DC Comics has finally figured out that young readers are a viable market, and it is launching DC Zoom aimed at middle school readers, and DC Ink to focus on young adults.
UPDATE: WITH FULL LIST FROM DC COMICS
This is all part of the Young Readers imprint DC Comics announced in May of 2017.
According to the New York Times, DC Entertainment has tapped YA authors Laurie Halse Anderson, Melissa de la Cruz, Michael Northrop, and Ridley Person.
“Any initiative that will create material for 7- to 15-year-olds, I’m all for,” said Chuck Rozanski, the president of Mile High Comics, which has three comic stores in and near Denver. “That’s our biggest growth area in the store.” – NY TIMES
DC Ink will launch a Harley Quinn graphic novel by Mariko Tamaki with art by Steve Pugh, and another graphic novel featuring Mera from writer Danielle Paige (no artist has been announced). DC Zoom, on the other hand, will launch DC Super Hero Girls: Search for Atlantis from Shea Fontana and Yancey Labat.
If you think DC is going after young adult female readers, you are not wrong. According to the NY Times article, Michelle Wells, Vice President for Content Strategy at DC Comics said readership in the younger demographic definitely skews toward girls, as boys don’t read as much in that age range.
This is not a dumb move, but rather one of the most strategic business decisions DC has made in years. Throughout the late ’50s and early ’60s the comic industry did everything it could to drive female readers away, and through the ’80s and ’90s, toxic masculinity pretty much cemented that comics were an All Boys Club. Fortunately, female readers persisted, and this move by DC is probably the best attempt I’ve seen at trying to bring women back to the superhero genre. Paving the way were the successful Lois Lane YA book series, and in recent years, DC Super Hero Girls has taken the industry by storm, occupying the toy, book, and clothing aisles.
While I personally am not the target for these two imprints, I’m more than happy to see DC Comics diversify its audience, which in turn increases audience size and bolsters the entire industry.
UPDATE: Here is the full press release from DC Comics
DC Entertainment revealed two new original graphic novel publishing imprints today, DC Ink focused on young adult (YA) readers, and DC Zoom focused on middle grade (MG) readers. Both imprints will feature a world class line-up of authors who have established YA and MG fan bases. These authors will bring their storytelling expertise to a DC Universe filled with iconic characters like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and many more. The first titles from DC Ink and DC Zoom will be released in Fall 2018.
“Superheroes are more popular than ever so it only makes sense to bring these DC characters to an entirely new generation of young readers,” stated Diane Nelson, president of DC Entertainment and president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “The first comic books created decades ago were for kids, and as the business evolved and matured, it became more focused on adult readers. DC Ink and DC Zoom present an exciting new opportunity to grow our publishing business and ensure beloved stories built around iconic characters like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are endeared as part of the fabric of childhood for years to come.”
“Two of the recent areas of growth in publishing include graphic novels and books for young readers – we’re bringing those formats together with DC Ink and DC Zoom,” said DC Entertainment Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. “We’ve already experienced tremendous success with our DC Super Hero Girls graphic novels. The new DC Ink and DC Zoom slate, paired with a stellar author line-up, presents a major business growth opportunity and we couldn’t be more excited – we’re going big.”
The first titles from DC Ink include HARLEY QUINN: BREAKING GLASS by Mariko Tamaki (SUPERGIRL: BEING SUPER) with art by Steve Pugh, and MERA by Danielle Paige (DOROTHY MUST DIE series). The first title to hit shelves from DC Zoom will be DC SUPER HERO GIRLS: SEARCH FOR ATLANTIS from writer Shea Fontana and artist Yancey Labat. All three titles will go on sale in Fall 2018, with many more titles from DC Ink and DC Zoom set to follow in 2019.
Additional confirmed upcoming titles and authors for DC Ink include:
BATMAN: GOTHAM HIGH – Melissa de la Cruz (ALEX & ELIZA, BLUE BLOODS series, WITCHES OF EAST END series)
BATMAN: NIGHTWALKER – THE GRAPHIC NOVEL – Marie Lu (LEGEND series)
TEEN TITANS – Kami Garcia (BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series)
UNDER THE MOON: A CATWOMAN TALE – Lauren Myracle (INTERNET GIRLS series, KISSING KATE)
WONDER WOMAN: TEMPEST TOSSED – Laurie Halse Anderson (SPEAK and CHAINS)
Additional confirmed titles and authors for DC Zoom include:
BATMAN TALES: ONCE UPON A CRIME – writer and artist: Derek Fridolfs, Dustin Nguyen (BATMAN: LI’L GOTHAM)
BATMAN: OVERDRIVE – Shea Fontana (DC SUPER HERO GIRLS series)
BLACK CANARY: IGNITE – Meg Cabot (THE PRINCESS DIARIES series)
DEAR JUSTICE LEAGUE – Michael Northrop (TOMBQUEST series)
GREEN LANTERN: LEGACY – Minh Lê (DRAWN TOGETHER)
SUPER SONS – Ridley Pearson (KINGDOM KEEPERS series)
SUPERMAN OF SMALLVILLE – writer and artist: Art Baltazar & Franco (TINY TITANS)
SUPERMAN SMASHES THE KLAN – Gene Yang (AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER series, NEW SUPER-MAN), will be released as periodicals first, then collected
About DC Entertainment
DC Entertainment, home to iconic brands DC (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, etc.), Vertigo (Sandman, Fables, etc.) and MAD, is the creative division charged with strategically integrating across Warner Bros. and Time Warner. DC Entertainment works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its stories and characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment, and interactive games. Publishing thousands of comic books, graphic novels and magazines each year, DC Entertainment is one of the largest English-language publishers of comics in the world.