We’re always excited here at broken Frontier to hear about initiatives that take comics to new audiences or use the form to communicate information in intuitive and inspirational ways. So the news that IDW Publishing are teaming up with the world-renowned Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex, has really caught our imagination this week. The full press release runs below.
IDW and Smithsonian Enterprises Announce Groundbreaking Graphic Novel Publishing Program
SAN DIEGO, CA (January 8, 2020) – IDW Publishing, a division of IDW Media Holdings Inc. (OTC: IDWM), and the Smithsonian Institution are proud to announce a multi-year global publishing program, which will create an unprecedented library of graphic novels built on the cultural and scientific knowledge of the world’s largest museum, educational, and research complex.
Beginning in fall 2020, IDW and the Smithsonian will invite readers on a voyage of discovery with a comprehensive range of graphic books in a variety of formats. Among the planned product lines are: “Time Trials,” a middle-grade graphic novel series inspired by the National Museum of American History video series; original graphic novels focused on landmark events and individuals, in the tradition of IDW’s acclaimed March and They Called Us Enemy; coloring books in both the youth and adult categories; picture books for young readers; and more.
This interpretation of the landmark Smithsonian Institution Building was drawn by Nate Powell, National Book Award-winning artist of IDW’s March trilogy.
Drawing from the Smithsonian’s vast holdings, which include some of the world’s most popular museums, IDW will create exciting and unforgettable visual narratives for lifelong learners worldwide, produced by a close working relationship between experts at the Smithsonian and top talents from the world of graphic literature.
“The most energizing thing about working with the Smithsonian’s curators, researchers, and zookeepers is that these are not just experts in their fields: they’re storytellers,” says Chris Ryall, IDW’s President, Publisher, and CCO. “Together, we’ll use the unique power of comics to entertain, inspire, and educate readers of all ages about the wonders of history, science, technology, culture, and more.”
“We’re excited to work with the IDW team and share the full breadth of the Smithsonian’s extraordinary collections and research with readers around the world,” says Carol LeBlanc, President of Smithsonian Enterprises. “We can’t wait to see world-class writers and artists bring the Smithsonian mission to diverse audiences in innovative, accessible, and engaging new ways.”
“Comics can communicate complex ideas in the blink of an eye,” says Justin Eisinger, IDW’s Editorial Director, Graphic Novels & Collections. “As our art form becomes increasingly central to the work of educators and librarians, this program presents a unique and important opportunity to align IDW’s mission of quality graphic storytelling with the Smithsonian’s quest to share information with curious minds everywhere.”
“Award-winning books like March and They Called Us Enemy have demonstrated the massive potential of graphic nonfiction that’s infused with literary richness, visionary artwork, and personal passion,” says Leigh Walton, Editor and Marketing Director for IDW’s Top Shelf imprint. “With the brilliant minds at the Smithsonian, I’m thrilled to apply those same values to explore untold stories and new frontiers around the world and throughout the universe.”
IDW’s books published in collaboration with the Smithsonian will be available everywhere books are sold, including comic book specialty shops, bookstores, libraries, museums, and ebook vendors. For continuing developments, please follow IDW online at www.idwpublishing.com and via our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
About the Smithsonian
Established in 1846, the Smithsonian—the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex—includes 19 museums and galleries, 9 research centers, and the National Zoological Park. The total number of artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collections is estimated at 156 million, the bulk of which is contained in the National Museum of Natural History, which holds more than 145 million specimens and objects. The Smithsonian is a renowned research center, dedicated to public education, national service, and scholarship in the arts, sciences, and history. www.si.edu.