LibraryPass signed distribution agreements with several new publisher partners in 2023, continuing to expand the catalog of digital comics, graphic novels, and manga available through Comics Plus. Schools and libraries now have unlimited, simultaneous access to a wide range of titles for readers of all ages from Band of Bards, FairSquare Comics, Iron Circus, Oni Press, Red Comet Press, and Silver Sprocket, joining dozens of library-friendly publishers available through Comics Plus.
“2023 was another great year for Comics Plus, and it’s partly thanks to our publisher partners who understand the importance of library-friendly licensing models for digital content,” said Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, LibraryPass’ Chief Content Officer. “A collection dominated by bestsellers prioritizes a small percentage of the newest releases for a small percentage of a library’s potential readers, but Comics Plus ensures libraries are able to offer a deeper, more diverse collection without worrying about managing expensive, restrictive licenses or borrowing limits.”
Red Comet Press is a boutique independent publisher with a focus on illustrated storytelling for readers aged 0-12. They are building a list of titles from global contributors which includes books in translation from France, Italy, Czechia, Germany, and Ukraine, while also originating books with new and established creators from countries such as the UK, Ireland, and the United States. The Really Bird series is super popular with early readers, and the author, Harriet Ziefert, is a veteran of beginning reader titles (Step Into Reading, Penguin Readers).
“As a small independent press, we have a goal to reach readers wherever they may be with the stories we have to share,” said Angus Yuen-Killick, Red Comet Press’ Founder & Publisher. “The library and school market is a key foundation of our business and digital delivery to patrons helps meet the needs of readers on all platforms. We are delighted with our partnership with Comics Plus and to serve patrons eager to read our books.”
Founded in 2019, FairSquare Comics is the first family, immigrant and minority-owned publisher of comic books and graphic novels in America, with a mission to promote and give more exposure to immigrant, minority, LGBTQ+, and other under-represented creators of the world: “Comics from the rest of us.” FairSquare Comics has titles for every audience, age or ethnic group, including Noir Is the New Black, Intertwined, Breath of the Giant, No Kidding, A Boy Named Rose, Beyondtopia Legends, and Watson & Holmes.
“Generally speaking, we’re not fond of digital comics,” said Fabrice Sapolsky, FairSquare Comics’ CEO & Founder. “We believe comics and graphic novels are a sensory experience. But the Comics Plus system is different and virtuous. Now, library readers will get a unique opportunity to read powerful stories from the amazing creators we’re working with. It’s the dawn of an exciting era.”
Silver Sprocket is an independent publisher championing socially conscious and independently produced comic books, graphic novels, and related arts. Originally a punk music label, Silver Sprocket transitioned to publishing comics in 2016. Since then, they’ve built a home for original, artist-owned work, including Your Black Friend and Other Strangers by Ben Passmore, Catboy by Benji Nate, Golden Record by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, and American Cult edited by Robyn Chapman.
“At Silver Sprocket, we want anyone who might resonate with one of our comics to be able to read it,” said Avi Ehrlich, Silver Sprocket’s Publisher. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with LibraryPass and Comics Plus to make our line of engaging and impactful comics even more accessible to students and educators.”
Launched in 2012, Avery Hill is a renowned, award-winning UK-based publisher of adult fiction and nonfiction graphic novels, championing up-and-coming authors and unique creative voices. Among their key titles are On A Sunbeam by Tillie Walden, The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott by Zoe Thorogood, Pet Peeves by Nicole Goux, Sleeping While Standing by Taki Soma, and 2120 by George Wylesol.
“Schools and libraries are essential in connecting books and readers,” said Ricky Miller, Avery Hill Publishing’s Co-Publisher. “The support for graphic novels in libraries means that more books, and more kinds of books, are available for all readers. As a UK publisher, our connections with libraries in North America are vital for getting our graphic novels to those readers.”