Building Out Team for Middle-Grade Graphic Novels
Posted by Milton Griepp on May 11, 2018 @ 1:55 pm CT
Burrell replaces Andrea Colvin, who was handling Lion Forge’s CubHouse and Roar imprints when she was promoted to Vice President – Executive Editor last year (see "New Executive Editor at Lion Forge"). At the time, Colvin added the additional executive duties until additional editorial staff could be added.
"Carol’s mandate is to build out our younger readers comics and picture books," Colvin said of Burrell’s duties. Colvin said she expects Burrell to contribute in areas beyond CubHouse as well. "Carol has so much experience in comics and publishing at all age levels, I’m sure that there will be projects that she’ll be a party to working on for other age groups as well."
Burrell’s graphic novel editing experience came in the midst of a broader career editing children’s books, which she did at Clarion Books early in her career. Recently during a period of freelance editing, Burrell also did work at First Second.
We asked Burrell what she expected to bring to her new position:
"One of the things I'm excited about is the new mandate and emphasis on both picture books and graphic novels, with the transition from one to the other, from one readership to the next, as you grow, mature, and get that visual literacy," Burrell explained.
"My original history as an editor was with a strictly children's book publisher, Clarion books. That's really where my foundation was before I then moved onto developing a life in comics. There's a perfect fusion for me. I really enjoy developing a line and making sure that they're full lists with something wonderful for every type of reader; exploring different ways of storytelling for the different age groups that we have, and how rapidly readers change in this age group.
"As well, we're working with imports. I'm very excited that as I looked at Lion Forge's overall list, not just for the little kids, but all the way across the board, there are so many things that I enjoyed maybe in their original language, or I'd spotted at a convention overseas. Being able to spread [laughs] the stories around the world like that, that's something which I've done a lot in the past, and I'm looking forward to doing again. Again, having this blending of all the types of storytelling, and maybe bringing some huge comic fans over to buy picture books for their kids that really strike their sensibilities and the ways to tell stories visually.
"Writers like Mo Willems and Jeff Smith, even if they are doing a picture book, they're still speaking our language, our language of comics, my language, particularly since I do have that foundation in both your standard children's lit and comics for kids."
"I feel that, if anything, this is the perfect place for me to be because I get to find a great fusion in all these formats of storytelling."
We also asked Colvin to share her thoughts on adding Burrell in this role. "She has experience in every facet of publishing we're trying to bring together and synthesize into this children's line," Colvin said. "She speaks a gazillion languages; she also draws; she's the renaissance editor! The hope is, and the confidence is, that under Carol, this will become a whole division, and will grow, and we'll eventually have a staff of editors under Carol doing lots of kid's comics and picture books."