HarperCollins Children’s Books has announced plans to launch HarperAlley, a graphic novel imprint under the direction of Andrew Arnold, who has been named editorial director.
HarperAlley will release its first graphic novels in fall 2020. HarperAlley is described in a release as a “collaborative, creator-focused publisher” that will specialize in graphic novels for “readers of all ages.”
Arnold said, “Witnessing the rise of the graphic novel over the past 15 years has been amazing. Cartoonists continue to inspire, challenge, and push the form in unexpected directions. I look forward to collaborating with creators and with the talented team at HarperCollins to publish more graphic novels for all kinds of readers, everywhere.”
Arnold, a former art director and acquiring editor at First Second, Macmillan’s graphic novel imprint, said that while HarperAlley is part of HarperCollins Children’s Books, the new line is “looking to publish books that readers of all ages can enjoy, from the youngest readers to teens and adults. We believe that a good story is a story that any reader can relate to. That’s what we mean when we say “readers of all ages.”
During his time at First Second, Arnold worked with such graphic authors as Gene Luen Yang, Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham, Hope Larson, Tillie Walden, Jen Wang, and others.
HarperAlley, he said, is looking to publish about 10 books a season, or about 30 books a year. Arnold said the imprint has already started acquiring books, and will have “staff solely dedicated to HarperAlley and editors and designers who have successfully published graphic novels.” In addition, Arnold said the imprint will also acquire European and foreign-language graphic works “that we can bring to an American audience.”
HarperCollins has a significant backlist of graphic novels and nonfiction, including such works as Scott McCloud’s acclaimed graphic trilogy on the formal development of comics (Understanding Comics, Making Comics, and Reinventing Comics), Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell's Graveyard Book 1 & 2, and Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona, which was nominated for a National Book Award in 2015, as well as New Kid by Jerry Craft, which came out in February and has become a bestseller.
HarperAlley, Arnold said, will expand on existing graphic novels in the HarperCollins backlist. Editors across all HarperCollins imprints will accept submissions as well acquire graphic novels for the HarperAlley line.
HarperCollins Children’s Books v-p and publishing director Rich Thomas said, “We’re at an exciting juncture in the evolution of the graphic format. We’re proud of the significant contribution HarperCollins has made to the growth of graphic novels for young readers and teens, and we’re thrilled to be celebrating that success with the launch of HarperAlley.”