In a surprising development at Random House Children’s Books, Gina Gagliano, the founder and publishing director of Random House Graphic, RHCB’s graphic novel imprint, is leaving the company effective December 3. The news was first reported by The Beat, the comics news blog.

Gagliano announced her departure in an email sent to Random House Graphic creators. Going forward, RHG will continue to be guided by RHCB executive v-p and deputy publisher Judith Haut, senior editor Whitney Leopard, senior designer Patrick Crotty, and editorial assistant Danny Diaz.

“After almost two years of this global pandemic, my plan is to take some time to work more directly with readers,” Gagliano wrote. “It’s been less than two years since we published our first graphic novels—and already they’re out there in bookstores and schools and libraries and homes, touching the hearts of so many readers.”

RHCB launched RHG as a dedicated graphic novel imprint under the direction of Gagliano in 2018. Before joining RHG, Gagliano was a longtime marketing professional and was among the original employees at First Second Books, Macmillan’s graphic novel imprint, when it was formed in 2006.

Gagliano has been a major force in the support and growth of book format comics, or graphic novels, for children, teens, and adults. She is a widely respected and celebrated professional in the category, known for her work designing comics programming for events and comics festivals all over the country, including the Brooklyn Book Festival.