January 22, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

New book!

We just got advance copies of Jay Hosler’s wonderful upcoming graphic novel Last of the Sandwalkers in the mail, and it looks splendid!  We can’t wait to share this book with you.  It’s full of beetles!  And also science.

Our main beetle-character is named Lucy, and adorable!  And she’s right here on the cover.

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She’s also on the spine!  Spine beetles.  In this spine picture, she is being a scientist and recording data.

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Here are the spines all lined up!  What an attractive book this is.

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The flaps are blue!  I think they are very handsome.  (They’re also full of beetles.)

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Our protagonist-beetle-scientist Lucy heads out to the desert to explore.

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What she finds there is not what she expected.

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Jay Hosler, the author of Last of the Sandwalkers, is a biologist, so he has included lots of actual science in this book!  There are even annotations.

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And references!

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Here is the back flap!  More beetle-science is occurring.

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And the back cover . . with an excellent quote from Stan Sakai!

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Last of the Sandwalkers will be in stores in April.

January 19, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

We’re excited to have early copies of Penelope Bagieu’s graphic novel Exquisite Corpse in the office — it’s looking fantastic!  This book is about a young woman named Zoe who becomes friends with a famous author . . . and accidentally falls into a hilarious literary conspiracy.

Here’s the cover.

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And the spine!

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Here are the spines all lined up together.

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The flap!  (The famous author is a bit of a recluse, as you can probably see from these images.)

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Interiors!  I think that Penelope Bagieu’s art style here is really charming.

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The mysterious author approaches!

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Here’s the back flap.

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And the back cover!

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This book is a jacketed hardcover, so it also has a hardcover case!  Here’s what that looks like.

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Exquisite Corpse will be in stores in May.  So exciting!

January 15, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

We got a number of new books in the office right after the holiday break, and we’re pretty excited!

Here’s the first volume of the Last Man series, The Stranger!  It’s looking really wonderful.

Here’s the cover.

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And the spine — with a ready-to-fight Adrian on it!

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Spines together!  The numbers on the next volume are going to be blue.

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Here’s the title page of the book.  It’s got black and white interiors.

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And, comics!  Prepare for crazy magical fighting.

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And lots of training for magical fighting!  It seems to be a big preoccupation in this world.

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I love the back cover design on these books!

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The Stranger will be in stores in April.  We’re excited!  We’ll be publishing three volumes of this series this year, with three more to come in 2016.

January 12, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

New book!

We’re so excited to have the sequel to Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado’s Giants Beware! in the office — and this one features dragons!  Lots and lots of dragons!  (Also princes, baking, gargoyles, swords, adventure, and many more cool things.)

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Here’s the spine — with tiny cooking Gaston!  He’s so adorable.

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Spines all together!

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And here’s the backstory — Claudette’s father’s history with his famous sword!

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And we meet the princes who are in love with Marie because of her previous awesome adventures.

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And the back cover!

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I also love this father-daughter back cover blurb!

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Dragons Beware! will be in stores in May!  We can’t wait.

January 8, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

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(this post was suggested by the excellent Ali Wilgus; this is a photo of part of one of the walls of my office)

Business cards are a thing that a lot of people have!

Should you make some?

If you are a person who goes out into the world a lot and frequently meets people you want to keep in professional contact with, you should definitely make business cards!  Even if you only go out into the world and make professional contacts a moderate amount or occasionally, it’s good to have business cards if you’re meeting people that you want to keep in touch with.  If you EVER find yourself in a situation where you’re like, ‘off I go to this event to meet people who may be able to help out with my career!’ you should consider making some business cards and bringing them along.

(If you’re a cartoonist, making and giving away mini-comics may serve the same purpose, as long as you put your name and contact information on them.)

Because seriously, what is the point of going to ALA and saying, ‘off I go to ALA to tell librarians how awesome I am and that they should all have me at their libraries to speak about the wonder of comics and graphic novels!’ and then leave all those librarians you meet with no way of contacting you?

What information should you put on your business cards?

Your name!  It’s always good to put your name on your business cards.  That’s the easiest way for people to look you up, or to remember who you are.

Some form of classification!  Are you an illustrator?  A publisher?  A mini-comics distributor?  An academic?  It’s good to make that clear on the cards you give people, so when they’re at home a week later, having been attacked by Con Brain and misplaced their memory, they can say, ‘yes, I should e-mail this illustrator about coloring work — and this mini-comics distributor about mini-comics work’ instead of, ‘who is Jane Doe again, and what did she want?’

Some form of contact information.  This can be an e-mail or phone number — whatever the best way for people to contact you is.  Remember that you’re giving these business cards only to people who you want to be calling or e-mailing you, so this shouldn’t be, ‘that e-mail account I never check,’ or ‘Wait, I have how many messages on my phone?  From how long ago?’

