According to an article by Calvin Reid in Publishers Weekly, Scholastic Books is launching 'Graphix,' a new graphic novel imprint in the spring of 2005.  Scholastic, which publishes over 700 titles a year (including the popular Harry Potter series), plans to put out 2-4 graphic novels per year -- and the first title out of the box will be Jeff Smith's Bone, which will be published in full color in the now popular 'manga' size. 


Smith has already sold some 400,000 copies of Bone trade paperbacks, primarily in the direct market, but don't be surprised if hardcore Bone fans will have to have the new Scholastic editions.


While selling new compact (and almost certainly much lower-priced) editions of Bone will be a boon to pop culture retailers, a bigger benefit may eventually result from Scholastic's reputation and reach into nearly every schoolhouse in America.  Scholastic targets young readers and if its Graphix imprint enjoys the success of some of Scholastic's other initiatives, it should end up exposing lots of young readers to the joys of reading comics.