One of the stories coming out of New York Comic-Con that caught my attention is Vertigo's announcement that they are seeking to acquire original graphic novels. They've announced Jeff Lemire and Peter Bagge as coming on board, both of whom do comics work outside of the speculative fiction genres Vertigo has traditionally published. Karen Berger, Vertigo Senior Vice President, comments in the PW article I'm linking to here, "We're really moving out of the traditional genres Vertigo is known for publishing and into the reality based fiction that you might expect from other book publishers."
I'm not sure if anyone has addressed this news in these terms (there's just too much NYCC commentary going around for me to read it all*): In essence, what Vertigo is doing is putting DC into competition with independent comics publishers -- much as mainstream publishers have done in recent years with the establishment of graphic novel imprints, such as Random House's Pantheon (they publish former indie-comics mainstays Daniel Clowes and Charles Burns). Jeff Lemire was, as far as I can tell, first published by Top Shelf after first self-publishing.
This seems to be a different model from how Minx went about getting talent -- there was not the open call for submissions with that imprint. Instead, Minx editor Shelly Bond took a look at the comics we, Oni and Top Shelf were publishing and did a little browsing, choosing artists to approach. (OK, I can't actually say that's what she did, and it's so, like, two-years-ago's controversy. And anyway, I can't be completely down on this. It's her job, just as it's mine to read mini-comics and keep an eye out for artists I think are cool, and, hell, it puffs up our editorial pride.)
So I'm wondering what I should anticipate. Sometimes, when we publish new comics, I know that Minx will be on the creator in a flash once the project's announced, but I don't know if it will work the same way with Vertigo's editors. I wonder if there will be a temporarily lull in submissions, followed by a torrent of Vertigo-rejected projects.
Time will tell.
*Check out this "regular book" blog's comments on pictures from NYCC: "the Boba Fett was a fan (who was wandering around with a near-identical twin, in a more battered olive-tinged armor)."
Comic Book Guy, please enlighten this blogger: "Uh, the guy in the picture is Jango Fett, and the near-identical twin is, duh, his clone, who, as it turns out, is the one who is actually Boba Fett. Get it right! Worst. Convention. Coverage. Ever."
Not that I'm huge on Star Wars or anything (actually, I'm pretty damned sick of it), but I found that mistake kind of cute.