Jim Lee is celebrating 25 years of the Vertigo imprint by giving away posters he illustrated featuring Dream, the protagonist of Neil Gaiman’s critically acclaimed The Sandman series, at New York Comic Con. Vertigo will celebrate its 25th anniversary in July of 2018.
Founded in 1993, Vertigo was DC Comics’ home for all things graphic and adult-oriented when the Comics Code Authority was still in place. The Comics Code was a self-imposed content guideline established in 1954 to avoid government censorship of comic books – essentially a “they won’t regulate us if we regulate ourselves” gamble. DC Comics abided by the code, which became looser and less restrictive with each passing year, until 2010.
The Vertigo imprint is slated to relaunch in 2018, a move that will coincide with the 25th anniversary. The announcement was made by Lee himself at a Meet the Publisher panel at NYCC. Mark Doyle will oversee the relaunch, about which very little is known at this point.
The Sandman was Vertigo’s flagship title, even though the series started publication in 1989 under DC Comics. Karen Berger was the vertical’s founder. She served as the line’s executive editor until 2013. During her tenure, Vertigo published the likes of Swamp Thing, Hellblazer and Preacher, among others.
The Sandman is a series written by Neil Gaiman that follows Dream, the undying personification of sleep and dreams, as he is imprisoned by a sorcerer and subsequently escapes. Dream divides his time between the mortal world and his own realm. Neither a hero nor a villain, Dream’s interactions with the mortal world are often either self-serving or in the service of a greater good that transcends life and death. The series explores themes like mythology, storytelling and horror.