Best known for the bone-crushing justice delivered by the iconic character Judge Dredd, U.K. publisher Rebellion is going after a somewhat younger crowd with its new children’s imprint, Ravenstone, which launched at BEA with the June release of its first book, Lupus Rex by singer-songwriter John Carter Cash.
Ravenstone joins Rebellion’s other prose imprints: Solaris – which publishes fantasy, science fiction, and horror, including books by bestselling author James Lovegrove – and Abaddon Books, which presents shared-world fiction, mostly in the urban fantasy genre.
Jon Oliver, editor-in-chief at Rebellion, said that a children’s imprint fits well with the publisher’s genre offerings. The line begins with just one book a season to start: Lupus Rex, a fantasy about an epic battle among crows, wolves, and other creatures for the crown of their world. It’s the first middle-grade title for Carter Cash, who has previously published three picture books. Ravenstone’s fall release will be Jan Siegel’s comedic Devil’s Apprentice, in which a successor to Satan – who is retiring – must be found.
Rebellion’s profile in the U.S. has increased since Simon & Schuster began distributing its books in 2010, with growing sales for the graphic novel line following 2012’s Dredd.
The company’s entry into the crowded children'’s book field has been met with enthusiasm, said publishing manager Ben Smith, because the debut title is “not just another dark apocalyptic YA fantasy or vampire novel. People appreciate that it’s for middle grades.” Beyond the first two books, Ravenstone is looking to a possible sequel to Lupus Rex.