Author Neil Gaiman is back writing comic books for Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX) DC Comics unit. In the following video, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says it's a good sign for a business that needs as much creative output as it can get.
Gaiman first reached the national stage in the late 1980s with a supernatural-themed comic book series called Sandman, which ran for 75 issues and won critical acclaim. The series went on to help Warner and DC establish a publishing imprint for mature readers called Vertigo, which lost founding editor Karen Berger earlier this year. Now DC is restructuring the division in hopes of attracting readers to Gaiman's work and that of other creators.
Vertigo is important for DC because of how much mature material is flowing through the comics channel right now. (Think of Image's The Walking Dead, which AMC has adapted into a top-rated TV show.) Having a separate imprint allows DC to sell to older readers while reassuring kids that its core titles feature the (mostly) idealistic superheroes they've come to know.
Darker indie titles have also proved attractive to studios. Later this month, Kick-Ass 2 comes to theaters in what amounts to Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) third try with a comic-book adaptation this year. R.I.P.D. bombed, while 2 Guns exploded in their respective debuts. Kick-Ass 2 is adapted from the comic book series of the same name, published by an independent imprint of Marvel Comics.
Vertigo and Gaiman can be the same sort of source for Warner Bros. studios, Tim says. That's a good sign for a media company that should be benefiting more from the comic-book renaissance that's sweeping media right now. Do you agree? Leave a comment to let us know what you think of the Vertigo relaunch and Time Warner stock.