ICv2 caught up with DC Senior Vice President and Vertigo EIC Karen Berger at the San Diego Comic-Con and she graciously consented to a short interview concerning Vertigo’s major new initiative—a series of graphic novels dedicated to luring readers who enjoy crime, thriller, detective, and mystery fiction into the ranks of graphic novels readers.


First off, what’s the name of the new imprint and when will it launch?

It’s called Vertigo Crime and it will launch in June of 2009.


Will the books come out as comics first or as original graphic novels?

They will debut as hardcover graphic novels, pretty much book size.


How many volumes a year are you planning to publish?

We haven't settled on exactly how many releases yet, we have a lot (in the works).  We will have an aggressive presence (in the field).


Can you tell us about some of the talent you have lined up?

We have Ian Rankin, the Scottish crime writer and international bestselling author who is teaming with artist Werther Dell’Edera; and Brian Azzarello is working with Victor Santos on a project titled Filthy Rich.  Both of these books will launch in June of ’09, the Rankin first and then Filthy Rich.


Will any of these be a series, or are they one-offs?

No, they’re one-offs.  They’re novels, they’re crime novels.  They will be in black-and-white and have a very modern look.


How many pages?

They vary, but around 200 pages.


Black-and-white, around 200 pages, that sounds like manga?

Nothing at all like manga…they will be hardcovers and they will be bigger in format that a manga.


How would you characterize the Vertigo Crime line?

That’s a good question. Vertigo has done modern crime series such as 100 Bullets and Angel Town.  We felt that the crime genre was very popular in the book world and I think in comics as well with books like 100 Bullets, Stray Bullets—and we really wanted to get into that zone and do sort of fast-paced, smart, sexy, edgy tough books that are very readable.  They feel like Vertigo books, but they will read like fast-paced crime novels.


How will they look?

They will have their own trade dress—black-and-white, very graphic—they look cool.