Morishima Launches Graphic Novel Literary Agency
Veteran graphic novel editor/publisher Janna Morishima announced plans to launch Janna Co., a literary and illustration agency specializing in children’s and YA graphic novels and visual storytellers.
The new literary/illustration agency will launch representing a roster of 22 artists, authors, and production studios. Morishima began her publishing career at Scholastic in 2002. She was a cofounding editor of the Graphix imprint and helped launch the works of bestselling cartoonists Raina Telgemeier and Jeff Smith on the initial list. She joined Diamond Book Distributors in 2007, overseeing DBD’s Kids Group and working with such publishers as Oni, Image, Dark Horse and Toon Books.
Janna Co. has just announced two recent book deals: Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round, an illustrated chapter book memoir by activist and debut author Kathlyn Kirkwood, signed by Erika Turner at the Versify imprint at HMHCo.; and Bounce Back, a graphic novel by manga artist Misako Rocks!, signed by Liz Szabla of Feiwel and Friends at Macmillan. Both books are slated for release in Fall 2021.
Morishima is launching the new agency at time when the demand for graphic novels (and nonfiction) and the book trade is growing and publishers are adding dedicated comics imprints and looking for new artists.
Morishima said that the graphic novel category “has grown over the past decade” and “has the potential to grow as much or more over the next 10 years.” She said “we are seeing more and more dioffernt types of stories told in comics format, and at the same time, comics easily cross entertainment media boundaries and are impacting publishing, animation, gaming and technology alike. Most importantly we can see the tremendous fan enthusiasm for the form in the seemingly unstoppable growth of comics conventions and festivals.