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Ahead of this week’s San Diego Comic-Con, IDW Publishing and French publisher Glenat have announced that they are partnering with an ambitious aim in mind: creating new comic book properties for both the U.S. and French markets.
The two companies are launching the “Original Graphic Novel” initiative, which will see creators from both American and Franco-Belgian industries work on new titles in a wide variety of genres — the announcement lists “science fiction, fantasy, Western, humor, thriller [and] adventure,” along with “whatever may inspire the authors” — with the results being published in both markets.
Glenat has an existing relationship with IDW, with the latter already republishing Glenat-originated material featuring Disney characters for the U.S. market, and the European publisher handling translated editions of multiple IDW series. (It also licenses material from Oni Press, Image Comics and other American publishers.)
Initial launch titles include Mike Carey and Peter Gross’ fantasy title The Highest House and Los Angeles-based crime thriller Lowlifes by Brian Buccellato and Alexis Sentence. Additional upcoming titles include the Quentin Tarantino-inspired road-trip story Gunning Down Ramirez and horror fantasy Boogeymen.
The collaboration is far from the first time an attempt has been made to bring European comics to the U.S. market, although previous efforts — which have included U.S. offices for leading French publisher Les Humanoides Associes, as well as publishing partnerships for multiple properties — have focused on reprinting and reformatting existing material for American audiences. This new effort is also notable for the size of those participating: IDW is the fourth largest publisher in the North American market, with Glénat being the third largest in France.
The first “Original Graphic Novel” titles will be released in 2018.
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