November 2, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

We’re delighted to be publishing George O’Connor’s latest Olympians graphic novel, Apollo!  This is the story of the god of music, prophecy, and more.

Apollo is pictured on the cover here with the muses, obviously important to that whole music deity-ship.

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We’re also publishing a hardcover edition of this graphic novel, as per usual!  It looks like this.

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Does Apollo’s bow seem shiny?  That’s because it is!  The bow is printed in gold foil, and it looks fantastic.

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And here’s the spine!

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Here’s the inside front cover — complete with a ginormous family tree!  And the title page.

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George’s superhero-y gods are back, and as dramatic as ever!

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(Remind me never to get into an adventure with the Greek gods.  They don’t seem to be super-careful about mortals.)

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The back cover has all the books so far!  This is the eighth volume of the series.  Four more to go!

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Apollo will be in stores in January.  We can’t wait to share this book with you!

October 20, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

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We’re delighted to present our newest nonfiction graphic novel: Omaha Beach on D-Day, based on the classic photograph by Robert Capa, written by Jean-David Morvan and illustrated by Dominique Bertail.

This graphic novel celebrates the famous photograph (pictured on the top half of the cover) taken by Robert Capa during the D-Day invasion.  Morvan and Bertail take that image and tell the story behind the process of taking it, from the perspective of Capa himself.  In this book, you’ll also find some historical essays on Capa and photography that give a new look to the career of the photojournalist.  It’s a serious, solemn peril-filled moment of our history, and we’re glad to share it with you.

We hope you enjoy this new window into our history!

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

We’re over the moon to be publishing Sara Varon’s wonderful graphic novel Sweaterweather!  It’s an adorable collection of short stories that are some of Sara’s finest — told in a three-color palette.

We love this book!

(Does this book look familiar to you?  The original edition of Sweaterweather was published by Alternative Comics over ten years ago.  We’re bringing it back with lots of additional content.)

Like all of Sara’s books, Sweaterweather is a delightful thing to look at.

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They’re making sweaters!  On the cover!

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And then the spine has a tiny sweater-snowstorm.

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Aw.

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Then the back cover is a snuggly winter scene!  You guys: so adorable.

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(This cover also has an exciting snowstorm-y surprise under the jacket, but we’re going to not show you that yet.  It’ll be a surprise!)

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Printed ends!  We love printed endpapers, especially two-color ones.  This endpaper is primed for adventure!

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Here’s a page from one of the stories.

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And another, where Sara tells about her inspiration.

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The back flap has a penguin!  That’s all I need to say; who can resist a good penguin?

Sweaterweather will be out in February — perfect weather for sweaters!  We can’t wait to share it with you.

October 13, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

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We’re delighted that today is the day that Paul Pope, JT Petty, and David Rubin’s new graphic novel The Fall of the House of West is available for your purchasing pleasure.

It’s so wonderful that the amount of girls who are also heroes in the comics universe has been growing and growing and growing, and we’re very proud that Aurora West is part of that.  Aurora is very much in the vein of a classical (almost always portrayed as male) hero, with her skills including punching people, detective work, and bringing wrongdoers to justice.

Girls can do all of that too!  So yay that — it’s really wonderful when there are stories with girls who get that same strength and power and position of importance that guys do.

And just try facing down Aurora West!  As you can tell from the cover of this book — she’s fierce, and she’s not backing down!

We hope you can all check out this conclusion to Aurora West’s adventures in The Fall of the House of West!

October 6, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Uncategorized

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Do you have a body?

Then this is the perfect book for you!

Maris Wicks’ nonfiction graphic novel Human Body Theater takes you on a tour through all the systems of the human body — led by a cheerful talking skeleton.  If you ever were wondering what was going on inside your blood, bones, or your brain — this book will explain all of that to you with tiny adorable body parts taking the lead.

Maris Wicks draws some of the cutest science you ever will see in this wonderful graphic novel about how all of our bodies work.

After reading this book, you’ll never be confused about what your body does with the peanut butter sandwiches it eats ever again!

 

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

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We’re so delighted to be publishing the action-packed, adventure-filled Last Man series.  And now we present the latest volume, which is out this week: The Chase!

The magical tournament fighting never stops in these thrilling graphic novels!  This latest tells the story of Adrian and his mother, Marianne, as they venture outside of the Valley of the Kings . . . into an unknown world.

Magic and mysteries and some super-strange people await them as they set off on their latest adventure.

We hope you’re enjoying these dynamic books a whole lot!  Hop on board for the latest great read with The Chase.

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

NYCC

First Second will be exhibiting at NYCC in booth #2237.  We’ll have a lot of great authors and books at the show — we hope you can stop by and say hi.

Here’s the round-up!

Show Debut — the amazing Human Body Theater, by Maris Wicks, will debut at NYCC this year.  This is the most adorable you’ll ever see the human body, you guys — even the mucus is adorable.  You won’t be able to resist this — and it’s a great gift for kids.

We have a lot of amazing authors coming to the show.  They’ll all be at the :01 booth at some point (see the schedule below), and we’ll have their books for sale, too.  So come by and meet them!  Our authors at NYCC this year include:
Fable Comics authors
Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado (Dragons Beware!)
Penelope Bagieu (Exquisite Corpse)
Mike Holmes (Secret Coders)
Jean-David Morvan and Dominique Bertail (Omaha Beach on D-Day)
MK Reed (Science Comics: Dinosaurs)
Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy)
Maris Wicks (Human Body Theater)

And here’s the full schedule of all we’ve got going on — signings and panels and give-aways galore!

