The Comics Industry Reacts to Vertigo Executive Editor Karen Berger’s Resignation
Vertigo Executive Editor and SVP Karen Berger announced yesterday her forthcoming exit from the mature readers imprint she founded at DC Comics nearly 20 years ago. The news came as a great surprise to many in the comic book industry who’ve long admired the work Berger did to develop projects and talents that greatly expanded the scope and reputation of the American/western comic book scene. With such titles as The Sandman, Hellblazer, Preacher, Fables, Scalped, The Invisibles and more, Berger’s Vertigo imprint championed dark, sexy, mind-bending, funny and even literary comics that were utterly distinct from those of the mainstream direct market throughout the 1990s and 2000s. DC says Vertigo isn’t going anywhere, but Berger’s tenure at the imprint influenced generations of readers and creators in ways that many industry insiders have characterized as immeasurable, and with that impact came an outpouring of earnest testimony when the news broke on Monday.
Below you will find a sampling of comics creators and editors who paid tribute to Karen Berger and her work, which many hope will not end when she leaves DC Comics.
Wishing Karen Berger the best! In 2006 Karen, Shelly Bond & Steve Seagle took a chance on me in American Virgin, and I’ve never looked back!
– Becky Cloonan (@beckycloonan) December 3, 2012
Imagine what Karen Berger could do at a company like Image or Dark Horse without all the corporate stuff. It’d be neat, is what I’m saying.
– Tim Seeley (@HackinTimSeeley) December 3, 2012
Very sad to hear about Karen Berger leaving Vertigo. A painful end to an era that shouldn’t have ended. I wish her the best.
– Steve Niles (@SteveNiles) December 3, 2012
It’d be interesting to see Karen Berger turn up at First Second or some other book-trade GN imprint, wouldn’t it? Maybe a whole new one.
– Kurt Busiek (@KurtBusiek) December 3, 2012
Karen Berger is a class act, and is responsible for some of the best American comics of the last few decades.
– Chris Roberson (@chris_roberson) December 3, 2012
Best wishes and good luck to Karen Berger, who’s leaving DC after a legendary tenure. Vertigo brought me back to comics as an adult…
– Duane Swierczynski (@swierczy) December 3, 2012
I had pretty much given up on comics in the early 90’s but it was the work that Karen Berger fostered that brought me back and inspired me.
– Ryan Kelly (@funrama) December 3, 2012
Karen Berger was the editor I wanted to work with since I was old enough to know what an editor was. She launched my career. I <3 that woman
– G. Willow Wilson (@GWillowWilson) December 3, 2012
Love Karen Berger, wish her nothing but happiness.Her effect on both my work and the whole industry is impossible to calculate.
– Brian Wood (@brianwood) December 3, 2012
Karen Berger leaves behind an extraordinary editorial legacy behind her. Easily one of the best ever.
– Stephen Wacker (@StephenWacker) December 3, 2012
Wow. Karen Berger has had a huge effect on comics for the entire time I’ve been reading them, much less worked on them.
– Gabriel Hardman (@gabrielhardman) December 3, 2012
Karen Berger is a stone cold bad ass. #realtalk
– Sam Humphries (@samhumphries) December 3, 2012
Karen Berger has been my life in comics and associated with so much that made the industry I love great and creatively inspiring. Sad day.
– Gary Erskine (@garyerskine) December 3, 2012
– Trish Mulvihill (@trishm) December 3, 2012
I wish Karen Berger the best in whatever she chooses to do next! I wish I’d taken up her offer to work in Vertigo editorial many years ago.
– Ben Abernathy (@Ben_Abernathy) December 3, 2012
There was a time years back when I might have stopped reading comics if it wasn’t for Karen Berger and what she built at Vertigo.
– Jason Aaron (@jasonaaron) December 3, 2012
Karen Berger gave me my first gigs @ DC, tolerated my growing pains, gave me more than one chance, fronted the best work of my life. RESPECT
– Colleen Doran (@ColleenDoran) December 3, 2012
Add me to those rooting Karen Berger on to bigger and better!
– Jeff Parker (@jeffparker) December 3, 2012
A tribute to Karen Berger seems extraneous. She’s Karen F***ing Berger. I can’t wait to see What Next.
– Kieron Gillen (@kierongillen) December 3, 2012
Karen Berger gave me my first DC Comics job on WonderWoman. I’m happy to say I pencilled the first Vertigo issue of Sandman.
– Jill Thompson (@thejillthompson) December 3, 2012
Nothing but profound respect and gratitude for Karen Berger. Vertigo inspired and nurtured my career. Thank you!
– Cliff Chiang (@cliffchiang) December 3, 2012
Comics need Karen Berger! She’ll be heard from, I’m certain.
– J.H. Williams III (@JHWilliamsIII) December 3, 2012
Finishing my work day to check the internets and find out about Karen Berger leaving Vertigo. Goddamn. Amazing editor, best of luck
– DAVID LAFUENTE (@srDAVIDLAFUENTE) December 4, 2012
Without Karen Berger, I have doubts that Seaguy 3 will ever see the light of day…
– Cameron Stewart (@cameronMstewart) December 3, 2012
Hats off to Karen Berger, who shepherded some amazing books over 2 decades. With no @vertigo_comics I don’t know where I’d be. Thank you.
– Jason Latour (@jasonlatour) December 4, 2012
Few editors have changed the entire comics industry. Karen Berger is one of them. Her leaving DC is the end of an era.
– Stephen Christy (@stephenchristy) December 4, 2012
For the comprehension impaired, I have nothing but good things to say about Karen Berger and her legendary reign. This is a VERY sad day.
– Mark Waid (@MarkWaid) December 4, 2012
I hope Karen Berger starts her own imprint called Bertigo
– Chip Zdarsky (@zdarsky) December 3, 2012