Papercutz’s Tween Imprint Adds “GFFs” & “Scarlet Rose” to Lineup, Mariah McCourt to Editorial Team
While it’s official launch doesn’t take place until May, Papercutz’s new Charmz imprint is already adding new series and new creators, including a new role for New York Times best-selling author Mariah McCourt.
Charmz, a new graphic novel imprint devoted to romance focused fiction and squarely targeted at tween girls was already off to a strong start, with four new series launching this spring. But that’s just the jumping off point for one of the most ambitious comics publishing launches in recent memory. By the end of the year, the line will expand to six ongoing series. And the publisher has brought on an editorial “heavy hitter” naming McCourt as the line editor for the imprint.
“When Papercutz Publisher Terry Nantier and I decided to expand the line, we wanted to make sure that we got someone who understood the vision behind the imprint and was passionate about bringing more girls in to the comics market. After working with Mariah on STITCHED, we knew we had found the ideal candidate,” explained Papercutz Editor-in-Chief Jim Salicrup. “Her experience as an editor at Vertigo and IDW as well as her awesome writing skills make her the perfect fit for the job. Mariah’s worked with an amazing array of talent during her time in the industry and we look forward to bringing her unique editorial viewpoint to the Charmz line. I’ve always been impressed by her ability to discover and work with new talent, as well, and I think those skills will serve her well as we continue to expand the line.”
“The position is a great fit for me both personally and professionally,” enthused McCourt. “I’ve always been interested in seeing the market for graphic novels expand and that’s the ‘raison d’etre’ for Charmz. When Papercutz first approached me about working on a title for the Charmz imprint, I saw it as a great opportunity to create the kind of book I wish existed when I was a 13 year old. Heading up the imprint allows me to take that to the next level, making sure that our books are focused on the adventure & excitement that goes along with being a tween. I’d also describe myself as a ‘romance fiend and getting to work on a line of romance-focused books like this is right up my alley!”
McCourt’s appointment comes at a time of expansion for the fledgling imprint. In addition to the previously announced debut titles (supernatural romance STITCHED by McCourt & Aaron Alexovich, cosmic adventure ANA & THE COSMIC RACE by Amy Chu & Kata Kane, and European imports CHLOE and SWEETIES), Charmz will add two new series, GFFs and THE SCARLET ROSE, to its lineup this fall.
“GFFs is a really spectacular new book by Monica Gallagher and Kata Kane,” explained McCourt. “It’s the story of three teens who get involved with the supernatural and each other. Jake and Sophia live in a town where ghosts are common and many of the townspeople make a living helping spirits pass on. But when Sophia develops a crush on a girl ghost they’re trying to help, her old crush Jake realizes he may have feelings for Sophia as well. It’s a classic love triangle with a modern twist and a prime example of the kind of innovative stories we’re looking to tell at Charmz.It reminds me, in the best possible way of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (a property I’m pretty familiar with) but the characters and situations are uniquely their own GFFs is the kind of relationship-driven adventure story that epitomizes the Charmz line.”
The other new title is THE SCARLET ROSE, the story of a female swashbuckler in 18thcentury France. When Maud sees her father murdered in front of her eyes, she decides to become a champion of justice like the famous “The Fox”. She dons the identity of “The Rose” and uses her sword fighting skills to rescue the innocent. Of course, it’s only a matter of time before she crosses paths with her hero. But what will she do when she finds out “The Fox” is a boy from court that she can’t stand?
The manga influenced series by Patricia Lyfoung is a huge bestseller in France and Papercutz publisher Terry Nantier expects a similar reception when the series makes its US debut. “I’ve had my eye on this series for quite a while,” noted Nantier. “And I’ve always wanted to publish it in English. It’s a natural fit for the Charmz line. Patricia’s art is absolutely stunning and I love the combination of romance, high adventure and dynamic action that she brings to the book. There really is nothing like this in the American market right now and I think it’s really going to make a splash when it hits the bookstores.”
Added McCourt, “Girls with swords? French noblemen? High Adventure? Swashbukling and romance is my jam.”
With its fresh editorial vision and expanding roster of innovative new series, Papercutz’s latest imprint is shaping up to not only be one of the most highly anticipated publishing debuts of 2017 but also the line that brings romance back to comics..
Get ready to be Charmzed!
Joe Clokey, President of Premavision and son of GUMBY creator Art Clokey today announced a new partnership with Papercutz, “the #1 Kids’ Graphic Novel Publisher”. The agreement gives Papercutz rights to create comics and graphic novels based on the company’s GUMBY character, the best-selling toy and TV star that has become a cultural icon.
The partnership will let Papercutz create new material based on the hit GUMBY shorts that have found a new generation of fans through YouTube and DVD releases. With literally millions of fans online and toys, DVDs and other merchandise being sold through mass market retailers like Wal-Mart and Target, the character is enjoying a resurgence in popularity that is also driving creation of new media. Premavision recently announced development of a new television series (in partnership with the Jim Henson Company) and plans for a feature film are also in the works. With the recent 60th anniversary of the GUMBY TV show, the timing was perfect for the character to return to comics.
