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News: New Chmakova Series, HMH Adds Kids’ GN Imprint

It’s been a while since we looked at the kids’ comics news, so let’s hit the links!

Breaking news: JY Books has just revealed Svetlana Chmakova’s upcoming books on Twitter! She’s launching a new series, The Weirn Books, based on her Nightschool trilogy, and then she will add three more books to her Berrybrook Middle School series, continuing with her alphabetical theme. That means the title of her next book will start with the letter E. Any guesses? Egotist? Enthusiasm? Existentialist?

First Random House, then HarperCollins, and now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has launched a graphic novel imprint for young readers. The imprint, named Etch, will include middle-grade and young adult titles, and editors from all HMH’s children’s imprints will acquire books. The initial lineup will include Dinomighty! by Greg Trine and Aaron Blecha; Sherlock Bones and the Natural History Mystery by Renee Treml;  Carmen Sandiego: The Chasing Paper Caper, and a new edition of Ryan Inzana’s Ichiro, a young adult title (and Eisner Award winner) first published in 2012.

Publishers Weekly reports that the comics/graphic novel publisher IDW has announced that it will translate some of its catalog into Spanish, starting with George Takei’s memoir They Called Us Enemy, to be titled Nos Ilamaron Enemigo, which will come out in June 2020. They will also release Spanish-language versions of their first Sonic the Hedgehog collection and the graphic novel Red Panda & Moon Bear (Panda Roja y Oso Lunar).

Gina Gagliano, editorial director of the new Random House Graphics imprint, talks about her plans for the immediate future—four new titles launch in the spring—and beyond. Her plan is to publish a wide variety of graphic novels for all tastes and age. “I see us leading the way to make sure kids who are reading beyond picture books get titles with pictures when they’re five, 10, 15, and 20,” she says. “Visual literacy is such an important part of our culture.”

Chris Eliopoulos talks about graphic novels Cosmic Commandos and Monster Mayhem, his Ordinary People Change the World picture books done with writer Brad Meltzer, and his newest project, the PBS animated series Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum.

The creative team behind Black Canary: Ignite, writer Meg Cabot and artist Cara McGee, talk about mentors and mentoring in a video interview at The Beat.

Parents Magazine makes the argument for why children should be allowed to read graphic novels.

Best of the Year: The SLJ editors post their list of the Best Graphic Novels of 2019. Michael Cavna includes Raina Telgemeier’s Guts, Jerry Craft’s New Kid, and several YA titles on his top ten list at the Washington Post. Two graphic novels made YALSA’s 2019 Teens Top Ten Titles: Jen Wang’s The Prince and the Dressmaker and Emily Carroll’s graphic adaptation of Laurie Halse’s Speak.

Publishers Weekly looks at some recent picture book and graphic novel sequels, including Molly Knox Ostertag’s The Midwinter Witch and Frank Cammuso’s Edison Beaker, Creature Seeker: The Lost City.

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Brigid Alverson About Brigid Alverson

Brigid Alverson, the editor of the Good Comics for Kids blog, has been reading comics since she was 4. She has an MFA in printmaking and has worked as a book editor and a newspaper reporter; now she is assistant to the mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts. In addition to editing GC4K, she writes about comics and graphic novels at MangaBlog, SLJTeen, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Comic Book Resources, MTV Geek, and Good E-Reader.com. Brigid is married to a physicist and has two daughters in college, which is why she writes so much. She was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards.

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