Bourdain, Nocenti, Aja, Gibbons, and more headline first wave of Berger Books

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Jul 17, 2017

It seems like it was just last week I was praying for an announcement at San Diego Comic-Con about the first titles from Berger Books—oh wait, it was. Well, the powers that be gave me my wish a couple days early, but I’m not one to look a Dark Horse in the mouth.

In case you missed the news earlier this year, the groundbreaking editor responsible for DC’s legendary Vertigo imprint, Karen Berger, has joined with Dark Horse Comics to curate an entirely new line of comics, and now we know exactly what they are! While running Vertigo, Berger made the imprint the high-water mark for quality and excellence in comics, working with established creators, rising stars and unknown talent alike to create some of the medium’s most treasured tales, and it looks like Berger Books will be no different.

The first four brand-new series from Berger Books will be:

Hungry Ghosts—An anthology series co-written by superstar chef and Emmy-winning TV personality Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose, who worked together on their Vertigo graphic novels Get Jiro! The series will be four issues and tell stories of Japanese horror, and of course lots of food. It will have a killer lineup of artists, including Vanesa Del Rey, Leo Manco, Alberto Ponticelli, Paul Pope and Mateus Santolouco, and will be on sale January 31, 2018.

Incognegro: Renaissance—The following week, on February 7, the imprint will release a prequel series to the acclaimed Vertigo graphic novel Incognegro: A Graphic Mystery, by the original writer and artist, Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece. The first book starred an African-American reporter who can pass as white, who must stay unnoticed long enough to figure out the truth behind the death of a white woman who his brother is accused of murdering. In addition to the new prequel series, Berger Books will be releasing a 10th-anniversary edition of the original story the same week.

Mata Hari—This story will tell the story of the titular real-life femme fatale who was executed in 1917 for using her position as an exotic dancer to work as a spy. The series will play with the tension between the historical accounts of the woman and the legends that sprang up around her. The heavily researched book will be written by Emma Beeby, with art by Ariela Kristantina, and will be on sale February 21.

The Seeds—Last, but certainly not least, comes The Seeds, by veteran writer Ann Nocenti and Eisner Award-winning ​Hawkeye artist David Aja. The series is set in a near-future America where facts no longer have a place in reporting, and follows a reporter who has to figure out how to get the truth out about the biggest story she’s ever had. The four-issue series is described in the press release as “an eco-fiction tech-thriller” involving mutated plants and animals, and a “love story beyond race and gender.” The Seeds goes on sale March 28.

In addition to these original series, the imprint will also be releasing new editions of two Vertigo classics, the already mentioned 10th-anniversary printing of Incognegro, as well as The Originals: The Essential Edition. Originally released in 2004 by Vertigo, this sci-fi coming-of-age graphic novel landed writer-artist Dave Gibbons an Eisner Award, and this new printing includes tons of behind-the-scenes art and bonus content. It will go on sale on April 18.

And to think, this is only the beginning! We're certain to learn more about what's to come from Berger Books at their panel at San Diego Comic-Con later this week, but this initial lineup has certainly whet my appetite—and not just because of Anthony Bourdain. I’ll definitely be giving The Seeds and Mata Hari a try, and look forward to reading Incognegro, which I missed the first time around.

But what are your feelings on this opening salvo from Berger Books? What titles are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to give the comics a try when they land in shops next year.