Random House Graphic has released some of the most charming comics of the past year, many of which are accessible to all ages. Runaway Princess and Kerry and the Knight of the Forest are two visually stunning examples, deeply moving stories that kids and adults alike can enjoy. This week, Random House Graphic held a special press-only preview and AIPT was in attendance. The event gave a sneak peek at Random House Graphic titles coming in the year ahead into 2021.
The presentation opened with Publishing Director Gina Gagliano, who gave a rundown of Random House Graphic’s successes–they’ve released over 20 titles over four age categories–as well as their mission statement: “A graphic novel on every bookshelf.” What does that mean exactly? ” We get graphic novels to kids everywhere in every household in America,” Gagliano said. She added they publish “For every kid with every background.” To do so requires great ideas and even greater creators.
Early in the event, Random House Graphic showed off two preview pages each for four books. Check out an early look at upcoming books below.
Fly by Night by Tara O’Connor
Fly by Night tells the story of Dee, who suspects a magical creature may be responsible for her sister’s mysterious disappearance. But in her investigation, she discovers that the culprit may be less supernatural than she fears.
Just Roll With It by Lee Durfey Lavoie and Veronica Agarwal
In Just Roll With It, middle-school student Margaret deals with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder with the help of a D20 die, which she rolls to help her determine what her best choices are. But she finds that sometimes rolling the dice isn’t the best method for dealing with challenges at school. Publication is set for 2021.
Turtle In Paradise by Jennifer Holm and Savanna Ganucheau
An adaptation of the book by the same name, the book tells the story of Turtle, who goes to live with her aunt and cousins in Florida and finds her life opening up in new and unexpected ways.
Yummy by Victoria Grace Elliott
Peri is a food sprite who loves desserts and explores the history of everything from ice cream to cookies and other desserts from around the world. Publication is planned for 2021.
To show how they’ll accomplish this, Senior Editor Witney Leopard showed off upcoming Chapter Books out this year, starting with a sequel to the Pizza and Taco series Pizza and Taco: Best Party Ever out January 26, 2021, as well as Shark and Bot out September 1, 2020.
Additional Middle-Grade books for 7 to 11-year-olds were unveiled next, which Gagliano pointed out are some of the highest-selling books in the market today. Those titles included Bug Boys: Outside and Beyond out February 9, 2021, a sequel to Bug Boys which came out February 11, 2020. Other titles included two Max and Meow titles both released this year and Pacey Packer: Unicorn Tracker released last month.
Random House Graphic Books Out 2021
In attendance for the event was Mika Song to talk about her book Donut Feed the Squirrels out on September 29, 2020. The book looks super cute, has a great sense of humor, and should make art enthusiasts swoon with its endearing qualities.
Middle-Grade book Katie the Catsitter was revealed as well, which is set to release January 5, 2021. Creators Colleen AF Venable and Stephanie Yue spoke about the book and it looks super fun. Cats with superpowers, how do you beat that?
In the Young Adult category, The Magic Fish was revealed with creator Trung Le Nguyen present to talk about the book which is out October 13, 2020. Nguyen discussed his approach to art and how he traveled to foreign places like Italy to improve upon his experience. The costuming in the comic was gorgeous.
The book is about being gay, but also about conflict, and “understanding a lot of the conflict in our lives comes from the cavernous misunderstanding we can’t get across all the time,” Nguyen said. He went on to say figuring out where people are at can lead people to forgiving each other.
Let’s Talk About It creators Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan were also in attendance to speak about their book which is out March 9, 2021. The book is a guide for teens about sex and relationships. Both Moen and Nolan were incredibly insightful and open-minded about their project, which sounds like one of the most progressive looks at sex and educating teenagers. The book will talk about sex, but also body image using words and pictures together to inform and educate.
The presentation wrapped up with a Q&A with many informative questions and answers. One question focused on the use of graphic novels to help teach and Gagliano spoke about how the imagery and art in graphic novels can help teach reluctant readers, ESL learners, and struggling readers.
When asked how one might get creative juices flowing during the pandemic, Song half-joked, “a deadline.” After a few laughs, she said if you’re feeling tired, go for a walk, if you’re feeling exhausted, sleep more. Shifting things and making time for yourself is best.