Macmillan’s graphic novel imprint First Second will publish new graphic works by Gene Yang, author of the acclaimed graphic novel American Born Chinese, cartoonist Dave Roman, best known for his work on Teen Boat and Agnes Quill and a new work by Lucy Knisley, author of the French Milk. In addition Villard and Scholastic Books have signed on to publish additional volumes of Kazu Kibuishi’s Flight anthology and Amulet series respectively. The deals for Yang, Kibuishi and Roman were negotiated by Judy Hansen of the Hansen Literary Agency.
Yang has signed to write a new work that will be illustrated by Thien Pham, creator of Sumo, Awesome and founder of Global Hobo, a small press comics collective. The book is tentatively called, Level Up, and the publication date is still to be determined. First Second editor Calista Brill said the publisher has also signed on to turn Dave Roman’s kids’ webcomic Astronaut Elementary into a 2 volume print work, publication date to be determined. Brill said the series will likely be renamed Astronaut Academy, and said the book was “aimed at middle-grade readers 9 to 12. It’s fast-paced, high energy and funny; something for kids that’s like a preview of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim.” Brill also noted the signing of a new full color comics work by Lucy Knisley, author of the 2008 comics memoir French Milk, which detailed a trip by Knisley to Paris along with her mother. The new work is called Relish and Brill described it as a “memoir about growing up a foodie. Her mother is a chef and she’s been eating fine cuisine since she was child. It’s really a collection of episodes about her life and food.” The Knisley deal was negotiated by agent Holly Bemiss.
In addition Villard, which just published volume 6 of Flight, the color anthology founded by Kibuishi, has agreed to publish volumes 7 and 8 of Flight with an option to publish more. In addition Scholastic has signed on to publish volumes 3, 4 and 5 of Kibuishi’s Amulet: The Stonekeeper’s Curse. Scholastic is releasing volume 2 of Amulet in September. The series has been optioned by Warner Bros. and Weed Road, actor Will Smith’s production house. Scholastic is also publishing Kibuishi’s webcomic Copper as a print graphic novel in January 2010.