Sunday, February 27, 2005

Disney's Hyperion teams with Center for Cartoon Studies

Publishers Weekly (subscription required) reports that comics will have a higher profile at Disney's Hyperion Books For Children, which will team with the Center for Cartoon Studies to produce a series of graphic biographies.

The Vermont-based school will act as a packager and produce the books, using acclaimed creators as well as students recruited from its own program.

Two books a year will be published beginning in fall 2006. The first title will be a biography of Harry Houdini, written by Jason Lutes (Jar of Fools) and James Sturm (The Golem's Mighty Swing), and illustrated by Nick Bertuzzi (The Masochists). The second will be a book about Satchell Paige, written by Sturm and illustrated by an artist to be named.

Disney's popular W.I.T.C.H. franchise will release its first full-length graphic novel this spring. HBFC vice president Brenda Bowen told PW that Abadazad, acquired by Disney in CrossGen's bankruptcy, will be published as an ongoing series, utiilizing fictional diary entries, illustrated prose and traditional comics.

"We think we're expanding the form," Bowen told the magazine.

Monday update: Today's "Arts, Briefly" column of The New York Times also notes the partnership.