September 6, 2016
Posted by: Kiara Valdez
Categories: Books

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Happy Book Birthday to Ben Hatke’s best work yet—Mighty Jack, the first of two volumes in a modern-day graphic novel retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk.

Mighty Jack is a vivid, warm, and sensitive epic fairytale adventure. It’s a story of how a few magical seeds push three kids to each be their own kind of hero. Make sure to pick up this mighty adventure. And don’t worry about that cliffhanger ending—volume 2 is coming next fall!

August 30, 2016
Posted by: Kiara Valdez
Categories: Books

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Happy Book Birthday to the newest book from Gene Luen Yang & Mike Holmes’ awesome Secret Coders series, Paths & Portals!

The Secret Coders series really picks up steam in the second volume, Paths & Portals. We learn more about the secret history of Stately Academy. And Josh,who you might have written off as an annoying jerk-face, turns out to be an important part of the team.

Make sure to check this series out and start your journey to being a coding master!

August 17, 2016
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

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Collaboration is a vital part of the comics-making experience — it’s so often that comics are made by more than one person.

And comics are never a solo endeavor!  Between editing, design, production, and the whole publishing process, there are always other people behind the scenes in making the comics we read.

We’re celebrating collaboration this month for First Second’s tenth anniversary!

August 11, 2016
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

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Congratulations to Andrew Arnold, the new Associate Art Director managing First Second graphic novel design.  Andrew will now be responsible for art direction and design for graphic novel titles both at First Second and those graphic novels published by First Second’s sister companies FSG BYR and Roaring Brook.
Andrew started working at our parent company, Macmillan Children’s, as a marketing associate in 2009. He moved over to the book design department the following year, becoming a Senior Designer in 2014. He’s worked with Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock on Compass South, the graphic novel edition of A Wrinkle in Time, Ozge Samanci’s Dare to Disappoint, as well as on picture books with Vera Brosgol and Jake Parker.
A SHORT Q&A WITH ANDREW ARNOLD

 

First Second: What was the first comic you remember reading?

Andrew: I honestly couldn’t tell you! But I do remember the first time my parents took me to a comic shop: it was right before a family vacation. We were driving from Houston to Florida, which meant a lot of time to kill in the car for an 8 year old. My next-door neighbors (who eventually became great friends) were into comics, and they suggested I bring some with me to read along the way. My parents drove me to the shop, let me pick out a few, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

First Second: What about comics inspires you?

Andrew: That moment when text and art come together seamlessly. It’s like you’re not reading text or looking at pictures; you’re reading comics and that’s all it can be.

First Second: What are some of your favorite graphic novels?

Andrew: Maus, Walt Simonson’s run on Thor, American Born Chinese, Persepolis, And Kevin Huizenga’s Ganges are a few that jump out at me. I also love Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year OneSaga is one that I’ve been hooked on for awhile.

First Second: What are some things you’re working on now at First Second?

Andrew: So many things, and I only just started! I’m wrapping up a middle grade comic by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham that’s super charming. Shannon’s story is about making friends for the first time and how to deal with bullies. It’s incredibly honest and Uyen’s artwork captures that beautifully. I’m also working on something by Scott Westerfeld and Alex Puvilland that I’m excited about. Oh, and I heard that some pages of Battling Boy 2 are rolling in, but I don’t think I should reveal too much about that yet . . . I’m new to the fold and the last thing I want to do is spill the beans.

First Second: What do you have to say to the world about comics?

Andrew: It’s a great time to be in comics. People continue to experiment with the form and I’m so excited to be on the front lines of it all. I really can’t wait to see what comes next!

We’re delighted to welcome Andrew to First Second!

August 1, 2016
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

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We’re delighted to be publishing the Last Man series, by Bastien Vives, Michael Sanlaville, and Balak.  These books are such fun magical adventures — delightful, fun, and charming stories with dynamic, engaging artwork.

There are five volumes so far, with a sixth coming this fall — please do check these out!

July 13, 2016
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

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Characters — an obviously essential part of any book!

For many authors, a character is where the story thoughts — creating a persona, an ideology, a background, an appearance for something kicks off where the adventure goes and how it unfolds.

And characters really stay in your heart after a story is over!

We’re excited to be celebrating characters this month, for First Second’s tenth anniversary.

July 1, 2016
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

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It’s our tenth anniversary this year, and we’re excited to be celebrating one of our authors who’s been with us for years — the amazing Ben Hatke, author of the Zita the Spacegirl trilogy, the Eisner-nominated Little Robot, and two picture books with comics elements — Julia’s House for Lost Creatures and Nobody Likes a Goblin.

