In a surprise move, Carol Burrell, editorial director of Lerner Graphic Universe since the comics and graphic novel imprint was launched in 2007, is leaving Lerner to take a senior editorial position at Abrams ComicArts and Amulet. Burrell will join Abrams in January to work with Abrams ComicArts executive director Charles Kochman.

Burrell said, “it was a difficult decision to leave an editorial director position and to leave the Graphic Universe list after building it for five years—especially now, with so much attention being given to this latest crop of titles—but I’m looking forward to the new creative opportunities and other benefits that will come from working for a publisher like Abrams.”

Burrell said Lerner was working on transition plans to a new editorial director. Current Graphic Universe editor Robyn Chapman seems a likely possibility to take over the list.