Looking to make sure that older and younger fans of the same comics can find them easily, Kids’ comics publisher Papercutz is launching Super Genius, a new imprint that will publish graphic novels for older readers. The Super Genius imprint will launch in December with WWE Superstars by bestselling author and former WWE champ Mick Foley.
Jim Salicrup, editor in chief of Papercutz, told PW that while Papercutz comics are established as a safe and entertaining kids' comics brand, “we’d like to appeal to older customers as well.” Salicrup noted that comics shops offer a mix of comics and graphic novels aimed at young and older readers, while “bookstores tend to be strict about where stuff goes.” That means it can be difficult to get stores to shelve a kids title with graphic novels for older readers.
Papercutz plans to address this by producing two formats; one for the kids section and one for the graphic novel section in bookstores. While Papercutz titles like its Smurfs series do well in comics shops, where the clientele is mostly older fans, Salicrup said, “we might be missing these same fans in bookstores if the Smurfs books are only in the kids’ books section.” By the same token, Salicrup noted that in bookstores, younger kids still gravitate to the graphic novel section of bookstores, where comics aimed at vastly different age groups are shelved side by side.
Salicrup said that Super Genius is an effort to offer titles for the general graphic novel section of bookstores or comics shops. “We’re experienced with publishing for older and younger readers and we’re trying to appeal to the bulk of comics fans who to go to comics shops looking for graphic novels,” Salicrup said. “The graphic novel sections of bookstores are like the old newsstand comics sales, they’ve got everything in them and the fans can figure out what they want.”