Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Larrikin House acquires two graphic novels

Larrikin House has acquired world rights to two graphic novels set for release in 2024.

One title is Ultra Violet by Cristy Burne, illustrated by Rebel Challenger, which ‘follows Violet, a science genius, and her friends, including a talking hermit crab, through a science POOnami and an alien invasion’.

Publishers James Layton and Dani Vee said that they wanted to broaden the gender diversity of the graphic novel and STEM spaces, so they started a conversation with Burne about what that might look like. ‘The result is a graphic novel that is hilarious, action-packed and scientifically accurate,’ said Vee.

The second graphic novel is Urban Legend Hunters by performance poet Joel McKerrow and Wayne Bryant, which is about ‘something sinister stirring in the town of Shadow Grove’—a situation that would call for professional monster hunters (if there were any to call).

The publishing team met McKerrow at Somerset Storyfest in 2022. Vee said McKerrow ‘performed to a room full of people and made them cry’. ‘His performances were incredible and Larrikin House knew they had to sign him immediately.’

Layton sees value in graphic novels as a bookseller to schools. Said Vee: ‘Librarians can’t keep graphic novels on the shelves! Kids of all ages love them, and we wanted to add them to our list.’

Urban Legend Hunters will be launched at Somerset Storyfest in March 2024. Larrikin plans to release Ultra Violet soon after. The publisher hopes to continue both books as series.


Category: Local news Rights and acquisitions