I was lucky enough to get a copy of the new Vertigo Encyclopedia from Dorling Kindersley. For those of you who don’t know your comics, this is the imprint of DC Comics which not only published ‘mature’ titles (a general, catch-all term often used in comics publishing, basically it means comics aimed squarely at an adult audience) but contributed much to making them acceptable in mainstream circles, helped not a little by the works of Alan Moore and of course one of my all-time favourites, Neil Gaiman and the Sandman series. If you’re familiar with DK books it won’t surprise you to learn that its a very well illustrated volume as they have a very good name for visual design in their adult and children’s works.
The book has large section on the major Vertigo titles such as Hellblazer, Sandman, Preacher, Lucifer and so on, with a synopsis of the main plot points, character guides and more important information on each series – makes it very browsable and easy to dip into. The one-off titles and mini-series are also pretty well served considering the space restrictions. I started by looking up some of my favourite series, then checking out the smaller entries which gave me a nice little memory rush as they reminded me of quite a few I’d read and enjoyed years ago and which had slipped my mind (I hadn’t thought of the gorgeous Moonshadow in ages, for instance). Good Xmas gift if you are looking for ideas in a few weeks. A contact at Dorling Kindersley emailed me at work to say they had made a video about the creation of the book, which they’ve put up on YouTube: