Sunday, October 7, 2018


Thursday at New York Comic Con was Berger Books day, the main focus of which was a great panel, hosted by my old friend, and legendary editor, Karen Berger and featuring (among others) Ann Nocenti, Dean Haspiel, Christopher Cantwell and Corin Howell.  And speaking of Corin...

The reason we were on the panel was to announce our new, four issue mini-series The Girl in the Bay.  Here's a description from the Berger Books press release:

In 1969, seventeen-year-old Kathy Sartori was brutally attacked, her body hurled into Brooklyn's Sheepshead Bay. Miraculously, she survives, fights her way back to the surface, only to discover that 50 years have passed, and an eerie doppelganger has lived out an entire life in her place. Kathy soon confronts not just this strange double, but the madman who "murdered" her five decades earlier. Will he, and the dark entity that lives inside him, hold the key to Kathy's missing years? Or will Kathy become a ghost of herself and be forced to live out what remains of her life on the edge of the world that she desperately wants to be a part of?

Karen and I have been friends for many years (how many?  She was seventeen and I was twenty-one when we met).  We've worked together on multiple DC and Vertigo projects and it's a true joy to be collaborating with her again.  And having an artist as talented as Corin Howell (that's her in the picture above) along for the ride is the icing on the cake.

The Girl in the Bay will be out in February.  Hope you all come along for the ride, too.


  1. You also told the world about the time she unsuccessfully tried to get a date with Captain America.

    Bad friend. Then again, she did ask at a public forum.

    Maybe that embarrassment is why so few superheroes occupied Vertigo.

    That plot of yours sounds very Twilight Zone like... which I will go out on a limb ad say was intended (even if you didn't know it).

    After this, you should really talk to IDW about restarting the Twilight Zone series. I think they still have the rights, and some of those stories were pretty good.. however brief the publication was.

    Still, Berger Books will answer a question.

    It has been abundantly clear for a while now, that Vertigo was Karen Berger. It can't exist without her.

    This became clear... well an accepted theory proven... when Astro City became a Vertigo book. I love Astro City, have every issue save one, but it is not Vertigo.

    The question is, how important was DC. From what I have read from Berger Books, it is very much a classic Vertigo vibe. No question.

    Now, we'll see just how much the company mattered.

    Still, I am now interested in an upcoming comic. Not something I feel very often.

    In fact, come the new year, it looks like there will be only one Marvel and Scoobs Apocs as the only DC.

    I suppose it is nce to feel excited again.

    But, if you ever talk to Ms. Berger or Ms. Nocenti, try and find out when Seeds 3 and 4 are coming out. I really enjoyed issue 1 and 2. It was classic Nocenti "gorgeous insanity."

    But three should be out this month, and is no longer solicited and four never was.

    I get wanting to tease teh audience, but is it so wrong to want to finsih a good series?

    oh well


    P.S. AS the writer of the Hal Jordan Spectre, do you think it should be kept with the res of the Spectre comics, or the Green Lantern comics... since Hal was a lantern?

  2. I wasn't thinking of TWILIGHT ZONE when I was putting this together, Jack, but since Rod Serling has a permanent place in my consciousness, it's not surprising.

    DC's importance to Vertigo came down to Paul Levitz, who was always extremely supportive of what Karen was doing and the kind of work she was publishing. I remember when we were doing FAREWELL, MOONSHADOW, Paul said (not in these exact works): "It may not make much money, but it's a worthy project and we should publish it." Having a publisher who could look at art as well as commerce was very important with a line like Vertigo, where books didn't always make money right out of the gate.

    As for SEEDS: From what I heard at the panel, the next issue is coming, but not till next year. Forget what the reason is, but it's on the way...eventually.

    I see SPECTRE as a Spectre comic with a sprinking of Green Lantern.

    1. Well, we have already started a tradition of saying you may be responsible for any potential problems with Berger Books, so why mess with success.

      Why would you delay Seeds?

      As for the connection between this at the Twilight Zone, I believe I summed it up when I wrote, " intended (even if you didn't know it)."

      And there is no Paul Levitz, you are thinking of Harry Truman. And he didn't work for DC Comics, he was President.

      Of course, it probably didn't hurt that Vertigo's first books were connected to the DC Universe.

      Brought folks in.


    2. Actually, I think Truman and Levitz are the same person. Have you ever seen them together?

  3. That's a fascinating premise, JMD!


  4. JM,

    I just pre-ordered "Girl In The Bay". It's in this months Previews. A few things regarding Karen Berger, the new Berger line, the old Vertigo days and the new Sandman universe.

    I've been reading comic books since I was in 3rd grade (1983) and I must confess I have no idea what an editor does. I assume they do things like make sure the punctuation is correct in an issue, and that the pages are laid out sequentially but there's got to be more and I have no idea what that is or why so many people say Karen Berger is one of the best ever.

    Also, DC has re-launched the Sandman universe. Neil Gaiman is involved. He's not writing the individual issues but I believe he's being consulted for creative input. Karen Berger is not involved. The stories have not been what I like and I stopped getting any of the titles (there's four currently) after issue #3.

    Finally, I want to like the new Berger line of books from Dark Horse, but I'm having trouble with the erratic releases. I bought the first issues of "Seeds" by Ann Nocenti, and was excited for the next issue. Issue #2 came out the following month. Issue #3 was solicited, I pre-ordered it, and it hasn't been released in three months....and issue #4 hasn't even been solicited yet. So, at this point I barely remember what happened in issue #1.

    Is this something that the editor has control over? How can a story that I believe was planned to be only 4 issues have such a significant delay? This kills the momentum of a book if you ask me.

    Anyway, too much to say to just tell you I pre-ordered "Girl in the Bay"....but I feel as though I had to say it to express concerns I have with the release of the book.

    Thanks for listening.

    George Travlos

    1. Editors oversee the entire book, George. They often pick the creative team, discuss creative direction, give much-needed feedback and encouragement to the writers and artists, etc.

      The best editors are the ones who—once the basics of the series are set—leave the creative team alone to pursue their vision while, at the same time, being there to step in when things may be veering off the rails. As they sometimes do!

      Someone like Karen, who built Vertigo from scratch, was responsible for choosing the projects she wanted to do, so her sensibilities were what guided and created the spirit of the imprint. Same is true of Berger Books. She's very hands on and very gifted.

      Re: SEEDS. I believe there were some unexpected behind the scenes events, out of the editor's control, which delayed the book, and no one was happy about that, but I know they're working away now.

      With GIRL IN THE BAY we're already on our third issue (of four), the first doesn't come out till February, so we're in great shape. The book will come out monthly and on time!

      And deep thanks for pre-ordering!