Wednesday, December 05, 2012

THE MOTHER OF GOOD COMICS SAYS ADIOS: Karen Berger Leaves Her Baby 'Vertigo'

You know, when rumours swirled that DC would get a new boss prior to Dan Didio, I actually prayed the gig would go to Karen Berger. The woman who for over twenty years has made DC's Vertigo imprint a reliable source of great comics, and such a success, it gave other publishers the strength to follow in her 'mature reader' wake. Today, she called it a day.

While my dream of her bringing her multi-talented creator rolodex to the (at the time seemingly) conveyor-belt driven adventures of DC's biggest icons may not have come true, it sure would've put Marvel to the test. Plus, given DC back that late 80's sense it had, where if felt like limits were being busted and safe roads left untravelled on a weekly basis, as this is what she shepherded at Vertigo.

Goddess, Sandman, Mystery Theatre, Preacher, Unknown Soldier, Hellblazer, Y - The Last Man, Fables, American Vampire, V For Vendetta, Doom Patrol and my personal favourites Death The High Cost of Living and 100 Bullets just some of the amazing titles from her time.

Without the home for clever, creator owned brilliance she fostered at Vertigo, my addictions to Chris Bachalo, Neil Gaiman, Brian Azzarello, Grant Morrison, Brian K Vaughan, Scott Snyder and many others would have delayed me from soaking in their cool for many years prior to their 'Big Two' debut, if not missing out on them all together. And just look at that list - it's a virtual Who's Who!

What's more - every creator who mentions her name, regardless of company, speaks of her in high regard. You know you have to be something when that happens. Sure Vertigo gave us Death, but Karen gave Vertigo life, and from this fan that deserves a massive round of applause and an Endless sized 'Thanks'.


  1. Yeah I was kind of surprised to hear her leave, but at the same time not you know? Vertigo's been down-sizing at an astonishing rate ever since the reboot, and thus wind up as another casualty in a long-list one already racked up. Now you can add Mrs. Berger to that ever-growing list.

    It is sad, and truly an end of an era as is the popular thought shared amongst fans and professionals alike.

    I read the news on, and the article seemed lay out the reasons for her leaving, and damn, it just makes you get more and more disgusted with the business practices of these corporations, it really does:(

    She was unfairly pushed out really, but hopefully, as they say "When one door closes, another one opens", and she'll go to the indies, like Dynamite, Dark House, Image, or some other company, or hell start her own, and make DC regret ever letting her go.

  2. More signs of the benighted mentality of DC's powers that be. This is like the inverse of the Kahn era. Didio-era DC is a total hellish nightmare, claiming to reach the creative heights of 80s DC and actually it's a Bizarro version of it, anti-creative, uncreative.

  3. Thanks guys. While the fanboy in me would love Karen to find a home (esp at either Dark Horse or Image), after all her hardwork and decent relations, I'm sure she could even enter as a fresh force in comics and plough her own fields as it were. Comics needs fresh and if not from Vertigo, then from the one who made it so would be the next best thing.

    I honestly feel it is the biggest 'end of an era' in comics I've felt. How DC handles the shell of the iconic label from this point forward, will be very interesting indeed. At least we will still get the upcoming Sandman prequel.