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32 Comments

Karen Berger Steps Down as Vertigo Executive Editor

Berger is leaving after twenty years of helping shape the comic imprint.

Here's a bit of unfortunate news that came out yesterday. If you've ever read a Vertigo comic, chances are you've seen the name Karen Berger. She's been the one behind the success of shaping and guiding the imprint. It's, in large part, thanks to her that we've had so many great Vertigo comics. After twenty years, she's leaving. This is a bummer. It's not clear why she has decided to leave but it's not up to us to speculate. She's done many great things and we wish her all the best. I seriously doubt we have heard the last from her.

This is the official press release DC Entertainment issued. We don't normally run press releases in their entirety but this lays it all out.

Official Press Release

Karen Berger, Executive Editor & Senior Vice President of DC Entertainment’s Vertigo brand, has announced she is stepping down from her post after nearly 20 years at the helm of the award-winning literary imprint. She will remain on through March 2013 where she will be assisting in the transition to a new leadership team which includes veteran staffers whom she has mentored over the years.

Karen is responsible for shepherding critically-acclaimed and best-selling publishing titles including perennial favorites: THE SANDMAN, HELLBLAZER, V FOR VENDETTA, FABLES, PREACHER, THE INVISIBLES, 100 BULLETS, Y – THE LAST MAN and AMERICAN VAMPIRE. Vertigo has published nearly 300 new literary properties during the last 20 years. Berger notes she is ready for a professional change and is looking forward to pursuing exciting new opportunities.

“I’ve been incredibly proud to have provided a home where writers and artists could create progressive and provocative stories that broadened the scope of comics, attracting a new and diverse readership to graphic storytelling,” said Berger. “I’d like to thank all the many immensely talented creators who have helped make Vertigo into a daring and distinctive imprint and I’m grateful to everyone at DC Entertainment and the retail community for their support and commitment to Vertigo all these years. It’s been quite an honor.”

DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson stated, “We are extremely grateful for Karen’s commitment and dedication to Vertigo, its books and its incredibly talented team of staff and creators. In Vertigo she leaves a legacy to which we remain committed and on which we intend to build for the future. She will always be a deeply valued and respected member of the DC family.”

DC Entertainment is planning a celebration next year – to help salute Karen, her 33 years with the company and her many accomplishments, befitting her legendary status within DCE and across the publishing and comics industries.

HERE'S a post on the forums from Jonny_Anonymous.

32 Comments
Posted by dondasch

Goodbye, Karen Berger. You will be praised for what you have done in the comics world with all your work on Vertigo. It is sad that DC has further enacted the death knell of that imprint. So many great titles over the years such as Sandman, Y: The Last Man, Hellblazer....I simply do not know what DC is attempting to do anymore.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Its such a shame, the Vertigo of old is officially gone now but I hope Karen is successful in whatever she does next

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Posted by Kyjeremiah

wish her luck in whatever she doe's but really vertigo is losing it. canceling hellblazer, sweet tooth, american vampire going on hiatus and not any really any other great books it's future really doesn't look that great

Posted by longbowhunter

Is DC gonna just box the imprint as a whole? I don't see there being a Vertigo this time next year.

Posted by VanAce

@longbowhunter: I hope not.

I hope DC put a big effort into Vertigo's 20th birthday celebrations.

Posted by Billy Batson

Took a while to get this up.
But calm down peeps. Vertigo isn't dead...yet. Lemire (and possibly others as well) has said that Vertigo has plenty of projects coming that we're unaware of. If you want the imprint to continue, buy their books and try to support it other ways too.
BB

Posted by fables87

@Billy Batson said:

Took a while to get this up.
But calm down peeps. Vertigo isn't dead...yet. Lemire (and possibly others as well) has said that Vertigo has plenty of projects coming that we're unaware of. If you want the imprint to continue, buy their books and try to support it other ways too.
BB

Yeah Vertigo isn't going anywhere any time soon. It's got Fables still going after all and if I remember correctly Bill Willing ham said he's doesn't plan on ending that comic.

Posted by xtremekidx

^this!!!!! rather than negativity,try to spread some positivety!!!

Posted by johnny_spam

It's such a tragedy that someone who helped bring in so much talent has to leave but some editors who just end up driving them away stay behind. Must have really been hard running the imprint these past few years.

Posted by kennybaese

I can understand people's... trepidation at Berger leaving, but at the same time, new blood isn't always a bad thing. Her record is stellar, to be sure, but new editors can mean new projects and I'm all for that.

As far as Vertigo itself being dead, American Vampire is going on hiatus, but I think Snyder's miniseries with Murphy is coming out during that time. Sweet Tooth is ending, but Lemire is doing another miniseries that Vertigo is publishing. Fables is still going strong, and American Vampire is coming back. Vertigo is hardly dead.

Posted by RockyIII

I'm just getting into Y:The Last Man and American Vampire and so far I love these so much I'm already looking into new Vertigo series to buy next. I truly hope this is not another sign of the end being near for Vertigo; I really like their darker side of the DC Universe and hope they can expand their series lines. Could DC be thinking about consolidating the Vertigo universe with the DCnU and get rid of the Vertigo brand all together? some of the Dark Line title in the DCnU, like Animal Man and Swamp Thing and already very dark/gory and both of these are written by Lemire and Snyder, who supposedly have new Vertigo series coming up.

