11:44am PT by Graeme McMillan
Scholastic Brings 'The Phoenix' Kids Comic to America
The kids comic market in the U.S. got some surprise good news this week with Scholastic announcing a new deal to repackage and release material from the British anthology The Phoenix for North American audiences.
Launched in 2012, The Phoenix is a weekly anthology comic aimed at children ages 6-12, combining humor and adventure strips from some of Britain's top cartooning talent, including Jamie Smart, Adam Murphy and Kate Brown. Philip Pullman, author of the fan-favorite His Dark Materials novels, has also contributed to the title, with the new series The Adventures of John Blake.
Under the new deal between Scholastic and The Phoenix's U.K. publisher David Fickling Books, all 300 back issues of the series are already available digitally via Amazon's ComiXology platform — a double-issue of Nos. 1 and 2 is free until Tuesday — with twice-yearly print collections to begin in March under the name The Phoenix Colossal Comics Collection.
"As The Phoenix grew in popularity in the U.K., we began exploring ways to bring the weekly issues to North America," Scholastic Trade Publishing vp and group publisher Lori Benton told Publishers' Weekly about the partnership. "Every issue is an exciting surprise of ingenious comics, and we realized that publishing online would be an ideal way to engage kids, on a weekly basis, with a wide range of content and characters."