New from First Second: LAST PICK by Jason Walz

Comics and Graphic Novels, Just out, News and reviews


An alien abduction has left behind only those younger than sixteen, older than sixty-five, or too “disabled” to work. In other words, people who weren’t a threat—until now. Twins Sam and Wyatt are ready to chuck their labels, break free from their captors, and inspire others to do the same. It’s time for “the last picked” to step into the game.

Vivid world-building and a fast-paced adventure mix in a beautiful story of sibling devotion. With humor and action, Last Pick shares an empowering message about the dangers of labeling and writing people off.

(First of three books with book 2 in Fall 2019.)


★”A masterful sci-fi tale with relatable characters, skillful worldbuilding, and cinematically designed illustrations that convey his message.”Kirkus Review, starred review

★”Strong character development, atmospheric art, villainous aliens, snappy banter, cheerworthy protagonists, and well-executed suspense should give this lots of broad appeal.” Booklist, starred review


Jason Walz’s debut graphic novel Homesick, was nominated for an Eisner in 2014.

The full PDF is available now.




News and reviews, YA fiction

LA FILLE QUI N’EXISTAIT PAS (the French title of CITY OF SAINTS AND THIEVES) has just received a fabulous review in Le Monde Afrique!


“The American Natalie C. Anderson, author of this thrilling polar, holds the reins of her story so well that every revealed secret opens a new mystery and advances us from discovery to discovery. But beyond the plot, the book provides a captivating and realistic dive into the political and social complexity of this region of the Great Lakes where political and financial interests are combined and too often exceed the common good.”

To read the full article (in French) click here.



More Praise for LOVE THAT BUNCH!

Comics and Graphic Novels, News and reviews


Love That Bunch… It’s a form of fearless authenticity that’s now practically commonplace.”—San Francisco Magazine

“Shamelessly candid… Kominsky-Crumb has brought an uncompromising honesty and fearlessness to the comics form. She has refused to be contained by anyone else’s ideas about what is permissible to depict and to write about, and her work always surprises.” —Publishers Weekly



Comics and Graphic Novels, News and reviews

Mermaids and Dressmakers, Gender and Fluidity

Elizabeth Bluemle — February 27th, 2018 Publishers Weekly

“I picked up a copy of Jen Wang’s charming graphic novel, The Prince and the Dressmaker (published earlier this month by First Second) before I knew anything about the subject matter. When I realized that it wasn’t a traditional fairy tale romance, that it was, in fact, about two characters who live outside the social norms, my heart beat faster with sheer joy. This was different! Hooray and hallelujah!

“The main character, Frances, is a hardworking seamstress with a flair for design. When one of her dresses steals the spotlight at an important ball, she is hired to work for a mysterious client who won’t show Frances her face. Except that the client turns out not to be a “her” at all — he is a young prince who loves high fashion and gorgeous dresses, but who must hide this side of himself to avoid disappointing his parents and his kingdom. By day, the dutiful Prince Sebastien keeps a busy schedule of meetings with princesses that his parents have arranged. By night (and occasionally in the daytime, too), he is Lady Crystallia, who causes a great stir in Paris society with her incredible style, poise, charm, and grace. But because Lady Crystallia keeps her true identity a secret, Frances is forced to keep her talent a secret, too, and the strain of that is wrenching. What’s great about this graphic novel isn’t just Prince Sebastien’s growth and self-acceptance, but also Frances’s narrative of strength: she grows increasingly confident and ambitious (in the good way), ultimately refusing to be rendered invisible. The Prince and the Dressmaker is a sweet story of self-discovery, navigating friendship, and building a life for oneself. I can’t wait to read whatever Jen Wang comes up with next. In the meantime, since I missed it the first time around, I’ll be seeking out her newly-reissued graphic novel In Real Life, co-authored with Cory Doctorow.”

Read the full article here.

SPEAK Gets TWO Starred Reviews!

Comics and Graphic Novels, News and reviews


Laurie Halse Anderson; Illustrator: Emily Carroll; Farrar Straus Giroux 

★ ​​”With spellbinding artwork, this exceptional adaptation masterfully does justice to its source material while adding new depth and nuance.”                                               –Booklist

 ​​”This gripping, powerful work will introduce Speak to a brand-new audience and enthrall longtime fans.”                                                                             –School Library Journal


BAD JOBS, Great Review!

Adult Fiction, News and reviews

Congratulations to J.R. Helton, whose Bad Jobs and Poor Decisions is on The National Book Review‘s list of “Five Hot Books”!



5. Bad Jobs and Poor Decisions: Dispatches from the Working Class by J. R. Helton (Liveright)

“Helton spent the Reagan years in Texas, stuck in an endless loop of menial, dead-end jobs, a shaky marriage, and a life dulled by marijuana and other recreational drugs.  While hauling firewood, selling pumpkins by the side of the road, and working with sad Vietnam War veterans, Helton banged out fiction on his portable Smith Corona manual typewriter — and dreamed of success as a writer.  After success with one short story, nothing worked out, and Helton re-enrolled at the University of Texas, threw himself into term papers and exams, quit drinking and smoking, and gained a perspective that makes this memoir about life in the trenches of the working poor particularly poignant and — given our current state of affairs — timely.”                                                                                         The National Review of Books



Film tie-ins, News and reviews, YA fiction

French rightsFilm rights to Natalie C. Anderson’s thriller, CITY OF SAINTS AND THIEVES, have gone to Universal Pictures. Read all about it here.

Variously billed as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Gone Girl or The Hunger Games meets The Thief Lord, this enthralling murder mystery sdet in Kenya will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

CITY OF SAINTS AND THIEVES is published in the US by Putnam


and in the UK/ANZ by OneWorld. CITY OF SAINTS & THIEVES











French rights have gone to Pocket Jeunesse and Spanish and Catalan rights to Planeta.

Other rights sold are Germany (dtv ); Poland (INITIUM Patryk Lubas ); Czech Republic (Albatros Media ); Turkey (Penguen Kitap ); Serbia (Vulkan).

All other translation rights are still free.

THE HUNTING ACCIDENT: Already Getting Great Reviews!

Comics and Graphic Novels, Just out, News and reviews

THE HUNTING ACCIDENTIt was just published by First Second, and already THE HUNTING ACCIDENT is garnering excellent reviews/

  • The Hunting Accident: A True Story of Crime and Poetry by David L. Carlson and Landis Blair was featured in GQ Magazine online:

“One of the Best True Crime Stories of 2017 Isn’t on TV (Yet)”

  • The Hunting Accident was also reviewed and excerpted in The AV Club:

“A killer explains his philosophy in this The Hunting Accident exclusive”

  • This Chicago true crime story was also covered in a 6 page print feature in Chicago Magazine:


  • The creators were also interviewed on WBEZ Chicago “Morning Shift” in a 13 minute segment:

“Graphic Novel Tells Fascinating Tale of Robber, Writer, Father and Prison Confidant”


  • And it was also announced in Paste Magazine: