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Small Press: Scholastic 'boned'
Posted 02/07/2004
Source Newsarama

Officially confirming the drumbeats that had been ongoing for several weeks, Publisher’s Weekly today confirmed that Scholastic will launch its own graphic novel line aimed at both teens and younger readers called Graphix.

According to the report, the line will launch in the spring of 2005, and will be headlined by Jeff Smith’s Bone. According to sources, Scholastic will have the rights to reprint the series under its imprint for an extended period of time. Newsaram has learned that the Scholastic volumes will be in color, issued twice a year, and will be in a size reminiscent of manga trim. Other creators that Newsarama has learned to have been approached by Scholastic include Scott Morse, Jim Mahfood, and Christine Norrie.

Scholastic is the largest publisher of Children’s books, with roughly 750 titles seeing print each year. The company also runs several book clubs and book fairs, which reach over 35 million children, 40 million parents, and, according to the company, nearly every school in the United States, as well as numerous other countries.

For those who didn’t stick out the recent thread following the story about Graphix, Scholastic’s upcoming graphic novel line, you missed some news. Scholastic’s Janna Morishima stopped by to give a little more information and opened the doors for others to join the party.

“Believe me, we are bubbling over with enthusiasm here,” Morishima wrote. “I totally agree with those of you who have mentioned the strange dearth of high quality, ambitious children's comic books/graphic novels. But I think (I hope!) change is in the air...

”I wanted to answer a few of the questions I read. Regarding Bone: Jeff chose the colorist, not us. The color is being done at Cartoon Books, not at Scholastic, and we coordinating closely with them to make sure the production and manufacturing are top-notch.

”The Bone books will be 6 x 9. We'll be printing a small hardcover run and a much larger paperback run. We'll be printing two volumes per year, in Spring and Fall, with volume one coming out in February 2005.”

The hardcover edition of Bone will be priced at $18.95, while the paperbacks will run at $9.99. The covers will feature new Bone art by Jeff Smith.

”Obviously BONE is already a classic in the comics community, but there are a lot of people out there who've never heard of it and who will probably be a bit bamboozled when they actually see it in the bookstores. It's such a fantastic story, an adventure which reads on so many different levels (and it's wholesome -- we love that at Scholastic!); our challenge now is to help it reach a wide readership among kids.

”Regarding our imprint: while it is true that we will be publishing a few books aimed at teenagers, our main focus is going to be the 7- to 12-year-old audience. Those are the readers we believe are most underserved by high quality comics/graphic novels.”

And finally, if you think you’ve got what it takes…

”We are accepting query letters for book proposals. You can send them to my boss and/or me:

David Saylor/Janna Morishima
557 Broadway
9th floor
New York, NY 10012

Thanks again for all your comments -- rest assured I am taking careful note!”

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