When independent comic and graphic novel publisher AfterShock Comics launched in 2015, the new house immediately attracted big names in the comic book industry, including Garth Ennis, Paul Jenkins, Marguerite Bennett, and Cullen Bunn.
Six years later, with the demand for young adult graphic novels increasing, AfterShock is expanding its offerings. This August the indie powerhouse will launch its YA imprint, Seismic Press.
The new imprint will follow in AfterShock’s footsteps by publishing a wide array of genres, including horror, crime, fantasy, suspense, science fiction, historical fiction, action, and adventure. Seismic Press will also share AfterShock’s goal of pushing readers out of their comfort zones while providing creators with the opportunity to tell stories in their own way.
“With Seismic Press, our mission is to apply the same high-quality approach in content, talent selection, and presentation that we have with AfterShock,” says Mike Marts, AfterShock’s editor-in-chief, “but to extend it to a much wider audience and demographic.” In the last few years, several AfterShock titles, including Animosity, The Lost City Explorers, The Lollipop Kids, and Oberon, were able to reach not only adults, but also YA readers. Marts says that while the majority of AfterShock titles are meant for older audiences, with the launch of Seismic Press, the publisher will be better able to reach younger readers.
The imprint’s inaugural project is Steve Orlando and Steve Foxe’s graphic novel Rainbow Bridge, illustrated by Valentina Brancati, and scheduled to be published in August. The story, which will resonate with anyone who has ever had to say goodbye to a beloved pet, focuses on 14-year-old Andy and his rescue dog, Rocket. When Rocket dies just before high school begins, Andy finds himself rudderless, but during a visit to Rocket’s grave, he unexpectedly summons the Rainbow Bridge, a gateway to a fantasy world where pets discover their afterlife—and a malevolent menace awaits.
Additional titles under the Seismic Press imprint will begin rolling out during the fourth quarter of this year. Projects include original works from Richard Ashley Hamilton (How to Train Your Dragon) and Ted Anderson (Orphan Age), as well as repackagings of AfterShock series that have demonstrated strong YA appeal and garnered educator and librarian endorsement. These include Adam Glass and Aidan Glass’s The Lollipop Kids and Ryan Parrott’s Oberon.