Graphix is 10 and reveals covers to new Craig Thompson and Jenni and Matthew Holm

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When Scholastic launched its Graphix imprint 10 years ago, graphic novels were a novelty, if you can pardon the expression, in the mainstream publishing world. And kids comics were an unknown quantity—comics shops didn’t want them and bookstores didn’t know what to do with them. In the first wave, there were many miscues and misunderstandings at many houses along the way. But Graphix wasn’t the one making them. Granted, starting out a line with Jeff Smith’s Bone is about as much a sure thing as possible—6.9 million copies in print and counting. But picking Raina Telgemeier to do a Babysitter’s Club relaunch and eventually Smile, and Kazu Kibuishi to publish his Amulet series weren’t as sure—but they sure paid off. Along the way Graphix has picked up multiple Eisner Award wins and nominations, a Stonewall Book Award, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor, an Edgar Allan Poe nomination, and 14 New York Times bestsellers. They’ve published many more top cartoonists such as Doug TenNapel, Greg Ruth, Mike Maihack and Jimmy Gownley. And there’s more to come.

To celebrate their tenth anniversary—Bone: Out From Boneville was published in 20o5—Scholastic has some cool stuff on tap. To kick things off they’re revealing two covers for the first time:

GRX050 Silver Six COV TEMPLATE

Craig Thompson’s Space Dumplins comes out in August. It’s the first kids book by the acclaimed author of Blankets and Habibi, and his first one in full-color, with Dave Stewart adding hues.

SunnySideUp

And the sister/brother duo of  Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, best selling authors of Babymouse and Squish have a new one as well: Sunny Side Up (August 25, 2015; ages 8-12), which is a semi-autobiographical story, their first.

In addition, 12 Graphix artists have created new art that will be offered as prints throughout the year at events and online. The line-up: James Burks, Nathan Fox, Jimmy Gownley, Matthew Holm, Kazu Kibuishi, Mike Maihack, Dave Roman, Greg Ruth, Jeff Smith, Raina Telgemeier, Doug TenNapel, and Craig Thompson. Events include ALA Midwinter (Chicago, IL), Emerald City Comic Con (Seattle, WA), Texas Library Association (Austin, TX), BookExpo (New York City, NY), ALA Annual (San Francisco, CA), Comic-Con International (San Diego, California), Long Beach Comic Expo (Long Beach, CA), Salt Lake Comic Con (Salt Lake City, UT), and New York Comic Con (New York City, NY).

Finally, on February  24, Graphic will publish BONE #1: Out from Boneville, Tribute Edition, with a new illustrated poem from  Jeff Smith and new tribute art from sixteen top artists.

Along with the cover reveal, Graphic has announced some future projects:

  • Two more installments in the Amulet series
  • A new graphic novel, as yet untitled, by Kazu Kibuishi
  • Books 3 and 4 in Mike Maihack’s Cleopatra in Space series
  • And from Raina Telgemeier, a nonfiction family story in the vein of  Smile and Sisters), a collection of short stories, and a fictional graphic novel.

It’s definitely worth giving Graphix and its founder, David Saylor, a tip of the cap. 10 years ago it was a gamble. Today it’s an institution.

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. I suppose you’re right, Graphix could have failed, but few books are a lock like BONE was, which really started the now widespread children’s comics platform. Saylor should be noted for his foresight, though.

  2. wooHOO! I’ll try and post the posters when I visit ALA Midwinter this weekend!

    Bone wasn’t originally created as a kid’s comic. It was sold as single issues in comics shops, to a mostly adult audience. Does it appeal to kids? Sure. But then, so does Walt Kelly’s Pogo…

    As for kids comics in book publishing… Graphix may have been the first imprint (followed the next year by Macmillan’s First Second).
    BookExpo America had a graphic novel pavillion in 2002 (the same weekend as the first FCBD), and there were juvenile publishers promoting series then (Lerner?). (Not that great, but they at least were trying, and they got better.)
    Also in 2002 was the “Get Graphic @ Your Library” preconference at the American Library Association, so Young Adult librarians were actively acquiring books. (DC was instrumental in partnering with the New York Public Library in the 90s to test the demand for graphic novels among teens.)

    The juvenile market was harder to crack, as those librarians were more resistant to licensed or media-driven titles. (YA interest was driven by manga.) Slowly, via picture books (such as The Arrival and Toon Books), Juvenile librarians were able to justify acquiring graphic novels for kids.

    What’s most interesting… aside from Macmillan, few of the other big publishers have graphic novel imprints for kids.

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