Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Open Call for Graphic Novel Submissions: The Comic that Would Have Changed Your Life

Greg Hunter, Senior Editor

Lately I’ve been asking cartoonists, “What comic do you wish you’d read at age fourteen?” The answer can reveal a lot about the person, and sometimes it speaks to the gaps on bookstore or library shelves.

If I were to hand my younger self a graphic novel, narrowing down the list would be as tough as the time travel part, and before I could pass the book along, the guy would probably ask about our future track-and-field triumphs (whoops) or how I wound up a cat owner after years spent wrestling a Labrador (it's a doglike cat). We'd have trouble keeping the whole thing on track. But afterward, I bet he’d appreciate that comic. Anyway, it’s a fun thought experiment, but not as fun as publishing one of these books will be. Which is the reason for this submissions call.

Within the category of middle-grade and young-adult graphic novels, content boundaries are wiiiide open here. Give readers a seat inside an ESL classroom. Strand a polar bear in the Wild West. Set a coming-of-age story on Neptune. But please make your story memorable, inventive, and empathetic. Cartoonists from all backgrounds and of all orientations are encouraged to submit.

Please include the following in your submission:

·         A 2-3 paragraph synopsis of your story, along with its expected length and the intended age range of its readers, in the body of your e-mail

·         A brief description of yourself and your work, in the body of your e-mail. Cartoonists do not need to have been previously published in order to apply

·         A 2-3 page outline of the story, covering major characters and plot developments, attached as a Word document or available via a link from Dropbox (or a comparable service)

·         8-10 sequential pages from your project, available via a link from Dropbox (or a comparable service). These pages can be in varying stages of completion. If sending mainly rough/thumbnailed pages, please supplement your submissions with finished samples of your own work.

Single-book proposals only. Do not submit proof of concept for a TV series; do not submit a projected ten-book franchise.

Please send all submissions to gusubmissions [at] lernerbooks [dot] com. This open call begins today, March 1, and will last until the end of the month. I cannot guarantee a reply to every submission.


Selected honors for Graphic Universe books

Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards nominees
A Bag of Marbles by Joseph Joffo, Kris, and Vincent Bailly [Best Reality-Based Work]
BirdCatDog by Lee Nordling & Meritxell Bosch [Best Publication for Early Readers]
The Ferret's a Foot by Colleen AF Venable and Stephanie Yue [Best Publication for Kids]

Junior Library Guild selections
A Bag of Marbles by Joseph Joffo, Kris, and Vincent Bailly
Believe Your Eyes by Cori Doerrfeld and Tyler Page
The Ferret's a Foot by Colleen AF Venable, and Stephanie Yue
A Game for Swallows: To Die, To Leave, To Return by Zeina Abirached
Hercules: The Twelve Labors by Paul D. Storrie and Steve Kurth
I Remember Beirut by Zeina Abirached
Little White Duck: A Childhood in China by Andrés Vera Martínez, Na Liu, and Andrés Vera Martínez
The Maltese Mummy by Trina Robbins and Tyler Page
Terrorist: Gavrilo Princip, the Assassin Who Ignited World War I by Henrik Rehr
Truth in Sight by Cori Doerrfeld and Tyler Page

Kirkus Best Children’s Books
And Then There Were Gnomes by Colleen AF Venable and Stephanie Yue
BirdCatDog by Lee Nordling & Meritxell Bosch
Hamster and Cheese by Colleen AF Venable and Stephanie Yue
Little White Duck: A Childhood in China by Andrés Vera Martínez, Na Liu, and Andrés Vera Martínez
Wrapped Up in You by Dan Jolley and Natalie Nourigat [Best Teen Books of the Year]

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