Insight Editions, best known for lavishly illustrated art and coffee-table books on pop culture, is launching Insight Comics, an imprint specializing in original and licensed graphic novels of all styles. The imprint will publish an inaugural list of 12 titles beginning in March 2017.
Besides original fiction and English translations, the Insight Comics list will reflect the publisher’s expertise in licensing, offering graphic novels based on popular gaming, film, and TV properties, in many cases media franchises that have been longtime partners with Insight Editions. The Insight Comics list will be distributed to the book trade by Simon & Schuster and to the comics-store market by Diamond Comics Distributors.
Mark Irwin, a veteran editor/art director, who has worked at Marvel, DC Comics, and Nickelodeon, has been named senior editor of the new imprint. “We’re serious about comics, and the imprint will show our love for the art form,” he said.
“It’s an exciting time in comics right now,” said Vanessa Lopez, Insight Editions executive editor. “We’re not going to be constrained to one kind of comics storytelling. Insight Comics will focus on the best of European and Japanese comics and bring them to the U.S. We also plan to look at original works.”
To show off the variety of the Insight Comics list, Lopez noted that out of the 12 titles coming in 2017, four will be Euro-comics licenses, including two, Zombies and Siberia 56, that will be released as hardcover editions. The other two titles, Elves and the Baker Street Four, will be published in trade paperback and are series.
In the summer of 2017, Insight Comics will publish its first original graphic novel. The book is M.F.K. by Nilah McGruder, a postapocalyptic story about deaf girl crossing the desert to release the ashes of her grandmother. The graphic novel was originally published online as a webcomic and is also the first recipient of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics.
The Insight Comics imprint, Irwin said, will also create graphic novels based on the video game franchises Mafia and X-Com. In addition, Lopez said that the new imprint will produce a line of comics based on the Die Hard movie franchise (which is marking its 30th anniversary in 2018), which will “celebrate the series and create new stories.”
Insight Editions already publishes illustrated books based on comics characters, such as Deadpool: Drawing the Merc with a Mouth, and Lopez said to look for similar titles to be published under Insight Comics, including coloring books and art books that celebrate characters from Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Widow, Wonder Woman, and more.
Insight Editions, Lopez said, began discussing moving into the graphic novel category about two years ago. “We already work with Marvel and DC on art books, and we do illustrated fiction and books based in the world of illustration,” Lopez said. “We are huge fans of comics, and we wanted to make the category a part of our publishing future.”
Correction: the 30th anniversary of the Die Hard franchise is in 2018 not this year as stated in an earlier version of this story.