'She-Ra' Animator Sells Young Reader Graphic Novel (Exclusive)

Song of the Court-Publicity-H 2019
Katy Farina/Sterling Publishing
Katy Farina's 'Song of the Court' aims to help children struggling with anxiety.

Los Angeles-based cartoonist and animator Katy Farina recently made headlines for signing on to adapt the best-selling Baby-Sitters Little Sister novels for Scholastic’s Graphic imprint, but she’s not resting on her laurels; even before the release of the first book in that series this December, she’s sold her first original graphic novel property.

Barnes & Noble subsidiary Sterling Publishing has acquired Farina’s Song of the Court, with the title’s release dated for April next year. The graphic novel, which Farina hopes will appeal to young readers struggling with anxiety and imposter syndrome, tells the story of Arietta, whose attempts to sell her family’s treasured violin in order to raise money for her beloved garden are thwarted by a request by Princess Cassia to play the violin for her upcoming birthday party. Unfortunately, Arietta has a secret: She never learned to play the instrument.

“I hope this book can offer a ray of sunshine through those cloudy days for anyone who needs it,” Farina said in a statement about the title. “The manga series Kodocha helped me identify my own depression when I was younger, and it gave me the words to talk with my parents about how I was feeling. I hope that Song of the Court can help kids and adults have a bigger conversation about anxiety and pursuing what you love.”

International publishing rights, as well as movie rights, to Song of the Court are currently being shopped around potential buyers.

In addition to her upcoming Baby-Sitters Little Sister work, Farina has previously worked on comic book adaptations of Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe and The Amazing World of Gumball, as well as on Netflix’s She-Ra and the Princesses of Power animated series. She is represented by Steven Salpeter at Curtis Brown, Ltd. in the U.S., and Ginger Clark in the U.K.

Song of the Court will be published in the United States on April 21, 2020. Below, some of Farina’s art from the project.