So over the next few days, I am going to be reviewing a few books from :01 (First Second) Books. For those who read this blog on a regular basis, :01 was the publisher of the book, “American Born Chinese” which I reviewed recently. The books will be (not in the order they will be reviewed)
“The Eternal Smile” by Gene Luen Yang & Derek Kirk Kim
“Stuffed” by Glenn Eichler & Nick Bertozzi
“Refresh, Refresh” by Danica Novgorodoff ( adapted from the screenplay by James Ponsoldt, which is based on the short story by Benjamin Percy)
But before we get to those over the next few days, I’d like to give you all some background on :01 Books. I would do my best to summarize the history of the company, but Editorial Director, Mark Siegel does a fine job of doing that himself. This is the “Editorial Vision” from their website:
“FIRST SECOND aims for high quality, literate graphic novels for a wide age-range, from Middlegrade to Young Adult to Adult readers. Toward that end I am endeavoring to upgrade the editorial process and the art direction that go into making book-length comics. I have already begun to sign on talented storytellers, including prize-winning novelists and non-fiction writers, top playwrights and screenwriters. On the artistic side, I’m assembling an inspiring line-up of exceptional talents from all over the world.
In so many ways, the dream of FIRST SECOND is about building bridges.
Bridges between fields
For playwrights for instance, the appeal of a high caliber graphic novel lies in its ability to give intact and uncompromised form to their vision before submitting it to producers, committees or the hollywood mill. For novelists, poets and essayists, the graphic form offers a unique platform to reach a large audience all over the planet and to amplify their voice through a very new and exciting medium, in collaboration with some of the best artists working today.
Bridges between countries
FIRST SECOND’s list is highly international, bringing together works from around the globe. It also provides a wonderful arena for the cross-pollination of talents from the Five Continents who can collaborate in almost limitless ways and touch readers across borders.
Bridges between genres
The list already includes Fiction of all kinds, as well as non-Fiction such as personal memoirs, biographies, history, comics journalism and visual essays. Another important aspect of the graphic novel is its ability to blur age categories and span a readership – to useTintin’s slogan – “From 7 to 77 years old.”
Seeking the rarity
FIRST SECOND is committed to quality, aiming for the highest literary, artistic and production standards. The works of true authors and artists, as opposed to the old style of mass-produced disposable comics, these books are intended to be works of lasting value.”
So strap yourselves in for some great books and make sure to check back every day for the new review.