Via PR, Penguin, which has been dabbling in the graphic novel field for quite a while, has finally announced its own Ink Lit line, to be headed by former DC and Yen publishing exec (and Beat contributor) Rich Johnson. In line with what has generally sold best in recent bookstore sales, the line will focus on adaptations of existing work by established SF and genre authors. The line launches next month with Alpha and Omega: Volume 1 by Patricia Briggs and Todd Herman, adapting the first book in Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series. Future contributors include Charlaine Harris, Chris Golden, Don Kramer, Laurell K. Hamilton, Karin Slaughter and Sage Stossel, who will be writing an original graphic novel.

The Briggs books was already published in serial form by Dynamite, as was some of the other material mentioned in the PR. The authors mentioned have all had past relationships with various publishers, mostly but not limited to the Dabel Brothers. Hamilton has had a long run at Marvel. Slaughter was once supposed to do a line of books at Oni but that hasn’t been heard from since it was announced. Harris’s Grave Sight series was also first published at Dynamite. All of these books have done decently in the market, so the Ink Lit line is smartly launching with a safe line of proven quantities.

PR below:

In October 2012, Penguin Group (USA)’s Berkley/NAL division will launch InkLit, a new graphic novel imprint, it was announced today by Kara Welsh, Vice President and Publisher of NAL. Continuing Penguin’s ongoing commitment to bring writers to readers in a variety of formats, this new imprint will include both original novels and series as well as adaptations of previously published works.

“We are excited to expand our publishing program to include books in graphic novel format, both from established house authors as well as newcomers to our list.” said Welsh.

InkLit will launch on October 2nd with the release of Alpha and Omega: Volume 1 by #1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs with artwork by Todd Herman. This graphic novel is an adaptation of Cry Wolf (Ace 2008), the first book in the Alpha and Omega series, a spin-off from Briggs’s signature Mercy Thompson series. Alpha and Omega was originally released as an eight-issue comic book series from Dynamite Entertainment. The new InkLit hardcover will contain the first four comic books, with the remaining four published in Volume 2 in 2013.
In 2013, InkLit will publish two graphic novels from Charlaine Harris, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series. An adaptation of Grave Sight, the first book in the Harper Connelly Mystery Series, will debut in January. Cemetery Girl will mark both Harris’s and InkLit’s first original graphic novel publication when it is released later in the year. It is the start of a planned trilogy co-authored with award-winning writer Christopher Golden and illustrated by Don Kramer.

Laurell K. Hamilton, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, will also join the InkLit list with two titles. The Lunatic Café, book four of the Anita Blake series, will be adapted into graphic novel format. And Hamilton will publish an-as-yet untitled original graphic novel set in the world of Anita Blake and featuring the character of Edward, a longtime fan favorite.

Under the direction of Richard Johnson, InkLit will publish both original and adapted works. Before joining Berkley/NAL, Johnson co-founded Yen Press and held senior level positions at DC Comics. Future InkLit titles include an adaptation of Martin Misunderstood by #1 New York Times bestselling author Karin Slaughter and an original graphic novel, Starling from The Atlantic’s editor and cartoonist Sage Stossel.


  1. Congrats, Rich!

    Penguin is the only Big Six publisher

    * Hachette
    * Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group/Macmillan
    * Penguin Group
    * HarperCollins
    * Random House
    * Simon & Schuster

    without a significant graphic novel line, although they did publish graphic novels during the Bookstore Boom of 1986-88, as well as MAD paperbacks before the Warner Communications purchase, and Berkeley distributed Dark Horse, WaRP, and First back in the 1990s, before the manga explosion.

    23 adult titles, as well as juvenile titles.

    (Barbara Slate and Tom De Falco wrote a how-to book?!)

    I have spoken with another comics editor doing work for Penguin, and suggested Penguin develop their “Complete Idiot’s” line as a series of non-fiction graphic novels. (Quite simple, really, since the series was inspired by “How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive”, which uses cartoons and comics to illustrate various concepts.

    In related news, no new covers in the Penguin Classics Graphic Deluxe Editions line. Audrey Niffenegger (!) drew Sense and Sensibility, published October 2011.

  2. To be fair, adapting prose novels (bestsellers or not) is no mean feat…but I am more than confident Rich will bring the right approach and philosophy to making this line succeed.

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