“I’m always delighted by how the character my father created has touched the hearts of so many people,” observed Clokey. “The emergence of GUMBY centered fan conventions and the huge reception we’ve received at places like ComicCon International show just how important GUMBY is to so many people. We wanted to make sure we found a publishing partner who not only appreciated the property but also shared the approach and values that have made GUMBY such an enduring character. Papercutz shares our commitment to creating great stories. And they also have some of the biggest GUMBY fans I’ve ever met on staff. That made them the ideal choice for a publishing partner.”
Chief among those fans is Papercutz Associate Managing Editor Jeff Whitman who will be one of the writers on the ongoing comic book series. “I’ve been a GUMBY fan for as long as I can remember,” explained Whitman, “And I think Terry and Jim wouldn’t have known how to deal with me if we hadn’t been selected as the publisher for these characters. Did I wear a full-size GUMBY costume to the office to help convince them we should go after this property? Maybe. What I can say for sure is we’re committed to capturing the magic that Art Clokey brought to his creation and that we’ll be exploring all the different settings and characters in the Gumbyverse while staying true to the essence of Gumby. He can jump into any book (with his pony pal, Pokey, too), so the story potential is virtually endless. We’ll also be finding out more about the Blockheads, Gumby’s sister Minga, his friends Prickle and Goo, and more recently introduced characters like his girlfriend, Tara. These comics will celebrate Gumby’s past, present, and future; if you have a heart, then Gumby’s a part of you. ”
Current plans call for an ongoing monthly comic book series to launch in July with the first issue debuting at this year’s ComicCon International. The 32 page, $3.99 issues will feature two ten-page lead stories and a five-page backup story, which will provide the opportunity for multiple creators to try their hand at the adventures of the “little green ball of clay”.
“Jeff may be the biggest GUMBY fan in the office but he’s certainly not the only comics creator with a love for the property,” observed Papercutz Editor in Chief Jim Salicrup. “We’ve had a number of people approach us about working on the series and hopefully we’ll hear from even more writers and artists after this release. I think a lot of people will be excited to hear the first roster of creators we announce. Of course, GUMBY has a rich history of A-list creators like Art Adams, Rick Geary and Bob Burden working on the property and we’re currently in discussions on how we can bring some of that material back in to print again as well.”
In addition to the new comic books, plans call for the series to be collected in graphic novel format starting in November 2017. “GUMBY certainly has a lot of adult fans but the character is also one of the great kids’ properties,” explained Papercutz Publisher Terry Nantier. “The graphic novels will let us place the character in bookstores, schools and libraries and reach a whole new generation of fans. It’s a brand-new format for GUMBY to explore and I’m sure he’ll prove just as popular in this category as he has in other media and toys!”
Added Clokey, “Gumby is a timeless character with universal appeal. I’m excited that we’ll be able to share his new adventures with both Gumby enthusiasts and new fans and that working together, we’ll be able to create a new chapter in the character’s rich history.”
GUMBY #1 will be on sale at comicbook stores, online retailers and bookstores everywhere on July 19th.
BARBIE:”Puppy Party” writer Danica Davidson drew inspiration from her own life for her first Papercutz graphic novel. Are you ready to meet her dog, Porthos?
Puppies and comic books are two things I really love, so that made it a blast for me to write BARBIE:”Puppy Party”. When I was trying to come up with an idea that would involve Barbie, her sisters and their new puppies Honey, DJ, Taffy and Rookie, I got inspiration from my own dog and his story.
Meet my beagle Porthos. He’s named after the beagle on Star Trek: Enterprise, who’s named after the Musketeer Porthos in The Three Musketeers. (He is a very literary dog, though he doesn’t know it.) I adopted Porthos from my local shelter about three years ago, when he was one. Before that, he’d been a stray.
Now he’s a very happy dog who likes to sniff everything and he sleeps by my feet while I write. (He’s sleeping there right now as I type this. What do you think he’s dreaming?) I thought maybe Barbie and her sisters could help shelter dogs find forever homes. I like to help animals, so I thought Barbie and her sisters would enjoy it, too!
So in “Puppy Party”, Barbie finds a lost dog and then learns about the dogs and cats needing homes in the shelter. She puts together a big puppy party to find them all homes and to help the lost dog find his owner. Adopting a dog makes a big difference in their life. Not everyone is able to adopt a pet, but there are also other ways to help out, as Barbie and her sisters find out. You know what else I love besides puppies and comic books? Happy endings, especially for our furry friends.
Acclaimed Web Publisher Emet Comics YA/Fantasy Graphic Novel to be New Super Genius Title
You’re 16-years old and recovering from a tragic car accident. Everyone tells you that your brother is dead but you keep seeing visions of him being carried in to the clouds by a mysterious flying boy. And the visions don’t stop there. You see shadowy figures, pirates, other worlds. Are you going crazy? Even your therapist isn’t sure. That’s why she wants you to draw your visions in a journal. That’s why she wants you to start THE WENDY PROJECT.
