Papercutz—one of the publishers leading the current boom in kids’ graphic novel publishing—will launch Charmz, a new imprint for tween girls on May 2, 2017 with three new graphic novel series. Each of three launch titles have their own distinct look and feel, with subjects and settings ranging from graveyards to new schools, and storylines that share a common theme: a focus on friendships and relationships.
The line of books is being edited by bestselling writer and editor Mariah Huehner, formerly of IDW Publishing and Vertigo/DC Comics. In advance of Mariah McCourt’s appearance at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (April 22 and 23) and Aaron Alexovich’s appearance at the C2E2 convention in Chicago that same weekend, Charmz is releasing an excerpt from their graphic novel Stitched.
- Stitched by NYT bestselling author Mariah McCourt (Emily & The Strangers) and Aaron Alexovich (Serenity Rose). Crimson Volania Mulch has a problem; she just woke up in a crypt and, besides her name, has no idea of who, where, or what she is. Welcome to the Cemetery of Assumptions, a vast landscape of stones, mausoleums, and secrets. Home to monsters and mayhem, it may also hold the answers to her unknown parentage. Crimson is a resourceful patchwork girl and determined to find them. Along the way, she meets the mysterious Wisteria, who has a tendency to change and a witch named Parameter whose spells tend to go awry. And two boys, Simon and Quinton, who make her feel something besides lost and confused. She must battle ghosts, zombies, and monsters in order to learn where she came from and who her real “mother” is. But will she do it alone, or will she have help from her new friends and unexpected crushes?
- Chloe by Greg Tessier and Amandine. Everything was wonderful for young Chloe Blin―she loved her family, even despite their affectionate nickname for her. But everything changes when she starts at a new school. Suddenly, her family is just embarrassing! Chloe wants to meet new people and make new friends, especially with a certain Alexandre, but she’s not sure what to say or wear or who to trust. The home room fashionistas are only too happy to tell her how her clothes look, but can they really be her friends? And what if everyone heard her family’s name for her?
- Sweeties by Veronique Grisseaux and Anna Merli. Cherry Costello’s father owns a successful candy store franchise with best-selling chocolates. When her father remarries to the Tanberry family, Cherry now has four new half-sisters and must start at a new school in a new town. Trouble arises as Cherry meets Shay, the boyfriend of her older half-sister, Honey. Plus, the Tanberry twins Skye and Summer learn life is not identical for the both of them. It’s going to take a sweet miracle to overcome the sour tensions in this household!
Perhaps no trend in book publishing has been stronger in recent years than the growth of the kids’ graphic novel category. At the recent Children’s Institute, Nielsen cited 24% growth in year on year sales. Hand in hand with that growth has been the emergence of female readers and female creators like Raina Telgemeier and Noelle Stevenson. But not all female fans of graphic fiction have been served equally. For tween girls who have loved but outgrown properties like The Smurfs or Disney Comics but aren’t quite ready for the more mature content of books like This One Summer or Honor Girl, there’s been a distinct lack of material available. Now that’s all about to change, starting on May 2.