Flash Facts is DC‘s first-ever STEM-focused graphic novel for kids. Out in stores on February 2, 2021, the middle-grade anthology is curated by Mayim Bialik and features a collection of short stories from writers and artists including Varian Johnson, Cecil Castellucci, Kirk Scroggs, Michael Northrop, Isaac Goodhart, and many more.
Today, DC released the full Batman chapter, “If You Can’t Take the Heat,” co-written by twin brothers Varian Johnson and Darian Johnson, and illustrated by Vic Regis. The short story features Batman demonstrating 3-D printing for kids.
WRITER: Hanna Schroy ILLUSTRATOR: Hanna Schroy SRP: $12 FORMAT: Trade Paperback PAGE COUNT: 200
Miriam has trained her whole life to fulfill her dreams and it’s finally paid off now that she’s the prima ballerina of the Lulli Dance Company, but she’s been keeping a secret from them. The years of sprains, fractures, and bruises have taken their toll and a catastrophic ankle injury now means one terrible thing: she has to give it all up forever. Distraught beyond consolation, Miriam runs from the studio and discovers a secret room she’s never seen before. Inside she finds a pair of gleaming white and gold slippers and a mysterious voice whispering to her in the dark. If she tries on the slippers, it says, she’ll regain the strength to raise en pointe. It speaks the truth!
Soon, Miriam is back, but each achievement means danger for everyone around her and negotiation with the spirit who claims it wants justone little harmless thing in return . . . to join the ballerinas and dance, just like her.
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IDWPublishing and imprint Top Shelf Productions have unveiled their Summer 2021 lineup of middle-grade and YA graphic novels. Here’s a look at their spectacular line-up for next year:
Better Place, by debut author Duane Murray and Shawn Daley (Samurai Grandpa), tells the story of Dylan, a young boy in a new neighborhood whose best (and only) friend is his grandad. Together, with the power of imagination, they entertain themselves as Red Rocket and Kid Cosmo, saving the world daily from evil. But when Dylan learns that his grandad is suddenly gone to “a better place”, the sidekick ventures off on a grand adventure to find his superhero. Better Place (ISBN 978-1-60309-495-5), a touching story about family, grief, change, and growth, will be released as a 160-page paperback in August with an MSRP of $199.99 US ($25.99 CAN).
Chibi-Usagi: Attack of the Heebie Chibis, by Stan Sakai and Julie Fujii Sakai, makes the rich world of multiple award winner Usagi Yojimbo accessible to readers of all ages in this chibi-style original graphic novel. Stan Sakai’s beloved rabbit samurai has won countless fans over his 35-year history, thanks to a clever blend of thrilling action, heartwarming characters, and realistic portrayal of Japanese culture. In this tale, Chibi-Usagi and his friends must rescue a village of clay people from the threat of the dreaded Salamander King. Chibi-Usagi (ISBN 978-1-68405-790-0) will be released as a 120-page paperback in June 2021 with an MSRP of $12.99 US ($16.99 CAN).
The Girl and the Glim, the exciting debut graphic novel from animator India Swift, with colors by Michael Doig, gives the classic new kid in school story a wild science fiction twist. Thirteen-year-old Bridgette is nervous enough about starting class at her new school, but just when she thinks the bullies will be as bad as things can get, her life is turned upside down by an otherworldly being from outer space that only she can see! Now, the new kid is the only thing standing between her classmates and total destruction in this wildly imagined, beautifully drawn story about the importance of friendship, human connection, and doing what’s right. The Girl and the Glim (ISBN 978-1-68405-741-2) will be released as a 128-page paperback in August 2021 with an MSRP of $12.99 US ($16.99 CAN).
Marie Curie: A Quest For Light, written by Frances Andreasen Østerfelt and internationally acclaimed Danish astrophysicist Anja Cetti Andersen with art by Anna Blaszczyk, focuses on the exceptional life and groundbreaking research of Marie Curie, the first female Nobel Prize winner, who expanded scientific understanding and created new opportunities for women. Curie’s unique drive, against all odds, to understand Nature’s ways and laws led to ground-breaking discoveries, which revolutionized medical theory and practice. Marie Curie (ISBN 978-1-60309-494-8) will be released as a 136-page paperback in August 2021 with an MSRP of $17.99 US ($23.99 CAN).
Pirate Penguin vs. Ninja Chicken Vol. 3: Macaroni and Bees?!?, by Ray Friesen, is the latest installment featuring the ridiculous adventures of the fan-favorite flightless fighting friends. Whether they encounter werewolf shampoo, time travel, or anti-gravity popcorn, the bouncy battle birds are always engaged in the ultimate competition: to see which friend will win once and for all. Pirate Penguin vs. Ninja Chicken Vol. 3 (ISBN 978-1-60309-497-9) will be released as a 64-page hardcover in August 2021 with an MSRP of $9.99 US ($12.99 CAN).
The Science of Surfing: A Surfside Girls Guide to the Ocean, by Kim Dwinell, is the coolest way to experience a beach vacation and learn at the same time. Sam and Jade, from the pages of the beloved graphic novel series The Surfside Girls, explain the science behind the amazing wonders of the sea — everything from life-sustaining plantlife to aquatic animals to crashing waves. Plus, there’s a whole step-by-step chapter on how to surf. The Science of Surfing (ISBN 978-1-68405-837-2) will be released as a 136-page paperback in July 2021 with an MSRP of $9.99 US ($12.99 CAN).
A young, headstrong goblin embarks on a wild journey of loss, self-discovery, and sacrifice in Goblin, a new middle-grade graphic novel adventure by Eric Grissom and Will Perkins, the creative minds behind Gregory Suicide.
