During the annual breakfast panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, held July 19-23, DC Entertainment unveiled plans to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the character Harley Quinn. After making her debut as the demented girlfriend of Batman’s foe, the Joker, Quinn has since grown into one of DC’s most popular superhero characters.
Dan Didio and Jim Lee, copublishers at DC, announced the plans for the new Quinn series, saying it will be overseen by the popular husband and wife creative team of writer Jimmy Palmiotti and artist Amanda Conner. In the tongue-in-cheek series and book collection, Quinn will run for mayor of New York City, with the titles slated to release during the city’s actual mayoral election in the fall.
DC is also planning a new crossover event with Archie Comics, in which Quinn joins up with Betty and Veronica and the rest of the Riverdale crew. The breakfast meeting also featured Quinn creator Paul Dini, along with writer Tom King and artist Joelle Jones, the creative team for a major new Batman series that will probe the superhero’s longtime romantic relationship with Catwoman.
“As goes Batman, so goes DC Comics,” King said, to emphasize that the new story will “go to the heart of the character.”
The Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group used this year’s Preview Night, an annual kickoff held the night before the show opens, to debut a first-time marketing initiative that combined the booths of the Macmillan prose and graphic novel lines that usually exhibit separately.
First Second marketing and publicity coordinator Gina Gagliano said Macmillan's booth arrangement included First Second (the graphic novel imprint), the Tor science fiction line, and Seven Seas (an indie manga publisher and a MacMillan distribution client). The booth also featured a display of the titles from Fierce Reads, the branding platform for Macmillan's YA prose titles. First Second, which usually exhibits graphic novels at its own separate booth, formed one side of a block of Macmillan tables offering a range of titles in prose alongside a burgeoning selection of award-winning graphic novels.
There were giveaways and simultaneous signings planned at the First Second table, among them the YA graphic novel Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani (coming in the fall), and Pigs Might Fly by Nick Abadzis, a YA graphic novel just released this month. Seven Seas was showing off the bestselling LGBTQ manga My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Kabi Nagata, a memoir of an anxiety-plagued young woman’s experience with a female sex worker. Seven Seas also showed Orange by Ichigo Takano, an Eisner nominated manga about an 11-year-old girl who receives a letter—from herself ten years in the future.
Graphix, Scholastic’s graphic novel imprint, used its annual party to announce a new graphic memoir from bestselling, and award-winning, cartoonist/author Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Hey, Kiddo, which will be published in the 2018, tells story of his childhood and the troubled life of his mother, who spent years in prison.
Coming off a year that featured the publication of National Book Award winning graphic memoir March trilogy by Rep. John Lewis, Top Shelf was showing off advance copies of Home Time, a richly illustrated hardcover graphic novel by Australian cartoonist Campbell Whyte, about a group of kids that end up in an enchanted forest. Top Shelf publisher Chris Staros was also touting Surfside Girls: The Secret of Danger Point, a teen mystery series starring best friends Samantha and Jade, who solve mysteries when they aren’t surfing.
Cartoonist R. Sikoryak’s The Unquotable Trump, coming from Drawn & Quarterly in November, was easily the most topical title on display during preview night, drawing a crowd of bemused browsers. Sikoryak makes parodies of comics that mimic the artwork of classic and contemporary comics styles. In the Unquotable Trump, he puts a litany of notorious quotations by the 45th president into a series of new visual contexts—“Nasty Woman” becomes the name of a Wonder Woman comic book—that serve as amusing comments on Trump himself.