Following the announcement of an expanded line of comics for adults, Ink Lit, Penguin is also moving in to the kids comics line, as Rich Johnson told ICv2. The line will be part of the Dial/Dutton imprint.
So far, according to Johnson the publisher has no specific titles to announce, but he told ICv2: “We are looking for suitable graphic novel material for middle grade readers, for YA readers, there might be some adaptations (of YA series) involved, but we are not sure yet.”
Why is Penguin making this move now? Johnson explained, “Clearly it’s a huge, growing market, the kid’s graphic novel market. You see those titles making the bestsellers list all the time. So we are looking to do work in that area to get more kids reading comics.”
This follows such things as the continued success of Kids GNs at Scholastic, and the launch of the AMP! line by Andrews McMeel.
At the recent ICv2 conference, Milton Griepp mentioned that kids comics were only up a modest amount this past year—I don’t have the slide in front of me—but the book industry seems to be looking at the success of things like SMILE, AMULET, and the hybrid Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries books as something they want to get in on, which can only be a net positive for comics.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.