DC plans to elminate it's various publishing imprints in January 2020 in favor of new age-specific labels across the DC publishing line. The three age labels are DC Kids, DC, and DC Black Label. The storied Vertigo line, which was DC's first seperate imprint when launched in 1993, will be "sunsetted" (DC's term) by the end of the year, with no new titles expected to be announced in the interim.
"What we’ve done here is apply an ages and stages organizing philosophy that will strengthen what we’re already doing well, whether that is our move into the young adult and middle grade audience or our long track record of success with creator-driven pop-up lines," said DC's Chief Creative Officer/co-publisher Jim Lee.
DC Kids is aimed at readers 8 to 12, and would seemingly incorporate the DC Zoom titles, as well as some cartoon-based titles such as the long-running Looney Tunes title.
"That kind of material is now mainstream across all genres, so we thought it was the right time to bring greater clarity to the DC brand and reinforce our commitment to storytelling for all of our fans in every age group," said co-publisher Dan DiDio. "This new system will replace the age ratings we currently use on our material."
The central DC age label would be intended for those aged 13 and up, and largely continue the core DC superhero titles DC is known for, but also the DC Zoom titles.
DC Black Label will continue, but as an age-label as opposed to an imprint, and would contain its more mature material for readers 17 and older. Any already announced Black Label titles would presumably continue under his label, as reprints of older work already announced to be added in such as Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, Kingdom Come, and All-Star Superman.
The "pop-ups" such as Young Animal, Sandman Universe, Wonder Comics, WildStorm, Jinxworld, and Milestone will continue, but it is unclear what age-label they - or the long-running MAD Magazine - would fall under or the nomenclature of the "pop-ups" themselves.
"We’re returning to a singular presentation of the DC brand that was present throughout most of our history until 1993 when we launched Vertigo to provide an outlet for edgier material," DiDio said. This would overlook the Piranha Press imprint, which ran from 1989 to 1994.
Lee said that DC plans to continue publishing creator-owned and co-owned projects, and they would now be classified by one of DC's three age labels as opposed to a specific imprint.
"We will also continue to publish creator-owned projects, and will evaluate and assign to the appropriate label to help our fans find the best books for their interests. These new labels not only bring greater consistency and focus to our characters, but they also open up a wealth of new opportunities for the talent working on our books.”