Children's Graphic Novels at the 2009 Comic-Con
This year, more children’s book publishers, such as Cobblestone Books, Hyperion, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, had booths at the Comic-Con, and for once had enough graphic novels to spotlight that part of their catalogue. Notably, Random House showcased five series (the on-going Babymouse, the brand new Lunch Lady, and the upcoming Uglydolls, Stone Rabbit, and Kit Feeny). Other “traditional” comics publishers, such as Oni Press, are targeting younger audiences with titles such as Crogan’s Vengeance by Chris Schweizer (who drew a funny comics of his San Diego experiences at his blog) – a move similar to Top Shelf’s past success with Owly. Hybrid comics, such as The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, continue to do well, as does Eric Wight’s Frankie Pickle, which is hooking readers with addictive adventure lines presented in alternating comics and text pages. Some series have become industry leaders, such as Jeff Smith’s Bone, Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet, and Jimmy Gownley’s Amelia Rules! Two panels on Sunday centered on children’s graphic novels, and by the quantity of librarians attending them, it’s clear they continue to be some of our biggest supporters. Another key development this year: webcomics and mobile comics are a force in the industry. For instance, readers can now get Bone on their iPhones through UClick. So in a nutshell, kids graphic novels continue to expand and to excite, even if they remain lost in the shadows of superheroes, TV shows, and blockbusters at the Comic-Con!