Optional things: your social media handles, your address, your website, your fax number.  These can all be useful to include, depending on what purpose you’re handing business cards out for.  For example, are you a mini-comics distributor who wants people to fax you orders?  Definitely include your fax number!  Are you an artist who’d like people to visit your website and look at your portfolio, or follow you on social media?  Definitely include your website URL and your social media information.  If you’re just using your card as, ‘this is proof I really do work for who I said I did!’ these things may not be as useful.

I also think it’s great when illustrators put their own art on their business cards.  Art styles are so unique that this makes it super-easy for people to remember instantly what person the card belongs to!

Extra utility bonus: I prefer when cards have copy and/or illustration on the front and a plain back.  Why?  So I can write down any notes I take from my conversation with the person who gave me the card — ‘has a project she will submit to us about the origin of pizza!’ or ‘send a copy of Andre the Giant to this person for possible classroom adoption.’

One of the interesting things about business cards is that they’re potentially around for a long time!  So years after you give one to someone, they may come calling.

January 7, 2015
Posted by: Mark Siegel
Categories: Uncategorized

We are in shock.

How to respond to the murder of our colleagues at Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris?

The obscene, monstrous attack of extremists only confirms that Charlie Hebdo’s unapologetically offensive humor served a vital purpose, if as a society we all intend to protect freedom of speech.

Our deepest condolences to the families of Cabu, Wolinsky, and the entire staff of Charlie Hebdo.

January 7, 2015

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30710883

January 5, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

You guys!

We’re pretty excited to be publishing Scott McCloud.  He’s Scott McCloud!

And I’m proud to say that we just got advance copies of his upcoming graphic novel in the office, and they look fantastic.

Here are pictures!

The book’s cover — with a girl coming out of the wall!  And a quote from Neil Gaiman!

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And here’s the spine.  This book is giant, you guys.  It is very large.

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You can especially tell this from looking at all the spines lined up!

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The Sculptor is a jacketed hardcover.  So we printed on the case of the book (the part attached to the cardboard covers) in blue!

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(There’s also an image on the back,, but we’ll leave that as a surprise.)

Here’s the front flap.

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This book is black and white and a blue pantone.  Here’s an interior page where you can see that.

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And another interior page with actual sculpture!

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Here’s the back flap — with New York City on the bottom.  The city’s a big part of the story.

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And the back cover!  (I love the street/calendar.)

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The Sculptor will be in stores in February.  You have to read it!

January 1, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Events

It’s the new year!  And it’s going to be filled with awesome new graphic novels.

This was our 2014:

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2015 should be even better!

We can’t wait.

December 29, 2014
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

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Books are heavy and expensive to ship.

That’s because they’re basically made out of wood!

Books are especially heavy and expensive to ship when they are graphic novels, because the paper we print on has to be thick enough to have a lot of heavy ink coverage without bleeding through to the other side of the paper, on which is printed something else.

A box of graphic novels can be twice as heavy — or more — as a box of prose books (much to our mail guy’s dismay).

(Fun fact: this is even more the case when you publish paperbacks — which is most of our list — instead of hardcovers.  Because the cardboard that makes a hardcover hard takes up significantly more space than the cardboard in a paperback cover — but the hardcover cardboard is much, much lighter.  Lighter + taking up more space versus heavier + taking up less space and therefore leaving more space for more books means our book boxes tend to be super-plus heavy!)

Frequently, as an author, it’s really difficult to tell when you may need books ahead of time.  Multiple friends and family may miscellaneously stop by your house asking for copies!  Local stores may run out suddenly and check to see if you have copies that can tide them over until they get a new order!  Suddenly you have no books, and the local indie comics convention that you’re exhibiting at is just around the corner!

Figuring out how many copies of your book to keep in your house can be a really difficult balancing act.

But!  When it’s possible, we recommend ordering books you need at least a week in advance of the date you need them (especially if you live far away from our warehouse, which is in Virginia).  Because books are so heavy and expensive to ship, next day or two-day shipping can be terribly expensive.

If you have some occasion when you know you’ll need books coming up in the next thirty days, we recommend sending in an author order to the warehouse as early as possible, so you don’t get stuck with the shipping costs!  It sucks to be like, ‘I could’ve made a decent amount of money at this indie show I exhibited at . . . except that profit was completely eaten by the shipping!’

December 25, 2014
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Events

It’s the holidays!

We here at First Second wish you all the best in this delightful season of celebration.

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We hope you get a chance to stay home and curl up with a good book!  And possibly cocoa as well.