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Zenescope to add kids’ line

Don't go in the water! (Art not final.)

Don't go in the water! (Art not final.)

Yes, you heard that right. Up till now, Zenescope has been turning out cheesecake/horror combos like Grimm Fairy Tales and Return to Wonderland, which, although they sound like children’s books, most definitely aren’t. Now they are freshening up their line with something completely different: An actual kids’ line, Silver Dragon Books.

Zenescope president Joe Brusha included the new line in his presentation at the American Library Association meeting this past weekend, and the librarians I spoke to thought the books looked like they would be popular with young readers. The first two titles are co-branded with the Discovery Channel and are titled Top Ten Deadliest Sharks and Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Predators, which shows that they still have a taste for the sensational. A third graphic novel will be co-branded with Animal Planet.

Zenescope also gave us a look-see at their Charmed comic, based on the long-running TV series and pitched at teen readers. (In a departure from Zenescope tradition, it features fully clothed women.)

Comics at the ALA

Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly meet the peeps

Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly meet the peeps

The American Library Association’s annual midsummer meeting just wound up in steamy but hospitable Washington, DC, and it was a great weekend for graphic novels.

The vibe at a library meeting is completely different from a comic con. It’s quieter, friendlier, more a meeting among equals than a fan/superstar kind of thing. And it’s strictly about graphic novels, not periodical comics (which most libraries don’t collect), and not movies or video games. Marvel and DC weren’t there, but a lot of the smaller indy publishers were (Top Shelf, BOOM!), and Diamond Book Distributors also hosted a number of publishers at their booth. The big guys (Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster) all have booths filled with every type of book, including graphic novels, although funnybooks often get short shrift from the reps there (a source of continual irritation to my librarian friends).

So, what did I see?

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Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes

All-Star Superman #1

All-Star Superman #1

Publishing | The big news of the day, obviously, is DC Comics’ entry into the digital-distribution arena with its comiXology-developed application for the iPad, iPhone and iPad Touch. CBR’s Kiel Phegley gets the details from Co-Publisher Jim Lee and John Rood, executive vice president of sales, marketing and business development. (ComiXology is already updating the app to fix a bug that apparently caused early iPhones and iPods to crash.)

David Brothers has early analysis, looking as day-and-date digital release for Justice League: Generation Lost, and a tiered pricing structure. Meanwhile, Matthew Maxwell writes: “… This does mean that both of the Big Two are now officially putting pinkie toes, if not entire feet into the pool. But who will jump in along with them?” We’ll round up more reactions later today. [Comic Book Resources]

Organizations | Mark Waid has joined the board of directors of The Hero Initiative, replacing Guillermo del Toro. [press release]

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Thin wallets, fat bookshelves: A publishing news round-up

Moomin kids' book

Moomin kids' book

* Over at the Drawn & Quarterly blog, Tom Devlin announces that the company will be starting a children’s book line, entitled “D&Q Enfant.” The first few titles in the line will consist of Moomin picture books.

* The blog Monster Brains has a brief preview of Johnny Ryan’s upcoming grand guginol graphic novel, Prison Pit. It’s probably NSFW.

* The Cartoon Network and Del Rey have joined forces to produce a series of graphic novels based on the popular Secret Saturdays cartoon show. The first volume will hit stores in September.

* Zenescope has announced plans for a third and final Wonderland mini-series.

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