In April 2012 I first heard rumours that Karen Berger, then a recently demoted Executive Editor at DC Comics, was planning to resign after over thirty years at the publisher. In December that year, she did just that.
There were plenty of rumours about what she would do next. A career working on the knife edge of comics, her work on the mature readers label at DC Comics transformed what mainstream comic books could be. In many ways, the more interesting aspects of the current comic book industry, from the creator owned Image comics to titles such as Vision to TV shows such as Walking Dead and Lucifer have been made in her image.
There have been rumours that she was working on a return with some big name creators. This included Surgeon X by Sara Kenney and the late John Watkiss, published last year from Image Comics. But we told you that more was coming.
I had conversations with people who were working on projects with her and swore blind she was going to return in a project with Judith Regan, founder of Regan Books.
Instead, today at ComicsPRO, Karen Berger flew into Memphis Tennesse to arrive at the Downtown Sheraton hotel to applause from the assembled crowd of retailers to announce that she was starting a new line of comics called Berger Books.
Published by Dark Horse Comics in Portland, though she will remain in New York, it will be a boutique line curated by Karen.
Ie might look to Neil Gaiman's willingness to work for Dark Horse more, as well as Douglas Rushkoff choosing Dark Horse over Vertigo as a sign as to who may be working with Karen on her new line as well as Michael Petz.
But all this is to come. Karen Berger told Bleeding Cool "Independent voices and visions of writers and artists keeps comics vital, vibrant and true to the spirit of this unique and amazing form of storytelling. I'm thrilled to be doing this new line at Dark Horse and to part of their rich and special history of publishing creator owned comics."
While Dark Horse Publisher Mike Richardson told us "Today's news is huge not only for Dark Horse Comics, but for the entire industry. Karen Berger is one of the most widely respected and talented people to work in comics. As both a publisher and a fan of creator owned comics that push the boundaries of the medium, I could not be more excited about Berger Books."
Welcome back Karen. The place hasn't been the same without you.