Weve all been waiting to see what Karen Berger would cook up at her new Berger Books line over at Dark Horse, and the word is out, thanks to Vulture, and it’s like the Vertigo comics legend never left.
If there’s a similarity to the books she edited at Vertigo, Berger thinks it’s just because she’s following her gut here like she used to there. “People ask me, ‘How do you sum it up?’ But honestly, it’s not an easy answer,” she says. “There’s no set guidepost. There’s no set bible. There never was at Vertigo. People say, ‘Well, if it’s weird, it must be a Vertigo book.’ Well, not really. Weird is a component, but it’s not the driving force.”
And the lineup includes:
January: Hungry Ghosts by Anthony Bourdain, chef and TV star, and artist Joel Rose, the Get Jiro! team, a four-issue anthology of horror stories about cooking. Contributing artists include Vanesa Del Rey, Leo Manco, Alberto Ponticelli, Paul Pope, and Mateus Santolouco.
February: Incognegro: Renaissance by novelist Mat Johnson and artist Warren Pleece, a follow-up to Incognegro, which will be rereleased. Although the first Incognegro was a stand alone graphic novel the follow-up will run as a five-issue mini series before being collected. The story involves Zane Pinchback – a man of color who passes for white – and the Harlem Renaissance. The original had a lot to say about race and the follow up couldn’t be more timely.
February: Mata Hari by Judge Dredd writer Emma Beeby and InSEXts artist Ariela Kristantina. It’s about…Mata Hari, the famed WWI spy who was executed in 1917, based on a fictional diary and her own tall tales.
March: The Seeds by Ann Nocenti and David Aja – talk about a superstar line-up:
The story is set in “an imminent America where fact-based reporting is gasping its last breath” and “flora and fauna have begun to mutate.” In that world is a journalist who comes across a massive story that she, for undisclosed reasons, can’t report on. In lieu of that, she pitches “the biggest myth of her career.” “Ann is a brilliant writer,” Berger says. “And David is an artist’s artist. David doesn’t draw that much, but when he does, it’s like the world stops.”
Date unknown: The Originals by Dave Gibbons, an expanded re-release of another GN from the Vertigo says, this one based on a retro future of scooters and youth gangs, widely known as Gibbons most personal work. The new editions will have an extra 32 pages annotations and extras.
So there you have it! An interetsing mix of old and new creators, with solid content tat really does look like the kind of stuff Berger would still be doing if VErtigo ws around. Of great interest to me is the rerelease of old material of VErtigos origianl graphic novel line-up – a line that was high on quality but maybe a little low on marketing ans asles in a veyr different comics market. Material like Incognegro and The Originals fits in much better with today’s market and it will be interetsing to see how they are received by today’s comics audience.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.