The revitalization of VERTIGO COMICS?

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The Nobody, from Vertigo Comics

I know Vertigo Comics has always kind of been on the radar for comic fans looking for stuff a little out of the ordinary.  I mean, we’re talking about the publisher that released the revolutionary Preacher, 100 Bullets, Sandman, Fables, and many more.  Still, it’s been a while since Vertigo has seen a big runaway hit.  Critically-acclaimed, sure.  But runaway hits in sales?  Not so much.  There have been many titles being touted as “the next Preacher,” but none have quite been up that caliber.

Still, Vertigo has been doing some big things lately, including starting up some new series (with $1 introductory issues), and advertising the hell out of their comics and, perhaps best of all, giving away the first issues of some of their most critically-acclaimed titles on their website, www.vertigocomics.com (including 100 Bullets, Lucifer, Preacher, The Books of Magic, and more).  They’ve also started up a new line of crime comics, Vertigo Crime, that begins next month with the excellent looking graphic novel Dark Entries.

I’ve picked up two of Vertigo’s new titles, Greek Street and The Unwritten, both with $1 introductory issues.  Continue reading for my thoughts on these exciting new titles!

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The Unwritten #1

In three issues, The Unwritten has already managed to jump to the top of my reading pile.  Excellently written with fantastic art, it’s the type of comic that just begs to become a hit.  The Unwritten tells the tale of Tom Taylor, who’s father wrote a series of Harry Potter-esque novels starring a child named Tommy Taylor.  Because the character was supposedly based on him, Taylor has become something of a celebrity, even though the real talent, his father, has been missing for years.  At a convention, a reporter stands up in front of a large crowd and question’s Tom’s identity, reporting evidence that he’s actually someone else’s child, and not Tom/Tommy Taylor at all.

From the amazing covers by Yuko Shimizu, to the amazing interiors by Mike Carey (writer) and Peter Gross (art), this book is practically flawless.  Adult fans of the Harry Potter series will find a ton to love about this series, and its unique take.  Fans of intelligent writing will be drawn to the tale, and fans of literature in general will love all the literary references strewn throughout the series.  This is great stuff, and at a buck for the first issue ($1.99 for the second printing), you’ll find that there’s more story in each one of these issues than most books have in four.  Issue three came out last Wednesday – if you can find the first three issues, definitely pick them up.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the kinetic tale Greek Street.  Also beginning with an introductory one dollar issue, Greek Street comes from the team of Peter Milligan (Human Target) and Davide Gianfelice (NORTHLANDERS).  Not quite as accessible (at least to me) as The Unwritten, Green Street is anything but boring.  Told as a modern day take on the greek tragedies, the main character (at least of the first issue) is Eddie, a kind who’s grown up in a rough neighborhood in a children’s home and then, when he turns 18, he tries to find his mother.  If I told you that Eddie was a metaphor for Oedipus, you’d pretty much know where the story goes next.  I won’t say much about the shocking events of the tale, but it definitely starts off unexpectedly.

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Dark Entries, from Vertigo Crime

While an interesting idea, it’s definitely an odd one, and I have a hard time getting into it just yet.  That being said, I’m liable to give it another issue because it’s such a unique title, it’s more than earned a second glance.

Also on track to be released in September is Sweet Tooth, starring a boy born with dear like antlers trekking across a post-apocalyptic American landscape devastated a decade earlier by an inexplicable pandemic. The aforementioned Dark Entries, starring Hellblazer’s John Constantine as he’s pulled into a reality television show about a real haunted mansion, is due out in August.

Now definitely seems the right time to be a fan of Vertigo Comics.  If you’re looking for something a little different in your weekly Wednesday Comic book run, check out the newest titles from Vertigo!

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