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Journal Articles Leaves Year : 2021

Vertigo outside Vertigo


DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint (1993-2019) has generated a significant amount of fan and scholarly interest, and has come to serve as a shorthand for a variety of distinct writing and publishing practices, including an engagement with popular genres from a literary and political prism, the articulation of serial publication and trade collections, and the coexistence of creator-owned with publisher-controlled series. This paper attempts to locate the label diachronically and synchronically, so as to take a more precise measure of its innovations. To do so, it examines a number of publishing institutions that developed alongside Vertigo or as a reaction to the label’s success – in particular Dark Horse Comics, but also DC’s own short-lived Helix label and Wildstorm studio– and argue that they shared a comparable publishing agenda during the 1990s. The texts seeks to reconstruct the complex ecosystem of which Vertigo was but a part, and argues that the imprint’s critical fortune should be understood also in light of these competing endeavors, helped Vertigo hone its identity, and helped the trends it introduced reach a necessary critical mass.
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hal-03111818 , version 1 (15-01-2021)


  • HAL Id : hal-03111818 , version 1


Nicolas Labarre. Vertigo outside Vertigo. Leaves, 2021, 11, pp.63-76. ⟨hal-03111818⟩
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