Karen Berger Leaves Vertigo

by Jared Miller
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Damon Winter/The New York TimesKaren Berger, the “Mother of the Weird Stuff,” announced last December that she is stepping down from her executive editor position at Vertigo after a 30 year career with the company.

“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.”

During her tenure at Vertigo, Berger helped launch the careers of industry giants Grant Morrison and Neil Gaiman, and was instrumental in launching numerous hit titles like Fables, Y, The Last Man, and Sandman. Many writers are mourning the loss of Berger, and are unsure about Vertigo’s future under a corporation that increasingly cultivates characters for mainstream consumption. “It’s really hard to tell at this stage,” Gaiman told The New York Times. “That was DC Comics, now we have DC Entertainment. It is a different beast, being run by different people.”

Gaiman was scouted by Berger in the 1980s. She was also key in Grant Morrison’s meteoric rise as one of the medium’s most respected and prolific writers.“She was our generation, and not only that, she was offering us what we wanted,”  Morrison said. “It was a perfect storm for a bunch of creative punks from Britain who were suddenly being taken very seriously.”

Dan DiDio, DC’s Co-Publisher, addressed Vertigo’s distraught writers and fans, admitting that there was some truth to their concerns. “That’s not what we’re in the business for,” he said. “We have to shoot for the stars with whatever we’re doing. Because what we’re trying to do is reach the biggest audience and be as successful as possible.”

Though Vertigo is being rejuvenated by new titles like The Wake and returning favorites like Astro City, Vertigo’s time as the testing ground for the new, the edgy and the strange might have passed for good.

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Source : New York Times

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