All-in-all, giving a bunch of creators a platform to do some short-form storytelling is a phenomenal idea. Vertigo has always been a fine imprint to have creators gives readers something different. VERTIGO QUARTERLY feels like a showcase more than anything else, showing off what their talented team of writers and artists can do.
VERTIGO QUARTERLY is a bit of hit and miss with the individual stories though. There are a few that really stand out as fantastic little pieces of storytelling though. "Once Upon the End of Time" by writer James Tynion IV and artist Martin Morazzo, with Patricia Mulvihill on colors, is truly the stand out here. He utilizes his space very well to tell a very emotional story with an incredibly touching payoff. It is by far the best of the stories.
There's also "Blue Sundae" by Lee Garbett & Jock which is a pretty weird story about an ice cream man that is a stretch from what the reader may conceive it to be. "918," which apparently had a few changes, by Joe Keatinge and Ken Garing is another very memorable story with some killer art on it.
It's really hard to get into any specifics about this book without completely ruining the stories, since it is short-form storytelling; however, the good greatly out-weighs the bad. There was only one story in the anthology that was not enjoyable. Everything else was a good to excellent read, and most of the time, it was surrounded by stellar artwork and coloring.
With Vertigo Anthologies, in the past, they've all had a specific theme, like ghost stories. VERTIGO QUARTERLY takes more of a conceptual approach to this anthology. Everything within this issue has a "Cyan" feel to it or "cool," as the solicits say. The thing is that the stories feel all disjointed and a bit all over the place. With previous anthologies, you knew what was coming. Here, not so much. The color idea falls a bit flat. However, it may become more clear when MAGENTA comes out.
All-in-all, VERTIGO QUARTERLY: CYAN is a success. This book feels like more of a book for Vertigo fans, rather than an anthology anyone can pick up, but it was still an excellent read. The biggest problem folks may have is the $8 cover price; however, there's a whole lot of story within this book, but those who are pinching their pennies may be turned off by the price. Only one of the stories within was a task to read, everything else, including Tynion's "Once Upon the End of Time," was fantastic. Give this issue a shot. You may end up loving it.