A Public Service Announcement! ;)

A Public Service Announcement! ;)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Good Sign or Harbinger of Trouble?

The excellent graphic novel publisher First Second (:01) has been absorbed into MacMillan's children's publishing line. Just as did Tom Spurgeon(follow link embedded in this post's title), I noticed that the most recent catalogue from :01 lacked significant graphic novels marketed to more mature audiences. This is a real shame, as some of :01's best books have been best suited for teens and up.

Is this good news or not so great information? On the one hand, if publishers are pushing kid-friendly graphic novels, they may be "building the gateway" for more mature titles to make a comeback as these readers get hooked and want more sophisticated material.

On the other hand, as has been noted in this blog and several others, we're seeing stand-alone original graphic novels for older readers take a bit of a hit as publishers move to younger audiences and marketers keep pushing the "graphic adaptation" route (which has its place but represents "one step forward, two step back" thinking, in my opinion) to teachers.

I implore you, motivated readers!: Support good graphic novels for their own merits and move beyond the "easy" work of thinking you're progressive because you're letting kids read a graphic adaptation of the Iliad. Sure, you're on the right track as far as comics integration go, but you're only at step one. Go read some great titles like Good-bye, Chunky Rice, Bone, or even Persepolis or Deogratias if you want to see some new and exciting epic journeys unfold!

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