Karen Berger, the founding editor of DC's acclaimed imprint Vertigo, has announce plans to launch a new creator-owned imprint at Dark Horse called Berger Books. Unveiled today at the ComicsPRO annual meeting of professional comics retailers in Memphis, the line is expected to produce both original graphic novels and serial periodicals, all curated and edited by Berger herself.

This marks a major return to the industry for Berger, who stepped down from her position at Vertigo in 2013. Outside of her work on Image Comics' Surgeon X, she's been out of the spotlight for the past few years, but rumors of a comeback have long been circulating in the industry.

As part of Dark Horse, Berger Books will have bookstore distribution through Penguin/Random House, which positions the start-up imprint to have major access to a broad readership.

 

Here's what Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson, and Berger herself, had to say about the project via a press release:

“Karen is someone I’ve always respected and admired. She’s a visionary thinker and one of the most highly regarded individuals in the comic book industry,” said Dark Horse President and Publisher Mike Richardson. “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.”

“Dark Horse has been at the frontline of independent, creator-owned comics for decades,” said Berger. “It’s great to be working with a company that has such a rich history of publishing scores of many incredible books by some of the best writers and artists in comics. 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.”

 

Berger also received ComicsPRO's Industry Appreciation Award at the Memphis event, which is given annually in recognition of people whose work in the industry has done the most to bridge the gap between comic creators and comics retailers. Previous recipients include Stan Lee, Image publisher Eric Stephenson, former DC president Paul Levitz, former Diamond exec Cindy Fournier, and Marvel senior vice-president of sales and marketing David Gabriel.

Check out our in-depth interview with Karen Berger in which she looks back over her career in comics and talks about the future for innovation in the medium.