New Release: SPEAK: The Graphic Novel

SPEAK: The Graphic Novel (FSG, Feb 2018) by Laurie Halse Anderson, art by Emily Carroll

SPEAK: The Graphic Novel (FSG, Feb 2018)
by Laurie Halse Anderson, art by Emily Carroll

The critically acclaimed, award-winning, modern classic SPEAK is now a stunning graphic novel.

"Speak up for yourself - we want to know what you have to say."

From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless - an outcast - because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her.

Through her work on an art project, she is finally able to face what really happened that night: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her.

With powerful illustrations by Emily Carroll, Laurie Halse Anderson's SPEAK comes alive for new audiences and fans of the classic novel.

Select praise for SPEAK: The Graphic Novel:

Kirkus starred review: "A masterful graphic novel transformation... this visual adaptation takes readers outside Melinda’s head and sits them alongside her, seeing what she sees and feeling the importance and power of her desire to create art and express herself. Carroll’s stark black-and-white illustrations are exquisitely rendered, capturing the mood through a perfectly calibrated lens. With the rise of women finding their voices and speaking out about sexual assault in the media, this reworking of the enduring 1999 classic should be on everyone’s radar. Powerful, necessary, and essential."

School Library Journal starred review: "This potent retelling of the modern classic SPEAK blends words and images to create magic: a new representation of a teen whose voice is ripped from her, the battles she must wage to find it again, and the triumph of finally being able to speak out. Carroll’s grayscale artwork perfectly depicts the starkness of Melinda’s depression...This gripping, powerful work will introduce SPEAK to a brand-new audience and enthrall longtime fans."

Booklist starred review: "Carroll, well-known for her horror comics, does an excellent job of bringing the vignettes of Anderson’s novel to the graphic format...Carroll powerfully evokes moods with creeping, smudgy shadows; faces with missing eyes and mouths; and jagged panel borders. Grasping hands reach down from tree branches until trees and hands are tumbled together in a juddering haystack of overlapping lines. Those moments are striking, but they’re even more striking when set against scenes of Melinda’s quiet, isolated day-to-day reality, as well as her gradual growth and steps toward recovery. Carroll strikes a deft balance, gracefully juggling the acute terror of Melinda’s rape, the pernicious paranoia that follows her in its wake, the swirling rumors and bullying surrounding her, and glimmering moments of hope and comfort. With spellbinding artwork, this exceptional adaptation masterfully does justice to its source material while adding new depth and nuance.

Horn Book starred review: "In this new graphic novel adaptation of Anderson’s SPEAK - a powerful narrative of a freshman’s year of self-preservation after a brutal sexual assault - artist Carroll starkly renders protagonist Melinda’s pain and healing in black and white, expertly deploying visual perspective and tension to sharpen the emotional impact."

Shelf Awareness starred review: "The entire graphic novel is illustrated in grayscale, allowing the work to be as visually dark as its content. Strong lines, overlapping panels and clever use of blank space show Carroll's skill in creating Melinda's stifling, near-silent world. SPEAK: The Graphic Novel is hypnotizing and heart-breaking, with the kind of empowering finish that unshackles protagonist and readers alike."

2016 YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens nominations!

BABA YAGA'S ASSISTANT and STRONG FEMALE PROTAGONIST (VOL. 1) have been nominated for the 2016 YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens list in the Fiction category.

The list presents graphic novels published in the past 16 months that are recommended reading for teens aged 12-18. It is a general list of graphic novels, both fiction and nonfiction, selected for proven or potential appeal to the personal reading tastes of teens.

The committee will meet, discuss nominations, and select the final list at the at the ALA Midwinter conference (January 2016). 

View the full list of nominees: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/ggnt/nominations

Shortlisted: 2015 Autostraddle Comic + Sequential Arts Awards!

This week, Autostraddle announced their nominations for the 2nd Annual Autostraddle Comic and Sequential Arts Awards, which celebrate positive representation for queer women and feminist issues in comics, webcomics and graphic novels. 

I'm OVER THE MOON to see some familiar (client) faces amongst the nominees - and they are in incredible company. Shout-outs commence:

Favorite All-Ages Comic:
Help Us! Great Warrior by Madeleine Flores (Boom Studios) - her colorist, Trillian Gunn, is also nominated in the Best Colorist category.

Favorite Webcomic - Serial: 
Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag

Favorite Webcomic - Episodic:
Emily Carroll’s online comics (“When the Darkness Presses,” “All Along the Wall” and “The Groom“)
Annie Mok’s work for Rookie (“The Delaney Comets,” “No, No, No: A Guide to Girling Wrong” and “Florals“)

Favorite Graphic Novel / Book:
Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola and Emily Carroll
Dear Amanda by Cathy G. Johnson

Favorite Writer / Artist:
Emily Carroll (online work)
Annie Mok (work on Rookie)

New Release: BABA YAGA'S ASSISTANT

BABA YAGA'S ASSISTANT by Marika McCoola / art by Emily Carroll Candlewick, August 2015

BABA YAGA'S ASSISTANT
by Marika McCoola / art by Emily Carroll
Candlewick, August 2015

Most children think twice before braving a haunted wood filled with terrifying beasties to match wits with a witch, but not Masha. Her beloved grandma taught her many things: that stories are useful, that magic is fickle, that nothing is too difficult or too dirty to clean. The fearsome witch of folklore needs an assistant, and Masha needs an adventure. She may be clever enough to enter Baba Yaga’s house-on-chicken-legs, but within its walls, deceit is the rule. To earn her place, Masha must pass a series of tests, outfox a territorial bear, and make dinner for her host. No easy task, with children on the menu! Spooky and poignant, Marika McCoola’s stunning debut—with richly layered art by acclaimed graphic artist Emily Carroll—is a storytelling feat and a visual feast.

Select praise for BABA YAGA'S ASSISTANT:
- #3 debut on The New York Times HC graphic books list
- 2015 NEIBA Book Award winner
- 2015 Junior Library Guild selection
- Shortlisted for the 2015 Autostraddle Comic and Sequential Art Awards in the Favorite Graphic Novel/Book category
- Kirkus starred review: "A magnificently magical must-read for all fairy-tale fans."
- PW review: "Strong, complex characters and the inventive fusion of contemporary and fairy tale elements make this a noteworthy collaboration."
- Booklist review: "Carroll’s dark yet luminous artwork is a perfect match for McCoola’s tale...full of eerie shading and delicate detail."