Things Bree Can’t Wait for. For 100 Points:

Exactly a month from today…

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will release The Little Prince Graphic Novel. Swoooooon.

It’s my impression that the French version of the graphic novel has been around for a bit, and that has been a gross oversight on my part. But for those of you who were NOT forced to take 4 years of French in high school, The Little Prince Graphic Novel shall prove to be just as sublime.

So on October 18th, head to your book store and lose yourself in this beautifully daring, tragic and loving story—now with graphic artwork. C’est véritablement utile puisque c’est joli.

“Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

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I’m drooling. I can’t hardly wait…

Rot & Ruin

Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

October 5, 2010

“George Romero meets The Catcher in the Rye in this poignant and moving coming of age novel set during zombie times. I welled up at the end, then smiled through my tears when I realized there was going to be a sequel. Bravo, Jonathan Maberry. Can’t wait to read more.” –Nancy Holder, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked and Possessions

Le Petit Prince: Graphic Novel Adaptation

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books

October 18, 2010

“This life-long artist has chosen a simple layout to focus on the adventures of these two characters who share the dreams of millions of kids. Sfar keeps our childish dreams intact.” Ca Se Passe Comme Ca

School of Fear: Class Is Not Dismissed!

(No cover art yet…so here is the cover from book one)

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

September 14, 2010

“In this hilarious follow-up to School of Fear, eccentric headmaster Mrs. Wellington demands requests the presence of Madeleine, Theo, Lulu, and Garrison for a mandatory summer of retraining after discovering that each of her former students has secretly regressed. Facing their fears was terrifying enough, but when the foursome learns they’ll be joined by a fifth student, things start to get even scarier.”

The Replacement

Razorbill

September 21, 2010

“Edward Scissorhands meets The Catcher in the Rye in this wildly imaginative and frighteningly beautiful horror novel about an unusual boy and his search for a place to belong.”

Cuba: My Revolution

Vertigo

September 14, 2010

“Seventeen-year-old Sonia, a medical student with dreams of becoming a modernist painter, is caught up in Fidel Castro’s revolution from the moment it captures Havana on New Year’s Eve 1958. Sonia joins the militia and volunteers as a medic at the Bay of Pigs. Scarred, yet clinging to her revolutionary ideals, she seeks fulfillment in an artists’ collective, only to be further disillusioned by increasing repression under Castro.”

The New Superhero?

Graphic Novels and Comic Books have a long standing relationship with Super…things. Superheroes, Super-villains, Super-agents, Super-teens…and super-zombies? Sure, why not.

But the tide is changing has changed. And we have a new superhero.

Back in 2004, Charles McGrath wrote a piece for NYTimes, entitled, Not Funnies. He wrote:

What you’re looking for is shelved upside down and sideways sometimes — comic books of another sort, substantial single volumes (as opposed to the slender series installments), often in hard cover, with titles that sound just like the titles of ”real” books: ”Palestine,” ”Persepolis,” ”Blankets” (this one tips in at 582 pages, which must make it the longest single-volume comic book ever), ”David Chelsea in Love,” ”Summer Blonde,” ”The Beauty Supply District,” ”The Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” Some of these books have titles that have become familiar from recent movies: ”Ghost World,” ”American Splendor,” ”Road to Perdition.” Others, like Chris Ware’s ”Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth” (unpaged, but a good inch and a quarter thick) and Daniel Clowes’s ”David Boring,” have achieved cult status on many campuses.

These are the graphic novels — the equivalent of ”literary novels” in the mainstream publishing world — and they are beginning to be taken seriously by the critical establishment. ”Jimmy Corrigan” even won the 2001 Guardian Prize for best first book, a prize that in other years has gone to authors like Zadie Smith, Jonathan Safran Foer and Philip Gourevitch.

And certainly over the past few years, these characters, these literary equivalents of superheroes, have further emerged. The super real life person. Graphic novels and comic books have expanded to detail the lives of wimpy boys, alcoholic novelists, and even our President. There is nothing particularly super about these people, except that they are super real, which makes the graphic presentation of their story feel somewhat surreal.

Following side-by-side with this trend is the novel-to-graphic novel adaptation. My favorite books at the moment are Sterling Publishing’s Illustrated Classics series. Including Kafka’s The Trial, Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, a collection of short stories from Edgar Allan Poe, and (GASP!) Wilde’s Dorian Gray.

With the increase in attention for graphic novels, it’s clear that publishers are starting to see this comic-style presentation as a true literary art form, not just a flimsy, monthly release to keep the extroverts at bay.

And truly, we owe it all to Will Eisner, Art Spiegelman, and Harvey Pekar.