Posted by:
Matt McGloin

DC Suffering From Vertigo


Bleeding Cool just posted an interesting article on the DC Comics imprint Vertigo and creator/publisher contractual changes. As I read it, this sounds as if Vertigo may be going out in a wild storm. Previously, creators that got published through Vertigo made money two different ways - royalties through the monthlies and through TPB sales. The sales of one didn't effect the other. For instance, if the monthly didn't do that well - that didn't take away anything from the royalties paid out from TPB sales. Now, that is changing. DC is combining all the sales and won't pay royalties until they have made money from the monthly sales. What this means, if the monthly doesn't do well - the creator won't get paid on the TPB sales until DC has gotten their fill. So how well does the monthly have to do? Try 50,000! Wow! DC is really stating that the Vertigo monthlies need to sell 50,000 and then royalties in the full amount kick in? Now, this doesn't mean royalties will not be paid out. If whatever the monthly sells does not meet the above threshold, DC will skim off the top of the Trades;  when their amount is met - the creator will get paid. Do Vertigo titles even come close to 50,000? Heck, do a majority of comics hit that mark? A quick look at the sals for November shows only the first 22 reach that amount or more. Now, that's a laugh! Note: This doesn't effect previous Vertigo titles, as BC states, they have previous contracts. BC also states that it is possible sales of trades will not even be enough to pay out royalies - so creators don't even get paid? The article did state creators did receive a page rate that was applied to their royalties as an advance. However, this was for the monthly royalies, and as noted, the creator was still paid if the monthly sales were not that good. How do the new changes effect this? So what does this mean for Vertigo? Futhermore, as a creator, why bother getting published at Vertigo? Unless, just the idea of getting published at Vertigo is enough - and what DC is banking on? On the flip side, I suppose if DC has not been making money from Vertigo you really can't blame them. Am I the only one feeling dizzy from all this?