By the editor
July 18, 2006 - 10:12
In recent years, Vertigo has solidified its already prestigious reputation with the publication of a number of critically acclaimed original graphic novels, including the_ New York Times_ bestseller SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS by Neil Gaiman and some of the finest international artists, THE QUITTER by Harvey Pekar and Dean Haspiel and THE FOUNTAIN by Darren Aronofsky and Kent Williams. This fall, Vertigo will be publishing two much anticipated original graphic novels: PRIDE OF BAGHDAD by Brian K. Vaughan and Niko Henrichon and FABLES: 1,001 NIGHTS OF SNOWFALL by Bill Willingham and an array of stellar artists. If Vertigo was measured as a separate publisher, it would have been the fourth largest American comic book publisher in 2005, with market share exceeded only by Marvel, DC and Dark Horse.
In addition, Vertigo has entered a new phase of growth with the success of two major motion pictures based on its properties. In 2005, Warner Bros. Pictures released_ Constantine_, directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Keanu Reeves , Rachel Weisz and Tilda Swinton .Based on the comic book_ Hellblazer_, the film was the first to be based on a property from DC’s Vertigo imprint and has grossed more than $200 million
worldwide since its release. Earlier this year, Warner Bros. Pictures released_ V for Vendetta_, a theatrical release starring Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving and directed by James McTeigue. Produced by Joel Silver and the Wachowski Brothers from a script by the Wachowski Brothers, the film was adapted from the critically acclaimed graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. Both projects are based on material originally acquired and edited by Berger.
Levitz commented, “Karen has built Vertigo into an imprint which is simultaneously one of comics’ leading creative and commercial successes, and an important resource for the creation of projects we can move from comics to entertain audiences in other media. She remains the field’s strongest editor and it’s my personal pleasure to recognize her achievements with this promotion.”
Karen Berger joined the DC editorial staff in 1979 and, within a few years, became known as an editor who sought to push mainstream comics into new territories. Her early series of note includes AMETHYST, PRINCESS OF GEMWORLD, WONDER WOMAN and the now legendary SWAMP THING. Wishing to push comics further, she created the Vertigo imprint in 1993, now seen as the definition of cutting edge comics in the industry. In addition to publishing groundbreaking series such as SANDMAN, PREACHER, TRANSMETROPOLITAN, Y THE LAST MAN and 100 BULLETS, she moved Vertigo into further recognition with a strong line of original graphic novels and best-selling collected editions.
“It’s great being part of such a progressive and forward thinking company for all these years,” said Berger. “I’m fortunate to have worked with some of the best writers and artists in the industry who have produced so many innovative and distinctive series and books, and I credit DC for giving us the creative autonomy necessary to do just that. It’s also been incredibly gratifying to see that the film industry and book publishers have finally discovered what we’ve known all along: that comics and graphic novels are part of a vast and diverse storytelling medium, capable of producing singular and memorable
work. We really are just at the beginning of showing we’re a literary force to be reckoned with.”