Here’s a big deal that’s also very smart:  IDW Publishing and the huge French comics publisher Glénat are launching a new joint initiative, “Original Graphic Novel”, which is “focused on the creation of original comic books, to be published both in France and the United States.” Creators include Mike Carey, Peter Gross, Brian Buccellato, Sylvain Runberg, Victor Santos and more.

Do you remember when we told your graphic novels were the next big thing? DO YOU? Because The Beat will never tire of reminding you.

Glénat is the third largest comcis publisher in the French market, as well as one of the most respected; it’s also owned by a self-made man, Jacques Glénet, who got his start publishing fanzines and now is one of the richest men in French publishing. I can see how IDW’s Ted Adams and he would find common ground.

More importantly, by spreading out costs, it enables IDW to bring high quality new graphic novels to the US market – WITHOTU THE NEED FOR SERIALIZATION. Kinda like how US movie studios partner with China to finance movies. A few publishers like Frist Second have been doing this forever, but I expect we’ll see a lot more of these deals as graphic novels become more important and global comics cculture makes material more translatable. And as usual, Ted Adams is not afraid to take a chance.

Glénet has also become mroe involved in bringing US comics to the Franco Belgian market, especially Image books, for which they receievd several  award nominations at Angouleme.

More details from the press release:

The main purpose of the program is the creation of genre sequential art fit for both markets in terms of storytelling, formats, and themes.

Following the example of the original Disney collection, (e.g. Café Zombo by French author Régis Loisel), the Original Graphic Novel initiative aims to carry out projects of original comics, in a wide variety of genres —science-fiction, fantasy, western, humor, thriller, adventure, and whatever may inspire the authors coming from the American and the Franco-Belgian industries, and wishing to collaborate and mix their talents, styles, and influences.

As the first initiative of its kind, the association between IDW — the 4th largest publisher in the U.S. market — and the Glénat group — 3rd largest in the French market — is a real artistic and commercial bridge between the two countries.

The first original creations to be published in 2018 are:

  • The Highest House, a fantasy project by Mike Carey & Peter Gross, creators of The Unwritten, which was twice nominated for the Hugo Award.
  • Lowlifes, a hard-boiled thriller set in modern day Los Angeles, by Brian Buccellato & Alexis Sentenac.

To be followed by:

  • Sukeban Turbo by Sylvain Runberg & Victor Santos, a wild and violent ride through New York City.

  • Boogeymen, a fantastic tale in which monsters do not live only in children’s minds, by Mathieu Salvia & Djet.

  • A Glimpse of Ashes, a social, urban thriller, by Thomas Day & Aurélien Police.

  • Gunning Down Ramirez, a bloody road-trip reminiscent of Tarantino’s movies, by Nicolas Petrimaux.

In more than 40 years of existence, Glénat has created a diverse and quality catalog of comic books, mangas, hiking guides, coffee table books about nature or gastronomy… fine works which are the reflections of the passions of founder and CEO Jacques Glénat.

Since its 2015 reboot, the Glénat Comics collection has been releasing American comics and aims for being the originator of the new trends of the medium.

The assignments of the collection are:

·       Highlighting the new series written by renowned authors: Greg Rucka, Matt Fraction, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Joe Benitez…

·       Revealing tomorrow’s talents: Victor Santos, Kelly Thompson, James Harren, Joelle Jones…

·       Publishing some of the most famous licensed pop-culture series: Skylanders, Jem & les holograms, Power Rangers…

·       Initiating creation projects through wise international unions of creators.

Glénat Comics released 19 books in 2015 and 44 in 2016. As early as January 2016, the collection got a huge recognition from the industry, when political-sci-fi thriller Letter 44 by writer Charles Soule and artist Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque was nominated in the Angoulême International Comics Festival official selection and for the Cultura public award.

2016 was also the year of the setting up of US major independent series such as Bitch Planet, The Wicked + The Divine, Geof Darrow’s The Shaolin Cowboy, Harrow County, and Lady Mechanika.

The end of 2016 was marked by two more nominations in the Angoulême International Comics Festival official selection: Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro’s first volume of Bitch Planet and Greg Rucka and Michael Lark’s fourth volume of Lazarus.

2 COMMENTS

  1. And yet “Glénat published The Highest House in French as a graphic novel, and IDW will publish it as single-issue comics and then as a collected edition.” Because that is still a profitable model in the American comics market.

    I don’t understand this TOLJA drum Heidi is beating. Are there people (straw men?) out there arguing that graphic novels are not already a big deal, or that the GN market is about to implode? If you as a reader don’t like serialization or stapled comics, then good news, there’s already a robust GN market to satisfy you. But how is that market improved by rushing to dismantle or “sunset” the existing direct market for serialized comics?

    OGNs, trade collections, serialized pamphlets, digital comics–every format has its advantages and disadvantages for readers, creators, and publishers in terms of price, revenue streams, convenience, accessibility, aesthetic appeal, etc. Rather than picking a winner, why not encourage comics to be presented in a multitude of formats, to make them viable for as many creators and readers as possible?

  2. The other thing to keep in mind is that in the French market, the album format that is their OGN is about 48 pages. Roughly. So it’s only two slightly-longer comic books smashed together. And many of the most successful albums are series, often at least 3 or 4 to tell a single story.

    So we’re looking at a 6 or 8 issue mini-series for IDW and a 3 to 4 book deal for Glenat.

    The problem with all of this is that the French page is a different dimension than the American page, and generally expect more art on it — more panels, more backgrounds, etc. American comics in album format often look anemic.

    See also Terry Dodson’s “Red One” at Image, where he publishes two issues a year in standard comic format and then releases the “oversized” album format once a year with those issues.

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