Lumberjanes, the bestselling teen girl focused comics series, is crossing over to prose. This fall Abrams children’s imprint Amulet Books will launch an original, illustrated middle-grade fiction Lumberjanes series based on the comics published by BOOM! Studios.
The first novel will be published in October 2017 with an anticipated first printing of 150,000 copies. Publisher Andrew Smith and editor-in-chief Susan van Metre have acquired world rights for the series, through negotiations with Filip Sablik, president of publishing and marketing at BOOM! Studios.
Mariko Tamaki, co-creator with her cousin Jillian of This One Summer and the current writer of the Tomb Raider comics series for Dark Horse, will write the novels. Brooke Allen, who was one of the original Lumberjanes artists, will provide black-and-white illustrations.
Lumberjanes stars five girls at summer camp who solve supernatural mysteries and sometimes go toe-to-toe with strange creatures. The comics, which are noted for their exuberant humor, girl-centered stories and diverse cast of characters, were created by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, and Brooke Allen, and published by BOOM! Studios starting in 2014. More than 800,000 copies of the comics have been sold worldwide, and the series has drawn a devoted group of fans and has won several Eisner and Harvey awards and a GLAAD Media Award.
Those fans and the awards were what originally caught Smith’s eye, but he told PW that it was reading the comic that sealed the deal: “Once you read it, it’s impossible not to fall in love with the Lumberjanes—the characters are so memorable and relatable, and the stories are so much fun. The imaginative storytelling involving powerful girls—each with their own unique talents—going on supernatural adventures and solving problems using their smarts was irresistible and timely.”
Smith added, “We thought it would be incredibly exciting to be able to introduce original adventures within the middle-grade fiction category—and create new stories that would not only excite existing fans of the comics, but gain lots of new readers as well.”