to the usual cape and costume fare for their dose of great comic book reading.
Shoshana Kessock is a comics fan, photographer, game developer, LARPer and all around geek girl. She’s the creator of Phoenix Outlaw Productions and ReImaginedReality.com.