In Spring 2016 Papercutz scored a major hit with their publication of David Gallaher and Steve Ellis’ THE ONLY LIVING BOY, a title that began life as a web comic. So it’s no surprise that the company would be on the lookout for other digital properties that could successfully transition to the print graphic novel format. Enter McDuffie award nominees Emet Comics and their online sensation THE WENDY PROJECT. After the company’s agent, Dara Hyde, sent materials to Papercutz publisher Terry Nantier; the two companies quickly agreed that THE WENDY PROJECT should be the latest title in Papercutz’s Super Genius imprint.
Created by Melissa Jane Osborne (Campus Crush) and featuring stunning artwork by Veronica Fish (now the lead artist on Archie), THE WENDY PROJECT is a new take on the Peter Pan story and a coming of age tale with just the right amount of magic. Readers will be drawn to the compelling story and will empathize with Wendy as she seeks to answer the all-important question – is her journal just the imaginings of a troubled teen … or is it a portal to another world?
Papercutz is rapidly gaining a reputation for one of the most diverse lists in graphic novel publishing, and Emet CEO Maytal Gilboa believes that THE WENDY PROJECT is a natural addition to their line. “It’s been exciting to see the emergence of both female creators and diverse characters in the graphic novel category,” observed Gilboa. “And Papercutz has been at the forefront of this trend with titles like Deb Lucke’s THE LUNCH WITCH and Jessica Abel’s (upcoming) graphic novel TRISH TRASH. At Emet, our motto is ‘Comics by women, for everyone’ and Papercutz shares that sensibility. That’s why we chose to go with them for our first print project”
Papercutz Editor-in Chief Jim Salicrup admits he was sold as soon as he saw Veronica Fish’s beautiful artwork. “I’ve been a fan of Veronica’s since I first came across PIRATES OF MARS. But I think she’s taken her work to a new level with THE WENDY PROJECT. Her use of color reminded me of classic films like Powell & Pressburger’s A Matter of Life and Death, and I was hooked immediately. Reading Melissa’s moving story sealed the deal. I knew this was something we had to publish.”
PAPERCUTZ Publisher Terry Nantier feels Papercutz’s acquisition of THE WENDY PROJECT reflects a natural progression in both the company’s publishing and the interests of its readers. “As the longtime publisher of the DISNEY FAIRIES’ graphic novels, I know how involved kids can get with the world of Peter Pan,” he explained. “We created Super Genius to provide options for those readers of those books and other kids’ graphic novels as they got older. But we also wanted Super Genius titles to appeal to adult graphic novel readers as well. I can’t imagine a more perfect fit for this imprint than THE WENDY PROJECT.”
Papercutz will publish THE WENDY PROJECT as a stand-alone graphic novel in Spring 2017, and both Gilboa and Nantier are committed to creating a final product that highlights the beauty of its source material. “We’re talking about all sorts of different options that will really make this an ‘object of desire’,” explained Gilboa. “We want to create a book that will thrill existing fans and prove irresistible to new readers as well.” Added Nantier, “From Melissa and Veronica to the entire editorial and production team, everyone working on this book is going out of their way to create something truly special.”
Leading Comics Publisher to Develop Series of New Graphic Novels Based on #1 Fashion Doll
Global toy leader Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT) today announced a new partnership with Papercutz, “the #1 Kids’ Graphic Novel Publisher”. The agreement gives Papercutz rights to create comics based on the company’s BARBIE character, the best-selling fashion doll that has become a cultural icon.
The new partnership will let Papercutz create new material based on the hit BARBIE media properties and on the core franchise. The goal is to provide a range of graphic novels that complement the many ways that children interact with Barbie—from animated movies to interactive media to traditional toys—and to reflect the modern sensibilities and focus on diversity that Mattel has brought to the franchise.
The first three titles slated for launch as graphic novels are an eponymous BARBIE series and individual volumes based on the BARBIE STARLIGHT and BARBIE PUPPY ADVENTURE DVD movies. BARBIE and BARBIE: PUPPY PARTY will launch in September 2016, with BARBIE STARLIGHT following in October. All three series will be available in both paperback and hardcover. These three properties are just the start of the ambitious Mattel/Papercutz publishing program. Plans call for more series to debut in the first half of 2017, with new installments and new series appearing each season.
“BARBIE is one of the great kids’ properties, and I couldn’t imagine a better addition to our publishing lineup,” explained Papercutz Publisher Terry Nantier. “There’s never been a more exciting time to be a BARBIE fan, and we can’t wait to be a part of her new adventures. As Mattel guides the character in to new situations and life experiences, these new graphic novels will play a pivotal role in telling her story. Together, we’re going to create a series of publications that will delight and thrill a whole new generation of BARBIE fans.”
BARBIE VOL. 1 and BARBIE: PUPPY PARTY VOL. 1 will be on sale at comicbook stores, online retailers and bookstores everywhere on September 13th.
ONLY LIVING BOY VOL. 1 is coming in March but comic book store owners will be placing their orders in the next couple of weeks. If you want to make sure that your store orders you a copy use this handy form.