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New Member: Andrews McMeel Publishing

The innovative publisher joined the CBC recently! Learn more about this Midwest member, including a favorite quote from Calvin and Hobbes below.

What’s your organization’s origin story? 

AMP Kids is one part of Andrews McMeel Publishing, which, in turn, is a part of Andrews McMeel Universal, a multimedia company that’s become a home to progressive voices (including Rupi Kaur, Sarah Andersen, and many other pioneering creators) without ever losing touch with the classic comic strips (such as Calvin and Hobbes) at the heart of our 50-year history.

Comics were the cornerstone for AMP Kids, which launched as “AMP! Comics for Kids” with the release of our first Big Nate collection in 2010. Turns out, there’s a lot for kids to love in the funny papers, leading to other syndication-to-shelf series like Phoebe and Her UnicornPeanutsWallace the Brave, and Breaking Cat News. Since then, we’ve continued to find new ways of nurturing a love of reading in every format, including full-length novels, illustrated chapter books, biographical collections, and, most recently, interactive fiction.

Phoebe and her Unicorn by Dana Simpson

Over those 50 years, AMP has really championed their comic artists. Will you tell us more about that philosophy?

“Creator first” is our motto. We respect each creator’s unique vision and serve as a thoughtful, trusted guide and champion of the work through every stage of the editorial, marketing, and distribution process. As a result, we’ve built long-lasting relationships measured not in terms of weeks or years, but in terms of decades, especially with many of the comic artists whose work we represent in both syndication and book publishing. These enduring bonds are at the core of our mutual success.

What is your favorite line from Calvin and Hobbes?

We love the line “It’s a magical world.”  This encapsulates the wonderful environment readers discover in Watterson’s work and provides a charmed lens through which kids can view their own day-to-day adventures.

Big Nate by Lincoln Pierce

AMP collaborates with CBC Member, Epic! Can you talk a little more about that program?

Yes! Having hosted our titles on their digital platform, we already enjoyed a close working relationship with Epic! in 2019 when we teamed up to bring their line of Epic! Originals to print for the first time. These vibrant, engaging illustrated novels and board books are directly inspired by fusions of things kids love, and so aligned perfectly with our guiding philosophy of matching readers to books based on their interests. By bringing these stories—already beloved by students on the platform—to bookstores and library shelves, we were thrilled to help make them accessible to kids who, for whatever reason, might not be able to enjoy them on the app. The first five series launched in Fall 2019, with new installments publishing seasonally.

Who is the ideal reader of an AMP Kids book?

Anyone, and that’s the beauty of it! “New Roads to Reading” has become an unofficial tagline in our outreach efforts to librarians, caregivers, and educators. We believe there is a book out there for every reader, and by creating especially engaging and accessible comics and illustrated novels, we hope to help kids find their match. 

Thank you Andrews McMeel Publishing. We are thrilled to welcome you to the CBC!

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