Random House Graphic will launch its graphic novel line in 2020

The new imprint reveals four projects for early 2020, with several others in the works.

Random House Graphic is a new imprint of Penguin Random House “dedicated to publishing graphic novels for kids and teens of every age and interest, fiction and nonfiction.” It was officially announced last year, and leading into Comic-Con International, they’ve revealed their debut line-up.

Their first books will hit shelves in January, under the guidance of Publishing Director Gina Gagliano, formerly with First Second.

“Random House Graphic is dedicated to publishing the best in kids and YA graphic novels,” Gagliano said. “It’s an incredibly exciting time for the graphic novel medium—with more readers coming to these stories, and new groundbreaking books being published, the category is expanding by leaps and bounds. We can’t wait to share our contributions to it with readers, booksellers, comic book sellers, educators, librarians, and everyone who loves books and comics.”

Their four debut titles are:

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Dark Horse digs up a ‘Stranger Things’ zombie tale

New OGN from Greg Pak and Valeria Favoccia due out next February.

With the third season of Stranger Things now available for binge-watching and the franchise showing no signs of slowing down, it makes sense that we’d hear about a new project from Dark Horse. Following the previous two miniseries, the publisher will release an original graphic novel next February set in the Stranger Things universe.

Writer Greg Pak will team with artist Valeria Favoccia, colorist Dan Jackson and letterer Nate Piekos for Stranger Things: Zombie Boys. It’ll be set after season one and will feature a new character, Joey Kim, who wants to make his own horror movie.

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‘Heavy Vinyl’ returns for a second spin

Carly Usdin and Nina Vakueva reunite for another round of music store fight club.

Carly Usdin and Nina Vakueva will reunite for a Heavy Vinyl original graphic novel, a sequel to the 2017 miniseries. Subtitled “Y2K-O!,” this one will take place in the summer of 1999.

“Getting the chance to continue the Heavy Vinyl story is a dream come true! I’m thrilled to be reunited with my precious little ‘90s babies. The story picks up a few months later — it’s 1999, digital music and file sharing have upset the status quo, and Y2K approaches!” Usdin said. “You can expect the same level of exhaustively researched pop culture references with new characters, a new mystery and more Chris/Maggie cuteness. I’ve been having a great time writing it, and I can’t wait for fans to read it.”

The story revolves around a group of girls who work at their local record store, Vinyl Mayhem — which is also the front for a teen girl vigilante fight club. In the new OGN, they’ll have to deal with the led-up to Y2K.

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‘Jia and the Nian Monster’ explores Chinese lore

Mike Richardson and Megan Huang team up for a new original graphic novel.

When he’s not busy running Dark Horse, Mike Richardson is writing for them. In anticipation of this year’s Comic-Con International later this month, Dark Horse has announced the newest project from their founder, Jia and the Nian Monster.

Richardson is teaming up with artist Megan Huang on this new original graphic novel that’s based on an ancient Chinese legend.

“I’m pleased to work with artist Megan Huang to bring this Chinese legend to life for readers of all ages,” Richardson said. “I’ve always been interested in Chinese lore and hope to impart that interest on a new generation of readers.”

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Of course Shannon Wheeler is working on a Mueller Report adaptation

“It’s the Mueller Report… with pictures… and funny.”

I’d be very disappointed if Shannon Wheeler, creator of Sh*t My President Says, wasn’t working on a comic book adaptation of the Mueller Report.

“It’s the Mueller Report… with pictures… and funny,” Wheeler said in the press release.

Wheeler will once again work with his Oil & Water collaborator Steve Duin to adapt the more than 400-page legal document assembled by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III on his investigation into Russia’s interference with the 2016 U.S. election. IDW promises they’ll produce “a comprehensive, understandable and readable graphic novel version of the book every patriot needs.”

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Powell + Jensen team for ‘Two Dead’ this fall

New graphic novel from Gallery 13 explores crime and racism in the Deep South after World War II.

Van Jensen and Nate Powell will team up on a new graphic novel this fall for Simon & Shuster’s Gallery 13 imprint. Two Dead, according to Paste, is about “crime, conspiracy, racism and insanity in the post-World War II Deep South.”

“Van and I started collaborating on Two Dead before I began drawing the March trilogy, believe it or not, shifting focus over the years and evolving past its genre parameters,” Powell told Paste. “Finding the right approach for this story was in part thanks to those years re-imagining its format, scope, historical relationships, and how it speaks to the world of 2019. Along the way, each book I drew concurrently with Two Dead helped pave the way for its final form—Come Again allowed me to embrace the power of genre, just as March better equipped me to finding the personal focus within a larger historical context. I’m always eager to bring my home state to life through comics, and each book doubles as a love letter to Arkansas in all its contradictory beauty.”

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Celebrate International (Interstellar?) Dinosaur Month with ‘Alien Bones’

Chris “Doc” Wyatt and Chris Grine team up for a new graphic novel from 1First Comics.

Did other planets have dinosaurs? Chris “Doc” Wyatt and Chris Grine will explore that question in October in Alien Bones, a new graphic novel coming from 1First Comics.

Coinciding with International Dinosaur Month, Alien Bones features a boy and his paleontologist father exploring the galaxy and looking for the fossils of extinct alien dinosaurs. But when his dad disappears inside the ruins of an alien city, 10-year-old Liam teams up with his pet dinosaur and a robot to save him.

“The idea of Alien Bones came from wanting to thrill my son with an adventure out in the universe,” Wyatt said. “I can admit that astronomy can sometimes seem dry and boring in the classroom, so I wanted to find a way to encourage my kid to think about the cosmos as an exciting place to explore and discover. He was interested, at the time, in dinosaurs—a lot of kids go through a dinosaur phase, and my son was no different. So, I thought: ‘What about kids having adventures with dinosaurs in space?'”

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‘Empowered’ returns for 11th volume from Dark Horse

Adam Warren’s long-running satire gets a new volume this September.

Adam Warren‘s long-running series Empowered will return with a new volume from Dark Horse this fall. The company announced that the superhero/cheesecake satire will see its 11th volume arrive in stores Sept. 18.

The manga-influenced series kicked off in 2007 with its first volume, with new volumes following every 1-2 years. Warren began posting the earlier volumes on the web a few years back, and currently you can read up through volume five on the site. Be careful, as it can be addictive; it looks like a softcore cheesecake superhero story, but it goes deeper than that, with a lot of humor and intrigue. I’ve seen it described as a “guilty pleasure” series, and I’d agree after getting hooked reading the first two volumes this past weekend.

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Grateful Dead get an origin story thanks to Z2 Comics

Noah Van Sciver and Chris Miskiewicz will take you back to the beginning of the Dead’s long, strange trip.

Z2 Comics has teamed up with the Grateful Dead for Grateful Dead Origins, a graphic novel detailing the band’s early days. And they’ve recruited Chris Miskiewicz and Noah Van Sciver to tell the story.

“We’ve seen many archival releases that offer magnificent audio representations of the Grateful Dead’s history, and several filmed interpretations of the Dead’s story. To these, we’re thrilled to add to the Dead’s narrative canon this beautiful portrayal of the Dead’s origin story in the form of this wonderful new comic,” said Grateful Dead audiovisual archivist and legacy manager David Lemieux. “Chris and Noah have captured the Dead’s sensibility in their words and images that bring to life on the page the earliest days of the Grateful Dead, from the band’s founding in 1965 through to Woodstock. We couldn’t be happier to be partnering with such talented artists who have delved so deeply into the Dead’s history and origin.”

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