In just one of the many children's comics announcements coming out of this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International, Annoying Orange, the web video gone viral, is getting its own graphic novel—a 64-pager to be published by Papercutz, the home of the Ninjago, Geronimo Stilton, and Nancy Drew graphic novels. Though sometimes overlooked by the media, children's comics were very much in evidence in San Diego this past weekend.
This year's Eisner Comics Industry Awards, the annual book awards for comics, added an extra category for children's comics, dividing the children's comics category in two. The award for Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7) went to Dragon Puncher Island by James Kochalka (Top Shelf); the Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12) was Snarked by Roger Langridge (kaboom!), and the Young Adult prize went to Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol (First Second).
BOOM! Studios announced on Thursday that it will follow up their Adventure Time series with a six-issue mini-series based on another Pendleton Ward cartoon, Bravest Warriors. The comic features four teenage superheroes who zip through space, using the power of emotions to rescue cute aliens in peril. Mike Holmes, the artist for Adventure Time #5, will have the lead art duties, and Joey Comeau (A Softer World) is the writer.
Papercutz had three new properties to announce at the con. The Annoying Orange graphic novel will be 64 pages long and is due out by the end of the year. "People either love it or hate it," said Terry Nantier, publisher of NBM, Papercutz's parent company. The second new graphic novel is Ariol, a French comic by Emmanuel Guibert and Marc Boutavant, due out in 2013. The comic is about middle-school girls and has "surprisingly sophisticated humor" for that age group, Nantier said. Ariol has sold over 40,000 copies and spawned a TV show in its native France. The third new series is Thea Stilton, a Geronimo Stilton spinoff featuring the peripatetic mouse's younger sister; Thea already has her own series of chapter books.
Papercutz premiered its Power Rangers graphic novel at Comic-Con, andtwo of their artists were signing and sketching at the booth: Jolyon Yates, illustrator of Lego Ninjago, and Stan Goldberg, a longtime Archie Comics veteran who is illustrating the new Three Stooges comics and Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew, a Nancy Drew series for younger readers.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman is returning to the long-lived series to co-write a new story, with Tom Waltz, for IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2012. IDW also has an ongoing TMNT series. IDW is also teaming up with Hasbro to produce a line of My Little Pony comics, to be written by Katie Cook, creator of the webcomic Gronk, and drawn by Andy Price, who has done work for DC.
Archie Comics announced several new storylines in its panel: Archie Meets Glee by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa with art by Kevin Keller artist Dan Parent, and Archie vs. KISS, a sequel to Archie Meets KISS, both to run in the flagship Archie comic next year; and a Sonic/Mega Man crossover, also coming in 2013, by Ian Flynn, the regular writer on both books. In addition, the cosmetics company MAC will be creating a line of Betty and Veronica tie-in cosmetics next year.
Raina Telegmeier, author of Smile, had advance galleys of her new book, Drama, at the Bolt City booth, and she read a selection during a panel with Doug TenNapel, who was doing a brisk business at his own booth.
First Second Books had no new titles to announce, but did have advance copies of Ben Hatke's Legends of Zita the Spacegirl, sequel to Zita the Spacegirl, and the teen graphic novel Bloody Chester.
Ape Entertainment announced that it is working on two game-based comics, Fruit Ninja and Squids; the company already publishes the successful Pocket God and Cut the Rope comics, as well as a line of licensed and creator-owned comics, and has just launched DreamWorks Adventure magazine, which features comics based on DreamWorks movies. Creators were on hand at the Ape booth to sign Strawberry Shortcake, Richie Rich, and other comics.
Capstone had an expanded booth and several con specials, including a 99-cent digital edition of The Incredible Rockhead: Rock, Paper, Scissorlegz, which will be out in August; it also offered a "create your own comics" contest and the opportunity to win the full 24-volume set of its DC Super-Pets chapter books.
In addition to its manga properties, Viz was heavily promoting the latest books in its VizKids line with a massive Winx mural at its booth, a special appearance by the Winx fairies, and guest appearances by the artists of Redekai and Voltron Force.
At the Archaia booth, con-goers could pick up advance copies of Rust 2, Royden Lepp's followup to last year's Rust, the story of a farm family, war robots, and a mysterious boy with a jet pack. Mouse Guard creator David Petersen was there as well, and marketing director Mel Caylo had the news that new issues of Mouse Guard are due out in August and October, with the third graphic novel to follow in December.