Speaking to ICv2, Thomas LeBien of Hill & Wang, the publisher of a new line of non-fiction graphic works that he refers to as 'Novel Graphics,' that debuts this fall (see '3 Non-Fiction Graphic Novels') outlined a second wave of titles that are tentatively scheduled for release in 2008.  The titles include a history of the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) written by Harvey Pekar (American Splendor) and Paul Buhle (Wobblies: A Graphic History of the IWW), which will be illustrated by Gary Dumm (American Splendor); plus another Pekar penned volume, a history of the Beats (Kerouac, Ginsberg, et al) with illustrations by an as-yet-unannounced, but sure to be stellar, group of artists.


Also due out in 2008 is a biography of J. Edgar Hoover written by Andy Helfer (editor of the 'Big Books' for DC's Paradox Press and writer of the Malcolm X and Ronald Reagan biographies that are coming out this fall from Hill and Wang) and illustrated by Rick Geary (the artist behind the quirky and brilliant Treasury of Victorian Murder graphic novels published by NBM). 


Two other Novel Graphics projects deserve special mention.  Dwight Zimmerman, who wrote a number of Marvel comics and edited Topps' Xena comics, is writing a history of the Vietnam War, and Mark Schultz is writing Novel Graphics' first science title, an Introduction to Genetics (Larry Gonick's Cartoon Guide to Genetics came out in 1983, and the advances in the field since then are truly mind-boggling).


LeBien, who is exclusively interested in publishing sequentially-illustrated non-fiction titles and hopes to publish 5-6 volumes per year, believes that the graphic medium provides educational and illustrative possibilities that prose alone can't match -- he pointed out the way in which Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon's graphic adaptation of the 9/11 Report is able to illustrate the progress of the four hijackings side-by-side on a rigorously researched timeline to give readers insights they can't get from reading the actual report itself. 


LeBien doesn't see his books replacing traditional history and biography volumes, but he does feel they are a natural complement to prose-only works and he believes that in traditional bookstores they will be racked accordingly -- the 9/11 Report with other 9/11 books and the biographies of Malcolm X and Ronald Reagan with other biographies.