This year’s New York Comic Con featured plenty of children’s comics – and plenty of children – with several areas in the Javits Center set aside for a family lounge and a panel room for children’s activities. There were plenty of children on the exhibit floor as well, and publishers were catering to them with a wide array of comics, graphic novels, and events.
DC Comics had two announcements in its Super Hero Girls line of properties aimed at girls ages 6 to 12. The first is a new graphic novel, DC Super Hero Girls: Wonder Woman: Summer Olympus, written by Shea Fontana and illustrated by Yancey Labat. The book, scheduled for July 2017, is a vacation story about Wonder Woman and her friends visiting her father, Zeus. Fontana and Labat are the creators of the two earlier Super Hero Girls graphic novels. In addition, a digital-first comic, DC Super Hero Girls: Past Times at Super Hero High, launched at the show, with new issues coming out every other Wednesday. Fontana will write this series, with Labat and several other artists providing the art.
Dark Horse announced a three-part graphic novel series, The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars, which will continue the story of the television cartoon in much the same way that their Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels have extended that franchise. Series co-creator Michael DiMartino will write the first trilogy, with Irene Koh handling the art and the other Korra co-creator, Bryan Konietzko, providing feedback. The first volume is due out in June 2017.
Lion Forge Comics announced a new children’s comics imprint, CubHouse, which will focus on readers 12 and under. Andrea Colvin, who recently came to Lion Forge from Andrews McMeel, will be the senior editor of the imprint; Lion Forge will continue to publish YA comics under its Roar imprint.
Lion Forge also broke the news that it has purchased the assets of Magnetic Press, a three-year-old publisher helmed by Mike Kennedy, who was previously the publisher at Archaia Entertainment. Magnetic Press has published a number of children’s, YA, and adult graphic novels, many of them imported from Europe, and has garnered four Eisner nominations in two years. Kennedy will join Lion Forge as creative director of the Magnetic Collection and will acquire new works across all Lion Forge imprints; the existing Magnetic catalog will become part of Lion Forge as well.
BOOM! Studios announced several youth properties in the run-up to the show, including the digital-only graphic novel Adventure Time Marshall Lee Spectacular, which is part of Comixology Originals, a new original graphic novel publishing program recently launched by Amazon’s digital comics marketplace. The new graphic novel (based on Pendleton Ward's animated cartoon) features three stories by various creators, including Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer), Audrey Mok (Josie and the Pussycats), and Melanie Gillman (As the Crow Flies). BOOM! Studios also announced that it would publish Tom Taylor and James Brouwer’s The Deep as a six-issue comic series. The Deep was originally published in Australia as two graphic novels, both of which won the Aurealis Award, Australia’s top science fiction award. Netflix adapted the books into an animated series, and Taylor has become well known as a writer of superhero comics, including DC’s Injustice: Gods Among Us.
First Second, which celebrated its 10th anniversary with a panel at the show, had a number of recent debut books at its booth, including Drew Weing’s The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo and Andy Hirsch’s middle-grade comedy Varmints. The publisher also kicked off online serialization of Scott Westerfeld’s young adult story The Spill Zone last week, with a print graphic novel to follow in May 2017. And just before the show First Second announced that it would publish a print edition of Gigi D.G.’s all-ages webcomic Cucumber Quest in fall 2017.
Publishers specializing in or featuring graphic novels for children were doing a brisk business across the convention floor. At the Abrams booth, Nathan Hale, the creator of the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales historical graphic novels was signing galleys of a new graphic novel, One Trick Pony, which is not part of the Hazardous Tales series.
Oni Press was debuting Katie O’Neill's Princess Princess, an all-ages story about a princess who rescues another princess, and by the end of the show it had nearly sold out. (The story was originally published as a webcomic.)
Papercutz launched two licensed graphic novel series, Barbie and Trolls, at the show, and was also passing out minicomics samplers of its Charmz graphic novel line, which will launch next year. Andrews McMeel was showing off its Epic Big Nate collection, an oversized compendium of comic strips featuring the popular middle-schooler and his pals.