Reed Graphica, a division of Reed Press, which publishes Publisher's Weekly, is about to release its first two graphic novels. Calvin Reid, who has done an excellent job covering graphic novels in the bookstore and library markets for Publishers Weekly, is the consulting editor for Reed Graphica, and he has chosen to begin the line by bringing back into print two classic graphic novels. Reed Graphica's first two offerings are John Jackson's superb historical graphic novel, Comanche Moon, and David Chelsea's funny autobiographical saga, David Chelsea in Love.
Reed Graphica has two more graphic novels scheduled for the spring of 2004. In Silly Daddy, Joe Chiappetta has reworked his comics into a novel-length 255-page narrative of his struggle to balance his artistic ambitions and family responsibilities. In a series of adventures that are both heartbreaking and hilarious, Chiappetta follows his evolving relationship with his daughter from her birth to age twelve. Reed Graphica's other spring offering is a new edition of James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook's Seven Miles a Second, which adapts the journals of the late East Village artist and AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz. The only other book currently on the schedule is John Pham's Collected Epoxy, a collection of his Xeric Award-winning stories, which is due out in the fall of 2004.
Although Diamond and other comic distributors will be soliciting and distributing Reed Graphica titles, both the bookstore and library markets will be key to the success of the line, which includes more than its share of ambitious Xeric Award-type, highly personal works. Calvin Reid, whose PW coverage has aided the increasing penetration of graphic novels into bookstores and libraries, will continue to cover graphic novels for Publisher's Weekly but he will not review the volumes he edits. Reid told ICv2, 'If I were to drop my involvement with comics coverage here at Publisher's Weekly, I think it would hurt comics at PW greatly. I'm still in the process of institutionalizing comics coverage at the magazine and I'm not going to walk away from it just yet. For better or for worse, I just know more (and care more) about comics publishing than anyone else here. I've worked with the editor of the review section to set up a process that will allow my books to be reviewed, and I will have nothing to do with it, and the reviews will run, praise or pan.'