After months of issuing conflicting responses about the future of Doubleday Graphic Novels, Doubleday has finally acknowledged that it is folding the DGN line of book-format comics barely six months after it released its first two books. Deborah Cowell, the editor who originated and directed the DGN line, left Doubleday shortly after the release of those two books--Lance Tooks's Narcissa and Jason Little's Shutterbug Follies-- in October 2002.
Bill Thomas, editor-in-chief of Doubleday Broadway Books, said the company was closing down the graphic novel line because "the level of sales did not meet our expectations." Thomas said DGN was "conceived as an experiment to see how well these books performed when published with traditional trade marketing strategies." He said that a "programmatic approach to graphic novel publishing" was best left to publishers who specialize in the format.
Thomas noted that Will Eisner's upcoming graphic novel Fagin the Jew will still be published as part of the Doubleday general adult list. Another work due to be released by DGN, a graphic novel adaptation of Kate Christensen's novel In the Drink by comics artist Emily Ryan Lerner, has been canceled.