Friday, 15 February 2013

Vertigo's 20th Anniversary

How time flies, eh? I've noticed that not only haven't I had the time to post a single blog this year (and it's mid-Feb!) but also, 20 years seem to have mysteriously sneaked away somewhere. It was 20 years ago when I'd started in the best job I'd ever had. It was my dream job of working for my favourite comic book publisher, DC Comics. More importantly, it was for the coolest, most important and experimental imprint, Vertigo.

Those were wild, crazy days working in London with my boss, Senior Editor, Art Young, on titles like The Extremist, Face, Enigma, Millennium Fever, Kill Your Boyfriend, The Mystery Play, etc. We were free to do pretty much whatever we liked. And we did. In fact, the stories of excess of the Vertigo UK office are practically legendary these days. So I thought I should set the record straight and write about that period. I'm going to be launching Comic Book Bablyon: A Cautionary Tale of Sex, Drugs & Comics on Kickstarter next month. This part memoir/part look at the British comics industry in the mid-Nineties will explode a few myths, and perhaps create a few more. I'll post on here again when the project is live.

Joel Meadows interviewed me about those halcyon days for Sci-Fi Now magazine for a big article marking the 20th anniversary. I must say I was quite surprised at how prominently I featured (which was nice).

Looking back over the article, it's amazing how much like a (admittedly, mostly boy's) club it was. I knew most of the writers and artists (even the ones I didn't directly work with) and I'm still (intermediately) in touch with most of them. One of them became one of my best friends and I even went to his wedding. We've stayed round each other's houses, got drunk together, gone on holiday together, seen friends have kids who have grown up, been to funerals together. Basically shared our lives over the past two decades. There's a very strong bond there still with the Vertigo group of creators I'm very proud to call friends. 

Oh listen to me getting all sentimental! Anyway, Vertigo still has another good 20 years left in her (I hope), and while I don't read everything they publish, I still think they are the best "mainstream alternative" (if that isn't an oxymoron - which it probably is) out there, and there's no mistaking the quality of the titles.

You can see the pages below, but I'd recommend going out and buying the magazine, because it is very good, and magazine's need your money, otherwise they'll go bust. Oh, and go and by more books and comics. Real ones, not just digital ones!

See you in 20! (Days, not years!)