Ben’s graphic novels are charming and adorable and full of heart — they win readers with everyone who opens them.

We’re delighted to be Ben’s publisher!

June 21, 2016
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Events

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We’re going to be at the ALA annual conference this week, exhibiting with our parent company, Macmillan Children’s.  Please come by the booth — 2118 — and say hi!

What is :01 doing at the show?  Here’s our schedule!

Saturday

9:30am — Reading Readers with Graphic Novels at the Graphic novel Stage, with Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers author MK Reed

10:00am — Ben Hatke signs advance copies of Mighty Jack in the MacKids booth!

1:00pm — Making Graphic Novels for Fun and Profit at room W104, with :01 Marketing/Publicity Manager Gina Gagliano

1:30pm — First Second Anniversary Stage at the Graphic Novel Stage, with Ben Hatke, Mark Siegel, Junko Yokota, and Elisa Gall

3:00pm — First Second Anniversary Toast (and tote bag give-away) at the MacKids booth

Sunday

8:30am –First Second 10th Anniversary Panel, at room W208, with Gene Ambaum, Evan Volin, Betsy Bird, Luann Toth, and Candice Mack

9:30am — Comics Events in the Library at the Graphic Novel Stage, presented by Hippopotamister author John Patrick Green

1:00 — The Best/Worst Graphic Novels and Manga at Bayhill 19, with :01 Marketing/Publicity Manager Gina Gagliano

3:30 — Great Graphic Novels for Fall 2017 at the Graphic Novel Stage, with :01 Marketing/Publicity Manager Gina Gagliano

At this point you may be wondering, what awesome authors will you find in the ALA Artists Alley?

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Well!  These are the awesome authors!  We’re so glad to be seeing them at the show — please do stop by their tables to say hi.

See you soon!

June 16, 2016
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Adventures in Publishing

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We’re delighted to talk with our new :01 Associate Editor about all things comics!

What was the first comic you remember reading?

Probably Calvin and Hobbes. It’s certainly the first comic I remember loving.

What about comics inspires you?

It’s a very personal form of visual storytelling. If you want to make a movie, for example, you generally need a cast, a crew, and a lot of money. With comics, all you need is a pencil.

What are some of your favorite graphic novels?

Ice Haven by Daniel Clowes, One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry, Perfect Example by John Porcellino, I Never Liked You by Chester Brown

What are some things that you’re working on now at First Second that you’re excited about?

The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo by Drew Weing is coming back from the printer soon, and I can’t wait! You’re going to love it. and The Dam Keeper is sooo good! Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi are master story-tellers, and art are is stellar.  I’m also happy to help with the Demon series, because I’ve been a Jason Shiga fan for over a decade. I even have some super rare zines by him!

What do you have to say to the world about comics?

It’s a good time to be in comics. My biggest problem is I can’t keep up with all the good work out there.

June 9, 2016
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

First Second is delighted to welcome our new Editorial Assistant, Kiara Valdez!
Kiara is a graduate of Williams College, and she’s interned at Crown, Penguin Random House, and Kodansha. Kiara speaks Japanese, enjoys a broad range of comics and is already bringing her strengths to First Second.
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What was the first comic you remember reading?
I vaguely remember reading the 1st volume of Scott Pilgrim at the library when I was in 5th grade.
What about comics inspires you?
I love that comics are very versatile. It astounds me in what ways certain art styles in conjunction with a certain way of story telling can produce so many varied effects. Is it an adult graphic novel with cute, simple art but witty, jaded humor? Is it a YA graphic novel with intricate art and serious, engaging dialogue? Is it neither? There are so many combinations, and I think that is what allows graphic novels to have such a wide reach. There is always something for someone.
What are some of your favorite graphic novels?
Many of the “No Fear Shakespeare  Graphic Novels” (because I just love Shakespeare that much), Yang’s American Born Chinese, Thompson’s Blankets, and recently MK Reed, Greg Means, and Joe Flood’s The Cute Girl Network.
What are some things that you’re working on now at First Second that you’re excited about?
This is not an official task, but I am working on reading as much of of :01’s back titles as I can. I’m looking forward to being able to refer to books of :01’s past and get an understanding of what kind of vibe we are looking for when publishing books in the future.
What do you have to say to the world about comics?
Comics are for life. Once they grab hold of you, they will never let you go. And I’m very grateful for that since they’ve been one of my main sources of comfort and consolation whenever I was having a hard time. If you haven’t gotten into them yet, I recommend you do!