Kids love comics and finally most of the publishers are taking notice. Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group has announced several new original graphic novels coming in the spring of next year featuring everything from cryptids and ghosts to robots and more. Check out the titles below:
First up, in January, we have Lemonade Code from writer Jarod Pratt and artist Jey Odin. The middle grade graphic novel follows a young genius desperate to fund his top-secret science projects. After starting up a lemonade stand, he finds that his new next-door neighbor had the same idea. An all-out war breaks out between the two rival lemonade stands and the fate of the world could be at stake.
Writer Jarod Pratt says:
Lemonade Code was born from a desire for my kids to not just be able to see a future with people who look like them in it, but to also see themselves in a future that wasn’t necessarily dystopic by nature. By taking a familiar children’s story conceit—two kids with dueling lemonade stands—and setting it in a time just around the corner, it is my hope that any kid who reads it and sees themselves in the characters will also have their eyes opened to the possibilities of tomorrow and their place in it.
Next, coming in February, is Quincredible: Quest to be the Best from Rodney Barnes, Selina Espiritu, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and Tom Napolitano from the popular Catalyst Prime series. This marks the comic’s move from single issues to graphic novels. The book centers on Quinton West after a meteor show called “The Event” left him with the power of invulnerability, but no other gifts. While this isn’t the most glamorous super power, there’s more to Quin than meets the eye and he’s ready to show the world.
Chris Grine’s Secrets of Camp Whatever is coming in March 2021, showing there’s more than mosquitoes at this creepy summer camp. Hard-of-hearing teen Willow and friends face off against supernatural scares while a mystery involving her family’s past at the camp begins to unfold.
My preteen daughter and her ever-changing preteen attitude became the main inspiration for several of the main characters personalities, which made it so much more personal and enjoyable to write, especially when I would think about how she might handle this place and what choices she might make when things go sideways.
Also due out in March is Martian Ghost Centaur from Mat Heagerty and artist Steph Mided, exploring coming of age for a young adult torn between leaving for college and staying in a beloved hometown on the brink of financial ruin. How far can someone go to save something they love?
Up until the pandemic, I’d worked for a decade in a really unique bar in San Francisco. I watched the city’s second tech boom push out so much of what made San Francisco feel like home to me. Watching the tech takeover, specifically of the Mission District, was where the story started for me.
The Hazards of Love: Bright World from Stan Stanley is also coming out in March 2021. It centers on Amparo, a Latinx nonbinary teen who makes a deal with a talking cat to become a better person, all to stop their mom and abuela from worrying about them. It’s also in an effort to be worthy of dating straight-A student Iolanthe. In a twist of fate, the cat steals their body, imprisoning Amparo in a land of terrifying flesh-hungry creatures called the Bright World.
It was important for me as a queer Mexican living in NYC that this project feature a diverse Latinx and LGBTQ cast and present urban fantasy through a non-European lens. Hazards reinterprets the ‘Down the Rabbithole’ trope to reflect a queer Latinx voice, and pays homage to Mexican gothic horror films, to telenovela tropes, and to Latin-American surrealism.
Finally, we’ve got Delicates, the sequel to Brenna Thummler’s graphic novel Sheets. Due out in March 2021, the book picks up as the summer has ended and Marjorie Glatt prepares to head back to school. This time, she’s going to eighth grade, but she’s struggling to fit in with her new friends. She’s spending less and less time with Wendell and finds herself acting differently. Marjorie must soon learn the price she pays to be accepted by the popular kids and it might just cost her her friendship with Wendell.
Waiting for sequels is like waiting to reunite with old friends—you’re eager for that familiar comfort, yet anxious to hear of new adventures. Delicates is full of the fun, challenges, and bittersweet moments that make for the strongest of friendships, and I can’t wait for readers to return to this ghostly world!