Making comics for kids is practically a license to print money these days, and Aftershock Comics is joining the fray with Seismic Press, a new imprint aimed at the YA market. The line kicks off with RAINBOW BRIDGE, from creators Steve Orlando and Steve Foxe and illustrator Valentina Brancati, in August.
“AfterShock’s mission has always been to push readers out of their comfort zones and defy expectations — providing top creators and up-and-coming storytellers with an opportunity to tell the stories they’ve always wanted to tell in the ways they’ve always wanted to tell them,” said Editor-in-Chief Mike Marts in a statement. “With SEISMIC PRESS, our mission is to apply the same high-quality approach to content, talent selection and presentation but extend it to a much wider audience and demographic.”
“Comics retailers and bookstores alike have benefited from the explosive growth in YA,” said Steve Rotterdam, SVP of Sales & Marketing. “We’re extremely excited by this opportunity to bring AfterShock levels of excitement and engagement to the category.”
Aftershock (an advertiser on this site) is best known for its adult-oriented line, including titles from Garth Ennis, Paul Jenkins, Marguerite Bennett, and Cullen Bunn. But with the interest in comics for younger readers showing no signs of slowing down, adding the 12-18 market makes sense.
According to the PR:
SEISMIC’s inaugural title, RAINBOW RIDGE, from creators Steve Orlando and Steve Foxe, is slated for debut in late summer and will focus on the story of Andy, a boy whose canine best friend passes away just before he enters high school, leaving him alone and rudderless. The day before school starts, when Andy is at his lowest, he visits Rocket’s grave and unexpectedly summons the Rainbow Bridge, a gateway to a wondrous world where pets discover their afterlife. With roles reversed, Andy is there to support his childhood guardian during one last epic adventure as Rocket embarks on a fantasy quest to find his lost littermate while ultimately giving Andy the confidence he needs as he enters his high school years.
More titles will roll out beginning in 2022: a new series from How To Train Your Dragon’s Richard Ashley Hamilton and Ted Anderson (ORPHAN AGE). Aftershock will also repackage some of their existing material for the YA marketing, THE LOLLIPOP KIDS, written by Adam Glass and Aidan Glass with illustrations by Diego Yapur, and OBERON, written by Ryan Parrott and drawn by Milos Slavkovi.
Aftershock is far from the only publisher looking to add younger material to their line. Keep reading The Beat for more on that.