Anyway, great run for Mrs. Berger and wish her the best.

Posted by ILIKELOBO

Vertigo is definitely not dead. As people mentioned here, they still have Fable, and American Vampire isnt done yet either. Plus they just announced a new, ongoing Sci-Fi anthology called Time Warp that has some really talented people working on it, including the aforementioned Jeff Lemire, and that I for one, am really excited for. Like said, if you want to see more Vertigo books, buy more Vertigo books!

As to the actual topic of this article, it is sad to see Karen go as she has been at the helm for some really fantastic books and I hope we get to see her continue this trend wherever she lands next. Best of luck to Karen and thanks for all the hard work and great ideas you helped foster over at Vertigo!

Posted by RustyRoy

@Billy Batson said:

Took a while to get this up.
But calm down peeps. Vertigo isn't dead...yet. Lemire (and possibly others as well) has said that Vertigo has plenty of projects coming that we're unaware of. If you want the imprint to continue, buy their books and try to support it other ways too.
BB

This.

Posted by Billy Batson

But that being said, best of luck to Karen.
BB

Posted by Mbecks14

Is she stepping down because of something specific or just retiring?

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@Billy Batson: Sure Vertigo isn't dead just yet but this definitely the final nail in the coffin for what Vertigo was initially conceived

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Edited by ThomasElliot

@Mbecks14 said:

Is she stepping down because of something specific or just retiring?

Looks like just retiring, but everyone wants to spin it into something more than its not.

"It's not clear why she has decided to leave but it's not up to us to speculate"

That line didn't need to be included, at all. If you were truly being respectful, it doesn't need to be stated.

No wait, let me rephrase that, what I meant to say was... I'm not gonna tell you how bad that line defeats the purpose of its meaning, so I won't mention it.

Posted by RockyIII

I'm jealous of that bookshelf behind her...drooling.

Posted by etragedy

She's pretty much responsible for all the greatest comics after the 80s.

Posted by Omega Ray Jay

That is quite the legacy, best of luck to her in the future.

Posted by zombietag

VERTIGO IS DYING AND I AM CRYING!! (and rhymin...)

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@ThomasElliot said:

@Mbecks14 said:

Is she stepping down because of something specific or just retiring?

Looks like just retiring, but everyone wants to spin it into something more than its not.

"It's not clear why she has decided to leave but it's not up to us to speculate"

That line didn't need to be included, at all. If you were truly being respectful, it doesn't need to be stated.

No wait, let me rephrase that, what I meant to say was... I'm not gonna tell you how bad that line defeats the purpose of its meaning, so I won't mention it.

the writing is clearly on the wall

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Posted by JonesDeini

@longbowhunter said:

Is DC gonna just box the imprint as a whole? I don't see there being a Vertigo this time next year.

There about to go the way of Wild Storm

Edited by judasnixon

I think I'm going to get drunk, and reread Preacher. That's what I do when I'm feeling down......Thank you Karen for all the great work you have done over the years. You shall be missed, but never forgotten. 

Posted by Azrael66

Vertigo is the best thing in comics. I have high hopes for its future.

Posted by queenfrost_

So sad such an iconic female in the comic industry is stepping down :( Thank you Karen!

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Yeah...I hate to say it, but RIP Vertigo. That's pretty much the nail in the coffin as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by benblanks

I don't think any of us really know at all enough about what goes on behind closed doors at comic book companies to try and suggest that because she's leaving it's all falling apart, and in no way do I mean to belittle what Berger has done for the the publisher, I'm sure she had a LOT to do with how great it's been. However, when it comes right down to it, it's the creators that have made Vertigo as great as it is so as long as the new people in charge continue the tradition of getting creators in the same vein as Ennis, Ellis, Vaughn and so on and allowing them to do what they do with no holds barred we can look forward to continue reading really incredible and compelling works of art for a mature audience. So all we can hope is that her mentors that are taking over do what she's taught them! I mean my ALL TIME favorite books are Preacher and Transmetropolitan so they had better not screw this up or they screw up an entire LEGACY of what I consider to be perfect comics.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

RIP Vertigo They had some os the best series in comics Ive ever read like Preacher, DMZ, Y The Last Man, and V for Vendetta. Vertigo> main DC and Marvel..

Posted by Mokey

Karen should have been given Harras' position. DC would be much better off these days if she had gotten it.

Posted by Night Thrasher

Vertigo might not be dead, but it's in critical condition on life support and DC is days away from pulling the plug. It's a shame too. The true "House of Ideas" shifted from Marvel to Vertigo sometime in the mid 90's.

Posted by J1ml33

I would Like to Blame Geoff Johns ,Jim Lee [ I really and truly hate to say -_- why man ..why ?] and that Dan Guy ? Vertigo did not deserve this .

All I can say is this is a Sad ..sad state of Affairs

I hope Karen`s Talents would be put to good use somewhere in the Comic Book Publishing world because without here we would not have the works of Grant Morrison ,Alan Moore , Mark Millar and Many ..many others [ DC has yet again shot themselves in the Foot again -_- ] like the old saying goes If it an`t Broke don't fix it .

I am sure Valiant Entertainment needs another Editor ..