HarperCollins Children’s Books is set to launch its graphic novel imprint: HarperAlley. Announced Thursday, the imprint will be headed up by editorial director Andrew Arnold, a CCS alum who was previously art director and acquiring editor at First Second.
The announcement comes at a time when traditional publishers are dramatically increasing their output of graphic novels for young readers. The first HarperAlley titles will debut in Fall 2020.
However, it’s important to Arnold that readers don’t assume he means kids when he says HarperAlley is an all-ages publisher. He says the imprint is “looking to publish books that readers of all ages can enjoy, from the youngest readers to teens and adults. We believe that a good story is a story that any reader can relate to. That’s what we mean when we say ‘readers of all ages.'”
According to PW, HarperAlley hopes to publish anywhere between 10 books a season, or 30 per year, with some already being acquired. That includes European and foreign-language properties that could be brought to American audiences.
HarperCollins comics backlist already includes Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, Making Comics, and Reinventing Comics, Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell’s Graveyard Book and Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona. This move to create a home specifically for titles like those signals more clearly than ever that the comics market continues to grow, especially in for YA and all-ages audiences.
Arnold himself addresses this expansion as well. He says “Witnessing the rise of the graphic novel over the past 15 years has been amazing. Cartoonists continue to inspire, challenge, and push the form in unexpected directions.” Later on he adds that HarperAlley will “expand” on the HarperCollins backlist as well.
Stay tuned here for more of what you can expect from the upcoming imprint.