Karen Berger, former executive editor of DC Entertainment’s influential Vertigo imprint and a pioneering graphic novel publisher, is teaming with Dark Horse Comics to launch Berger Books, a new line of creator-owned comics and graphic novels.
Berger will acquire, edit and oversee the comics and graphic novels published by Berger Books from her home in New York City.
All Berger Books will be branded with both the Berger Books and Dark Horse Comics logos. The number of titles, authors and creative teams will be named at a later date. Berger Books, like all Dark Horse books, will be distributed to the book trade by Penguin Random House Publisher Services.
The announcement of the launch of Berger’s new Dark Horse imprint was made February 17, at ComicsPro, the comics shop industry retailers association, at their annual meeting in Memphis, Tenn., where Berger was also awarded the organization’s Industry Appreciation Award.
Dark Horse president and publisher Mike Richard described Berger as “a visionary thinker and one of the most highly regarded individuals in the comic book industry.”
“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,” Richardson said.
Berger started at Vertigo in 1993 and stepped down after 20 years leading the imprint and after more than 30 years at DC Entertainment. During her time at Vertigo, Berger published comics work by many of the most highly acclaimed creators of nonsuperhero genre comics in North American publishing.
Under her direction Vertigo became known for publishing a wide variety of critically acclaimed genre and literary works by a host of now-prominent British writers and artists. Artists that she published include Alan Moore (Swamp Thing) and Grant Morrison (The Invisibles), as well as popular Americans like Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets), Brian K. Vaughan (Y the Last Man) and Scott Snyder (American Vampire).
Indeed, she is credited with ushering in the world of graphic novel publishing that characterizes the American comics marketplace today, a market that now offers a growing body of readers a wider variety of comics material far beyond just superheroes.
Since stepping down at DC in 2012, Berger has kept a relatively low profile, surfacing here and there with some freelance editorial projects. She was on hand at the recent New York Comic Con to talk about several upcoming projects.
Berger said that “Dark Horse has been at the frontline of independent, creator-owned comics for decades. It’s great to be working with a company that has such a rich history of publishing. 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.”