As executive editor for DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint, Karen Berger helped change the tone of mainstream comics, championing complex, challenging stories like Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta. Berger graduated from Brooklyn College in 1979 and immediately signed on as an assistant editor at DC, gravitating towards editing horror and speculative titles like Swamp Thing and House of Mystery. She cultivated author Neil Gaiman, editing his award-winning modern epic myth Sandman, which launched DC’s new Vertigo line. From 1993–2013, Berger made Vertigo known for iconoclastic comics for adults that sidestepped the superhero genre to tell stories that incorporated everything from gonzo journalism to positive depictions of gay characters, and from fairy tales to global pandemics, including Hellblazer, Fables, Y: The Last Man, and Transmetropolitan. Berger also pushed for creators to keep the rights to their work instead of surrendering their characters and ideas to the publisher. Berger won the Comic Buyer’s Guide Award for best editor every year from 1997–2005 and the prestigious Eisner Award in 1992, 1994, and 1995. She retired from Vertigo in 2013.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Karen Berger." (Viewed on September 26, 2021) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/berger-karen>.