Children's graphic novel publisher Papercutz will launch a new imprint, Charmz, in May 2017, featuring "relationship-driven stories" tailored toward pre-teen and early teen girls.
Papercutz plans to release the first four graphic novels simultaneously. The books include Chloe by Greg Tessier and Amandine, the story of a girl who is navigating life at a new school; Stitched by Mariah Huehner and Aaron Alexovich, a supernatural tale about a rag-doll girl who wakes up in a cemetery and must figure out who she is; Sweeties, based on Cathy Cassidy's Chocolate Box Girls novels and adapted by Veronique Grisseaux and Anna Merli, about a girl who acquires four half-sisters when her father remarries; and The Great Cosmic Race by Amy Chu and Agnes Garbowska, an SF adventure story featuring an interstellar scavenger hunt, a smart girl, and an alien shapeshifter.
All four books are the first volumes of planned series, with new volumes anticipated within the year. Chloe and Sweeties were originally published in France, while the other two are original graphic novels. The books will all be in full color..
"We are looking at ages 10–13 as the sweet spot for this," said Sven Larsen, Papercutz v-p of marketing, "with the potential for it to go slightly older and slightly younger." Describing the books as “crush fiction,” Larsen said “the idea is to craft stories featuring female lead characters who are starting to develop relationships.”
The stories will range from school drama to "spooky-cute" to science fiction, to suit a range of tastes, said Rachel Gluckstern, a former DC editor who is overseeing the line for Papercutz. "My vision is a romance for every kind of girl," she said. “Tweens are learning to deal with the scary world of emotions and crushes and you want to give them a safe outlet to work through those feelings.”
All of the creative teams will have at least one female member, Gluckstern said. “I'm definitely not excluding non-female talent,” she said. “I'm looking for the best creators to help develop this new line all together. We're trying to reach a younger female audience, and it's great to have creators on board who truly connect with that audience."