Thursday, October 8th
12:15pm — :01 Pop-Up Exhibit at the Educator Networking Session / Room 1E04
3:00pm — STEM Panel for Educators (Room 1A05) with MK Reed (Science Comics: Dinosaurs) and Maris Wicks (Human Body Theater)
4:30pm — MK Reed Signing in the :01 Booth #2237

Friday, October 9th
11:30am — Maris Wicks Signing in the :01 Booth #2237
2:00pm — Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado Signing in the :01 Booth #2237

Saturday, October 10th

11:45am — Human Body Theater Kids Stage (Family HQ) with Maris Wicks!  Learn all you ever wanted to know about the human body.
12:00pm — Mike Holmes (Secret Coders) Signing in the :01 Booth #2237
2:00pm — Omaha Beach on D-Day NYCC Pre-Publication Exclusive Give-Away and Signing with Jean-David Morvan and Dominique Bertail in the :01 Booth #2237
3:45pm — Fable Comics Kids Stage (Family HQ); come see some amazing fable re-tellings with panelists: Chris Duffy, Gregory Benton, Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas, John Kerschbaum, George O’Connor, Maris Wicks.
4:00pm — The Nameless City Limited Copy Galley Give-Away in the :01 Booth #2237
5:00pm — Fable Comics Signing in the :01 Booth #2237
6:45pm — Nonfiction Comics Panel (Room 1A05) with the wonderful Maris Wicks!  These nonfiction comics will knock your socks off.

Sunday, October 11th

11:00am — The Fall of the House of West NYCC Pre-Publication Exclusive Galley Give-Away in the :01 Booth #2237
12:00pm — Create Your Own Adventure Panel (Family HQ) — write and draw your own adventures with kids and authors Dave Roman and Maris Wicks!
12:15pm — Euro-Comics Panel (1A01) — learn about the best of comics from across the pond with Penelope Bagieu (Exquisite Corpse), Jean-David Morvan, and Dominique Bertail (Omaha Beach on D-Day).
12:30pm — Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado (Giants Beware!) Signing in the :01 Booth #2237
1:15pm — Maris Wicks (Human Body Theater) Signing in the NYCC WORD Bookstore, Hall 1-B
2:00pm — Penelope Bagieu (Exquisite Corpse) Signing in the :01 Booth #2237
2:00pm — Build Your Own Monster Panel (Family HQ) — create a monster of your very own with author and artist Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado!
2:45pm — Kids Comics Panel (Room 1B03) — how do publishers edit and think about graphic novels for kids? Come find out with :01 Senior Editor Calista Brill!

We’d love to see you at the show – please stop by and say hi!

September 29, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

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We’re so excited to introduce a brand-new series by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes: Secret Coders!

This series is super-cool because it combines the classic action-packed school story (think Harry Potter or Sideways Stories) with some information about how to do computer programming.

Gene is a computer science teacher, and coding is one of the things that he’s really passionate about.  And it’s definitely an important thing for people everywhere to know — I mean, how often do you use a computer?  (Hint: if you’re reading this, you’re using a computer right now.)  For most of us, it’s every day — and now there are computers inside our phones and inside grocery stores and libraries and restaurants and in all sorts of places that we’d never have thought even ten years ago.

So if you’re feeling adrift in today’s technological universe, this book can help start you on a path to understanding how programming works.  Yay that!

We can’t wait for you all to read this book — and now’s your chance!

September 28, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

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We’re delighted that the second graphic novel by Ian Lendler and Zack Giallongo, The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Romeo and Juliet, is in stores this week!

Zack and Ian’s Stratford Zoo books are great — they take the classic Shakespeare plays and have them performed by the animal inhabitants of the Stratford Zoo!  It’s pretty charming — and it’s a wonderful way for the youngest readers to discover Shakespeare in a fun, accessible way.

With some really cute animals!

We can’t wait for you to read these great graphic novels — and now you can!

Happy reading.

September 24, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

(the wonderful Corinne Mucha brings us this lesson plan she’s used to teach fables from our just-published graphic novel Fable Comics)

I’m so excited to have a comic in First Second’s new anthology, Fable Comics.  Adapting the fable “The Elephant in Favor” was a fun writing exercise that got me thinking about how I could use fables in my practice as a teaching artist.

This summer, I was able to incorporate fables as the focus of a month-long drawing and illustration class for 7-11 year olds at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.  My students loved having the opportunity to draw and write stories about animals doing funny things.  Using fables as a writing exercise is great because it provides students with an invitation to think about their story’s conclusions in a new way. Was there a moral? What was the point of their animals actions? Did they learn anything at all?  Also, who doesn’t love having an excuse to draw pictures of horses wearing pants?

For one assignment, I used James Kochalka’s comic adaptation of “The Fox and the Grapes” as an example.  My students loved it!  Many of them were already familiar with the story, but less familiar with “Fox Kung-Fu.” Asking them what they thought the moral might be provided some entertaining (and wise) answers.

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The story is pretty simple. A fox wants some grapes, and after some unsuccessful jump kicks, he tries using a fancy jet pack to reach them. He fails, and so he gives up and goes home. This simple story structure still provides a plot with a problem and solution.  It models  an easy example for students to base their own stories on.

I used this worksheet to get my students brainstorming their own ideas about an animal who is seeking something:

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After students had made some sketches and jotted down some ideas, we got ready to start the final project, a fold-out book. We used big sheets of construction paper, pencils, fine tip markers and construction paper crayons as our materials (regular crayons or colored pencils are fine.)

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Our books would only include 3 images inside. I drew this diagram on the board, so that students had a focus to keep in mind for each drawing:

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I made an example book to give them some ideas, and to demonstrate that our drawings didn’t have to be too complicated. My story starred a unicorn looking for treasure.

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I had a lot of fun doing this project. My students ideas were entertaining, funny, and thoughtful.  It’s nice to spend time asking kids to give you advice…

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Even though the lesson may not always be clear.

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(thanks for this great piece, Corinne!)