Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Ones That Got Away: Part Three

So, here's what it comes down to:

What I'd like to see more of from Vertigo.

Take some chances.
  • Don't be afraid of The DC Universe.
At the same time, everything doesn't always need to be so damned weird and edgy. If you want to do a Creeper series, you don't have to have it not feature The Creeper or set it in Paris, 1925.

Wanna do a Creeper series? Have it star The Creeper, Jack Ryder. Ask an old proven hand like Keith Giffen or someone else, if they'd like to visit the character and maybe, just maybe, not segregate it strictly to the Vertigo universe.

Let certain Vertigo/DC characters play in both universes. If there ever was a character who could get away with this, it's The Creeper. With its fractured sense of reality, is certainly one of them. They don't always have to explain their continuity. Which brings me to this...

  • Don't be afraid of continuity.
Zatanna is one of those rare characters who exists within two continuities. In Vertigo, she hangs out and regrets sleeping with John Constantine. In the DC Universe, she hangs out with and regrets not sleeping with Batman.

I'm OK with that. It doesn't confuse me and probably won't confuse anyone who could reconcile the difference by looking at a blog or a website.

Would it kill anyone to have her retch at the sight of a young Constantine on the cover of a Mucous Membrane CD?
Don't be afraid to explore connections.

  • What you publish doesn't have to be like that other thing.
When Y: The Last Man comes to an end you don't have to replace with something thematically (American Virgin, *cough*) similar. It doesn't shore up the line, Y is gone, deal with it. You can't replace momentum. It only makes the line look sort of "one trick" and homogeneous. There's just as much room in Vertigo for the enigmatic Jack of Fables as there is for Enigma.

  • Don't be afraid of the one-shot.
Do you know what was the first Vertigo book I ever bought? It wasn't Sandman. Nope. It was Kill Your Boyfriend. I still have it and re-read it at least once a year. Why? Because, it was damned superb is "why." Personally, I would hold this thing up as important to the 90's as any Nirvana or Dr. Dre CD. As a twenty-three year old with an up and down income, at $4.95, KYB was within my means. Heck, I loved it so much I went back and bought a couple more and gave them out to friends. In today's market, Kill Your Boyfriend would probably be released as a $20-plus hardcover, one I would probably wait on in trade paperback and not be able to hand out like Halloween treats.

  • When you sign talent, let them loose.
As much as I love Greg Rucka's writing, he wasn't utilized properly in The DC Universe. Rucka likes to let a story unfold at the pace in which it dictates. Yeah, Checkmate was great but that was because it didn't have a Bat-Symbol on it. His run on Wonder Woman (the best WW run in twenty years, in my opinion) came to an end because he ran out of stories to tell but by editorial edict. Too much of his other work has been hampered by multiple crossovers he had no quality control over, editors not telling him characters he was slated to write are going to be used (badly) elsewhere, effectively killing any momentum he had going into it.

Ask him to work on something at Vertigo. Let's face it, Rucka, with his deliberate pacing, is highly suited for Vertigo. Let him loose on a Phantom Stranger or a Doctor Occult, hell... why not something creator-owned? He's had some success with that, right? Let him tell the stories he wants to tell. I could think of no better place to do so than Vertigo. It doesn't have to be all DC, all the time.

If he ever comes back to the DC fold full-time, don't interfere so much that he just wants to walk away from you while.

So, there it is, what I'd like to see. From new ways to see superheroes to stories featuring Native Americans fighting corruption with wits and nunchuks, Vertigo should be experienced.

Vertigo has always been a hotbed for new fresh and exciting writers. Don't be afraid to let the writers write. Don't be afraid to let them loose across the DC/Vertigo landscape.

Until this happens, "The Ones That Got Away," will always be just that.

What do you think?

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