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Ashanti Fortson has signed their first graphic novel deal with the debut work, Cress & Petra from HarperCollins. Fortson will write and draw the book, with Carolina Ortiz as editor. Together, they’ll create a near-future setting that Ortiz promises will be “beautifully POC, Queer and Neurodiverse.” The news arrives in a Publishers Weekly Rights Report from earlier this week.

Cress & Petra is a YA graphic novel about the titular characters’ friendship. Cress Orozco is an autistic teen, doing what teens do and trying to figure life out. Petra, on the other hand, is an A.I. with a taste for adventure. Through the course of the book, Fortson and their two protagonists will ask questions like: what makes us human? And what does that even mean?

ICYMI, Fortson is a cartoonist and illustrator whose work you may recognize from publications like The Nib, ZEAL and POMEmag; they’ve also worked with Abrams Books, Medium and My Kid is Gay. They’re also the creator of a variety of webcomics like GalanthusI’m Not a Robot and Constructs – all of which you can find on their site, here.

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Cress & Petra launches in fall of 2022 – so try and contain the excitement ’till then! Fortson is represented by Susan Graham.

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