David Bird wrote:Morrison's quote about comic sales falling off substantially should read Vertigo's sales have fallen off substantially.
I guess we read the article differently, because to me it seemed like that statement read as Morrison saying that sales are down in general, compared to when Sebastian O sold/ordered 90,000 copies. But remember, that was back in 1993, and the Industry WISHES it could move product the way it did 20 years ago.
Vertigo's decline, certainly sales-wise, predates Didio and DC Entertainment and I suspect is what has allowed Didio to exert control over the imprint. (Comic sales generally, by the way, are actually stronger than they've been in years.)
For a long while people excused its poor sales by arguing that the trades made up for it, but the only horse Vertigo really has in the race is Fables and its back list titles, many of which started at DC originally and then were brought under the Vertigo imprint. Vertigo hasn't been the leading edge in a long, long time.
Where do you date the beginning of Vertigo's sales decline, because Didio has been in company since 2002. If it begins around there, then it kind of defeats the point you're trying to make, which I actually think has some merit.
That being said, if the decline begins where I suspect it begins (Late 90s - Pre Didio 2000s) then Vertigo can't hold the bag of its' sales woes on its' own. You and I both know that the Industry's penetration contracted around this time with the mass closing of LCS and the general death of the spinner rack. With less eyes generally looking at Comic Books, there was no way for Vertigo sales not to decline.
As for the whole entire Trade/Collected Edition debate, it's generally accepted that the Early 2000s is where the collected edition became a big deal sales wise, and Vertigo's wares became one of the leaders in that market. The reason why Vertigo became known as one of the lords of the Trade Market had to do with the fact that the books move.
However, as the last decade progressed, Vertigo ran into the issue of not being able to live up to its' own legacy. Up until the late 2000s we all simply accepted that Vertigo titles came along, many would have a nice run, some wouldn't make it past the starting gate and a few would become superstars. It was a nice system until we all realized that the hits weren't coming in the same volume as they did in the past. As for what capacity is Didio responsible for this is definitely up to do debate, and I'm not sure you could implicate him totally. What you can blame him for is not creating an environment where Vertigo could compete with Image, Dark Horse and the rest of the Non Big-2 as a place where a creator could create, which is worth a lot more in this game than people realize.
I'm don't currently have any DC or Vertigo on my pull list and don't feel I'm missing anything.
Vertigo has like 4 ongoings left and the DC Universe is on an Express Train to the 9th Level of Creative Hell. You're not alone in this regard.