In what can be described as seismic news from DC Comics, the publisher confirmed Monday that next year Karen Berger will step down from her position as the Executive Editor and Senior Vice President of the mature readers Vertigo imprint. It's a post she's held for nearly 20 years, during which time she oversaw the publication of such enduringly popular series including The Sandman by Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean and a host of fantastic artists; 100 Bullets by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso and Dave Johnson; Shade: The Changing Man by Peter Milligan and Chis Bachalo; Death: The High Cost of Living by Gaiman and Chris Bachalo; The Invisibles by Grant Morrison, Sean Phillips, Brian Bolland and others; Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra; Preacher by Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon and Glenn Fabry; and Hellblazer, the long-running, recently cancelled occult saga that was home to a who's who of international comic book talent, and which perhaps most exemplified the Vertigo aesthetic that proved inescapably vital and hugely influential for years.

There will doubtlessly be more to say about this news, but for now you can read the official press release below.

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.

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