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This year marks the 150th anniversary of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers is teaming with Tapas Media to celebrate by giving the story a comic book makeover in the new graphic novel Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy.
It’s not only the medium that will change in the new take on Alcott’s classic; writer Rey Terciero and artist Bre Indigo are also updating the story for contemporary readers by transforming the characters into a multi-racial family who support each other while their father is absent, serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
“Bre and I wanted to see ourselves in the characters, too, which is why we made the family diverse and one of the characters LGBTQ,” Terciero said in a statement about the project. “Jo is my favorite, so I wanted to play with the subtext that may not have been available 150 years ago, but that we can speak openly about these days. Being LGBT myself, I’m just happy to be creating a book that I wish I could have read as a young reader.”
The release of the title will be staggered across formats, with Tapas Media serializing it online — a prologue debuted Tuesday, with the first full episode to bow Wednesday — before Little, Brown for Young Readers releases paperback and ebook editions of the completed work in November. (Fittingly, Little, Brown was the original U.S. publisher of Alcott’s original Little Women.)
Rex Ogle, senior editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, said, “The movie Clueless (based on Jane Austen’s Emma) was central to a whole generation of moviegoers, and I’m hoping that Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy does the same for graphic novel readers. I was thrilled to collaborate with Tapas as they’re creating so much fresh and fun content, and tapping into a whole new group of online readers that may or may not be reading print books. After all, our whole world is changing in terms of where people find content, and creating a bridge between digital and print is a smart next step.”
New episodes will be go live weekly at the Tapas site, as well as through Tapas’ mobile apps, with the series’ completion scheduled for October.
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