Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media announced the creation of Etch, a new imprint in its Books for Young Readers group, dedicated to publishing graphic novels that exemplify the best in art and storytelling across genres and reflect the diversity of young readers. The seven titles on the Etch launch list will publish beginning in September 2020; going forward, the imprint will release around 15 books per year.
Editors from all of HMH’s existing children’s book imprints—HMH Books for Young Readers, Clarion, and Versify—will acquire titles for Etch. “I’ve been so impressed by the passion from the team, across both editorial and design, and the talented roster of creators that they’ve brought on board,” said Catherine Onder, SVP and Publisher at HMH Books for Young Readers. “This variety of perspectives, interests, and expertise is key to our providing graphic novels for every reader.”
The Etch logo was created by senior designer Andrea Miller, one of many early in-house advocates for the imprint. “The birth of Etch is a great example of grassroots enthusiasm being met with top-level support,” said Jessica Handelman, creative director at HMH Books for Young Readers. “From designers to editors and marketers, we have devoted, knowledgeable comics lovers involved in every part of the process of publishing these books.”
The graphic novels on the debut Etch list feature a variety of storytelling styles and genres—from humor to realistic contemporary to fantasy—and diverse creators and characters. The titles will be:
- Dinomighty! by Greg Trine, illus. by Aaron Blecha (Sept. 2020), a zany caper featuring four dinosaur heroes for fans of Dog Man and The Bad Guys series
- Sherlock Bones and the Natural History Mystery by Renee Treml (Sept. 2020), a madcap mystery starring a bird skeleton detective and his stuffed parrot sidekick
- Ichiro by Ryan Inzana (Sept. 2020), a revised paperback edition of the Eisner-nominated YA comic about a Japanese-American boy drawn into a world of Japanese gods and mythological creatures
- Carmen Sandiego: The Chasing Paper Caper (Sept. 2020), a third graphic novel tied to the hit Netflix animated series, produced by HMH
- Timo the Adventurer by Jonathan Garnier, illustrated by Yohan Sacré (Oct. 2020), a fantasy in which young Timo rescues an enchanted beast and discovers that being a hero is more complicated than expected
- Oh My Gods! by Stephanie Cooke and Insha Fitzpatrick, illustrated by Juliana Moon (Jan. 2021), first in a middle grade series about a girl who moves to Mt. Olympus and discovers that her new classmates are gods and that mythological creatures are real
- Power Up by Sam Nisson, illustrated by Darnell Johnson (Feb. 2021), a middle grade adventure that takes readers from the halls of middle school to epic robot video game battles and back again
HMH’s rich backlist of graphic novels for young readers will be brought under the Etch imprint in future reprints, including Kayla Miller’s popular Click and Camp; recent adaptations of Newbery Medal winners such as Lois Lowry’s The Giver and Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover; two Carmen Sandiego graphic novels; and the acclaimed nonfiction of Don Brown, including Fever Year and The Unwanted. “With Etch, we’re creating a more visible home for the graphic novels that HMH has been publishing strongly for years, while also concentrating our energies and expanding our reach into a vibrant category of books that plays a key role in turning children into lifelong readers,” said Onder.