In a stunning return to form, Vertigo’s legendary founder Karen Berger is back with her own line at Dark Horse, to be called Berger Books.

The news was announced at ComicsPRO where Berger received an award from the organization.

Just the other day I noted that the American Gods adaptation looked like a book from Vertigo in its prime, and  and behold, Berger is back to bring that esthetic back to the present day.

Since leaving Vertigo, Berger has kept a low profile in comics, emerging last year to edit Surgeon X from Image. A fiery speech at the ICv2 conference at last year’s NYCC revealed that she was studying the game, and now she’s fully back.

PR below:

Karen Berger, the legendary,  award-winning comic book editor and founder of DC Comics’ influential imprint Vertigo, will acquire, edit, and oversee Berger Books, a new line of creator-owned comic books and graphic novels to be published by Dark Horse Comics. The announcement of  Berger Books was made at ComicsPRO, the comic book industry retailer event, where Berger was named the winner of the  ComicsPRO Industry Appreciation Award earlier today. 

  “Karen is someone I’ve always respected and admired. She’s a  visionary thinker and one of the most highly regarded individuals in the comic book industry,” said Dark Horse President and Publisher Mike Richardson. “Her fiercely independent streak and forward-looking storytelling instincts are a perfect match for Dark Horse Comics. We’ll have more news in the near future, but today we’re thrilled to announce that Karen Berger and Berger Books have found the perfect home at Dark Horse Comics.”

“Dark Horse has been at the frontline of independent, creator-owned comics for decades,” said Berger. “It’s great to be working with a company that has such a rich history of publishing scores of many incredible books by some of the best writers and artists in comics. I’m very fired up about being back in the game in a big way, and to be producing this new line with top, diverse creative talent and exciting, original new voices.”

Berger founded Vertigo in 1993 and led the line for twenty years, during which time she oversaw over three hundred properties, including Sandman, V for Vendetta, Preacher, Swamp Thing, Fables, Hellblazer, Y: The Last Man, and 100 Bullets.

“Karen was instrumental in launching the careers of many comic book writers and artists who have gone on to become some of the industry’s biggest stars,” said Richardson. “Karen has a keen ability to nurture creative voices and I’m personally excited to see the names of new talent alongside the names of the best-selling creators who will launch Berger Books.”

As the editor of Berger Books, Berger will continue to work from her home on the East Coast. Berger Books will be branded with both the Berger Books and the Dark Horse Comics logos. Like all Dark Horse books, Berger Books will be distributed by Penguin Random House.

11 COMMENTS

  1. I love that Berger is back, she was one of the very few people who have pushed mainstream comics in positive directions, but has Dark Horse ever had an imprint that’s lasted longer than a few years?

  2. Sounds good. While I am not an unseasoned comics fan, I never overtly thought of the Vertigo line in terms of its editorial vision…no disrespect to Ms. Berger. I simply enjoyed the work. Obviously she was instrumental in their success, to a large degree..

    Not sure that ‘Berger Books’, while alliterative, is a good name. I think about food or cookbooks, somehow.

  3. Just yesterday I was thinking about Minx and how DC must be kicking themselves about how that was handled.

    Now I freely admit it never read much of anything Karen Berger had a hand in when it first came out. I was basically a cape & tights reader up until a few years ago when I just finally got burned out. I have since then started reading books I had previously passed over, Berger-era Vertigo titles being chief among them. The thing that has struck me most was how her Vertigo pushed for more diversity in mainstream comics. I know a shocking revelation. The thing is when you realize you have fallen for several comic events instead of giving something different a chance, you just feel silly.

    I am really curious what this is going end up being. I may be reading into that last line a bit much, but I am wondering if they are just going to release graphic novels and forgo single issues. Either way I look forward to having more choices and a chance to appreciate Ms. Berger’s hard work as it comes out

  4. I’m cautiously optimistic. No disrespect to the late John Watkiss, whose art was the only highlight of Surgeon X, but that series is pure, overwritten drek from someone who is clearly writing their first comics

  5. When Amerigo Vespucci recognized a new world, his enemies mocked it as “Ameriga”.

    When Claude Monet proposed a new painting, his enemies mocked it as “impressionism”.

    When Edwin Hubble observed an expanding universe, his enemies mocked it as a “big bang”.

    When Karen Berger started a line of mature comics, DC editors mocked it as “Berger books”.

  6. Good for her. A smart editor with a good feel of what the industry needs. I”m not a big fan of Surgeon X, but I’ll definitely give a look to anything she presents.

  7. SO happy for this news! Karen Berger will bring with her the original aesthetic of Vertigo, with books that made you think, and were drenched in a variety of genres. Can’t wait!

    Chris J: I did wonder about the name too. Vertigo was a great name, it was provocative, could be spun off, Vertigo Crime, Vertigo Pop. Oh well.

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