Vertigo Comics, also known as DC Vertigo or simply Vertigo, was an imprint of American comic book publisher DC Comics started by editor Karen Berger in 1993. Vertigo's purpose was to publish comics with adult content, such as nudity, drug use, profanity, and graphic violence, that did not fit the restrictions of DC's main line, thus allowing more creative freedom. Its titles consisted of company-owned comics set in the DC Universe, such as The Sandman and Hellblazer, and creator-owned works, such as Preacher and Fables. The Vertigo branding was retired in 2020, and most of its library transitioned to DC Black Label.
Vertigo grew out of DC's mature readers' line of the 1980s, which began after DC stopped submitting The Saga of the Swamp Thing for approval by the Comics Code Authority. Following the success of two adult-oriented 1986 limited series, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, DC's output of mature readers titles, edited by Berger, grew. By 1992, DC's mature readers' line was editorially separate from its main line and Berger was given permission to start her own imprint. Vertigo was launched in January 1993, with a mix of existing DC ongoing series and new series. The first original Vertigo series was Death: The High Cost of Living, a Sandman spin-off featuring the character Death.
Although its initial publications were primarily in the horror and fantasy genres, over time Vertigo published works dealing with crime, social commentary, speculative fiction, biography, and other genres. Vertigo also adopted works previously published by DC under other imprints, such as V for Vendetta and Transmetropolitan. The imprint pioneered in North America the publishing model in which monthly series sold through comic book shops are periodically collected into editions which are kept in print for bookstore sale. As DC's most popular and enduring imprint, several Vertigo series won the comics industry's Eisner Award, including for "best continuing series", and were adapted to film and television.
The imprint began to decline in the 2010s, as certain properties like Hellblazer and Swamp Thing were re-integrated into DC's main comic books, while Berger departed in 2013. Berger's departure was followed by a series of editorial restructures, culminating in the imprint's relaunch as DC Vertigo in 2018. However, the relaunch suffered a multitude of setbacks, including numerous cancellations. After months of speculation, in June 2019 DC announced that Vertigo would be discontinued as part of a plan to publish all the company's comics under a single banner, with DC Black Label taking its place as DC's mature readers' imprint. Wikipedia