WHO’s Doing Kids’ Books?

Just got this press release:

Superstar comic artists Greg Horn & Glenn Fabry try their pencils in a new market with Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink

Once you’ve defeated every gory barbarian and made it with every busty super-villainess in the comic book market, where else should an award-winning comic artist go to get their kicks?

For Greg Horn (Elektra, She-Hulk) and Glenn Fabry (Preacher, Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere), the answer was clear: kids’ books. … Centering on a motley crew of sixth-graders, The Professionals introduces a new breed of tweenage heroes: Rather than superpowers or magic wands, each kid has a bona fide profession, ranging from therapist to chef to crime sketch artist.

Do they really think that those interested in kids’ books are going to find the phrase “made it with every busty super-villainess” intriguing? Useful? Appropriate? (Although I guess it got them mentioned here.) And if they’re superstars, why are they switching fields?


9 Responses to “WHO’s Doing Kids’ Books?”

  1. Rivkah Says:

    “Tweenage heroes”? “Tweenage”?

    Considering the professions mentioned, this sounds more like an adult humor comic with kids filling as the protagonists. And whomever thought “bona fide profession” would be a great phrase to use in a press release for a children’s series needs to spend a little more time with real kids.

    Sometimes I get this idea that some people view children’s and young adult entertainment as the easy road to take, not realizing that kids and teens are far more picky about their entertainment than adults will ever be and that the genre is, in fact, one of the most difficult and demanding groups to write for.

    Wacky and wonky doesn’t necessarily mean kids will like it.

    *goes back to editing “Jane’s S.O.S.” while bashing head against keyboard in misery* sooooooooon . . . soon it will be done . . . O_O

  2. Nat Gertler Says:

    I don’t think this press release is aimed at the kids book audience, this release is aimed that the existing Horn/Fabry readers (likely a larger portion of the online scene) to get them to try out a kids’ book that they wouldn’t normally look at if someone else were on board.

    And plenty of superstars try other aspects of their field. Serious actors try comedy, comedic actors try drama. Novelists try screenplays. Trying different things is a sign of a creative soul.

  3. Johanna Says:

    Possibly. But I would think an existing Horn fan would be completely uninterested in a kids’ book because, you know, no boobies.

    Rivkah, I’m so with you — too many people think “for kids” means talking down or simplifying, when classic kids’ books are some of the most complex out there. (Like Alice in Wonderland.)

  4. Tim O'Shea Says:

    Nat, I appreciate your ability to divine the creative soul out of this one, but can we at least flag it for crappy marketing? :)

    And then again, how many unpublished comic books gets mentioned in an AP story in the same breath as Gabriel Byrne and Lorraine Bracco?

    And finally, you’re trying to create buzz for a book and there’s not even a website for Toasted Coconut Media (that I can find…)?

  5. Nat Gertler Says:

    I neither assume that all Greg Horn fans are in it for the boobies, nor assume that this book will be boobie-free. (Although the one image of an adult female that I find from the book book – of a crazed art teacher in a straitjacket – is fairly curve free.)

  6. Ed Sizemore Says:

    I found this copy of the cover, or at the proposed cover:

    http://www.projo.com/lifebeat/content/lb_pop_culture_therapy_03-08-08_AC991HI_v14.20070d2.html

    If I thought Greg Horn’s artwork for superhero covers were atrocious, then I think his artwork for a teen comic atrocious and creepy.

    Segueing from busty super-villainess to kids comics, even creepier.

    An 11-eleven year who is the top psychologist in Manhattan? Beyond ridiculous.

    I guess this book will be a pass for me.

  7. Rivkah Says:

    Thanks for the pic, Ed!

    And actually . . . I would probably pick that book up off of that cover! I think perhaps, as Tim pointed out, the press release is mainly an example of terrible marketing. But the cover screams, “I’m different!”

    I’ll be keeping an eye out for it; picking through the atrociousness of the press release wording, there’s still potential here, and I like to keep in mind things like oh . . . some of the marketing material I’ve seen on my own books that made me want to scream, “I didn’t write that!”

    Publishers sometimes seem to have a knack of missing the point of their books completely.

  8. Stuart Moore Says:

    It’s a tacky press release, but as someone who’s worked with both these artists, I can tell you they each have pretty broad interests. Greg has done pieces for Ringling Brothers, movies, and professional sports; Glenn’s also dabbled in Hollywood and, though I’m probably the only person who knows this, could easily have a second or third career in funny animals if he wanted it. And Nat’s right; plenty of creative people like to stretch different muscles…what’s wrong with that?

  9. KidReviewer Says:

    Johanna said:

    “Possibly. But I would think an existing Horn fan would be completely uninterested in a kids’ book because, you know, no boobies.”

    Maybe not, but a fan of kid’s books would certainly be interested in graphic art by Horn and Fabry. I was surprised by some of the blood and guts situations, but I liked it. Kids’ books are usually too nice. I reviewed a galley in prep for the ComicCon. If you want to know what a 13 yr old middle-schooler thinks of it, check out:
    http://www.kidreviewer.com/2008/04/anna-smudge-professional-shrink-cool.html

    And of course, I give credit and link to the sites of the awesome artists involved.

    Nick Chance, KidReviewer

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