One fateful night a sinister warrior raids the home of the young goblin Rikt, leaving him orphaned. Angry and alone, Rikt vows to avenge the death of his parents and seeks a way to destroy the culprit. As he finds aid from unlikely allies throughout his journey, Rikt discovers the secret power hidden in the heart of the First Tree. Will Rikt survive the trials that await him on his perilous journey to the First Tree? And is Rikt prepared for the awakening he may find there?
Goblin is a fantasy story like no other about overcoming great odds and finding light in even the darkest places. Goblin arrives in your local comic shop on May 26, 2021, and bookstores on June 8, 2021, for $14.99.
This spring, the Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group is pleased to announce the addition of several upcoming original graphic novels—including several new middle grade and young adult projects— in spring 2021.
In January, Lemonade Code, an own voices middle-grade graphic novel from the creative team of writer Jarod Pratt and artist Jey Odin, follows a young genius desperate for cash to fund his top-secret science projects. But after starting a lemonade stand, he discovers his brand-new next door neighbor doing the same thing! Soon, an all-out war begins as both kids go head-to-head in a lemonade war, but this time the fate of the world could be at stake.
Taking place in a recognizable world to today’s young readers was important to the creators: “Lemonade Code was born from a desire for my kids to not just be able to see a future with people who look like them in it, but to also see themselves in a future that wasn’t necessarily dystopic by nature,” said Jarod Pratt. “By taking a familiar children’s story conceit—two kids with dueling lemonade stands—and setting it in a time just around the corner, it is my hope that any kid who reads it and sees themselves in the characters will also have their eyes opened to the possibilities of tomorrow and their place in it.”
The fan-favorite Catalyst Prime title, Quincredible: Quest to be the Best, returns in February 2021 from creative team Rodney Barnes, Selina Espiritu, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and Tom Napolitano, and follows Quinton West after a meteor show dubbed “The Event” left him with the power of invulnerability—but no other gifts. Not the most glamorous or flashy of superpowers. But there’s more to Quin than meets the eye, and he’s willing to show the world just that. Quincredible: Quest to be the Best will be reformatted in a new trim size and featuring an updated logo and design as the series moves from single issues to graphic novels.
Secrets of Camp Whatever Volume 1, the latest graphic novel from the Eisner Award-nominated creator Chris Grine; Martian Ghost Centaur by Unplugged and Unpopular creator Mat Heagerty with illustrations by Steph Mided; and The Hazards of Love: Bright World, a queer Latinx webcomic-turned-graphic-novel by Stan Stanley, will be available in March 2021.
In Grine’s Secrets of Camp Whatever, there’s more than mosquitoes at this creepy summer camp, as hard-of-hearing teen Willow and friends go head-to-head with supernatural scares, and a mystery involving her family’s past at the camp begins to unfold. For creator Chris Grine, inspiration was one part summer camp, one part supernatural, and everything else his children. “My preteen daughter and her ever-changing preteen attitude became the main inspiration for several of the main characters personalities, which made it so much more personal and enjoyable to write, especially when I would think about how she might handle this place and what choices she might make when things go sideways.”
Martian Ghost Centaur, from Heagerty and Mided, explores coming of age for a young adult torn between leaving for college or staying in a beloved hometown that is on the brink of financial ruin—and the lengths one can go to save something they love. For Mat Heagerty, this came from taking a deep look at his own experiences. “Up until the pandemic, I’d worked for a decade in a really unique bar in San Francisco. I watched the city’s second tech boom push out so much of what made San Francisco feel like home to me. Watching the tech takeover, specifically of the Mission District, was where the story started for me.”
But for illustrator Steph Mided, it was a means of revisiting that high school transition. “[Martian Ghost Centaur] instantly took me back to my senior year of high school, where I was ready to take on the entire world, yet at the same time deeply scared about anything in my life changing.”
In Stanley’s The Hazards of Love: Bright World, Amparo, a Latinx nonbinary teen, makes a deal with a talking cat to become a better person—in part to stop their mom and abuela from worrying about them, but mostly to be worthy of dating straight-A student Iolanthe. But in a twist of fate, the cat steals their body, imprisoning Amparo in a land of terrifying flesh-hungry creatures known as Bright World.
For Stan, this was a way to bring a deeply personal project to a larger audience. “It was important for me as a queer Mexican living in NYC that this project feature a diverse Latinx and LGBTQ cast and present urban fantasy through a non-European lens. Hazards reinterprets the ‘Down the Rabbithole’ trope to reflect a queer Latinx voice, and pays homage to Mexican gothic horror films, to telenovela tropes, and to Latin-American surrealism.” Offering lush full-color illustrations, Stanley hopes The Hazards of Love: Bright World will bring the horrors of the fantasy world and the more relatable horrors of our mundane world to readers in a whole new light.
In Delicates, the sequel to Brenna Thummler’s best-selling graphic novel Sheets, summer’s ended and Marjorie Glatt is heading back to school, this time as part of the eighth grade in-crowd. But as she struggles to fit in with her new friends, she spends less and less time with Wendell and finds herself acting in ways that seem unlike her. Marjorie must soon come to terms with the price she pays to be accepted by the popular kids, but it might just cost her her friendship with Wendell and so much more. “Waiting for sequels is like waiting to reunite with old friends—you’re eager for that familiar comfort, yet anxious to hear of new adventures. Delicates is full of the fun, challenges, and bittersweet moments that make for the strongest of friendships, and I can’t wait for readers to return to this ghostly world!” said Brenna. Delicates will be available March 2021.