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Publisher Profile: Papercutz / Mad Cave

The CBC asks Spenser Nellis, Marketing Coordinator, and Stephanie Brooks, Associate Editor, questions about the publisher.

How did your publishing house start out?

Papercutz was launched in 2005 from a passion to produce comics and graphic novels both appropriate and exciting for young readers which, at the time, was lacking in the industry. In 2022, Mad Cave Studios acquired Papercutz with the goal of continuing its noble mission of providing young readers with imaginative new worlds and wonders to discover within the pages.

What is your publishing house most known for?

Papercutz Graphic Novels, founded by Terry Nantier & Jim Salicrup, is known as one of the first graphic novel publishers dedicated exclusively to middle-grade titles. We’re known for our exciting slate of great graphic novels for all ages, from the kid who’s picking up their first graphic novel to the kid at heart. From licensed favorites like The Smurfs and The Loud House to creative, original properties like The Queen’s Favorite Witch and Fuzzy Baseball, from sci-fi to non-fiction, we pride ourselves in having a title for every reader in our lives.

Where in the country is your house based? What do you love about being based there?

Papercutz is based in Miami, Florida. We love being here for a number of reasons, including the fact that Miami is home to one of the largest literary events in the country. It is an international hub filled with creators from across the globe, the weather is gorgeous, and the community of local librarians, bookstores, and inspired readers is simply amazing.

Has your house ever gone through a merger? If so, with who and when?

We just went through an acquisition last year. As of last Fall, Papercutz is now an imprint of Mad Cave Studios, based in Miami, FL. Despite the changes, we’re still the same Papercutz you know and love, and still dedicated to publishing both original and licensed graphic novels for all ages!

What conventions and conferences does your publishing house usually attend?

You can find us at a mix of trade and commercial shows, including but not limited to NCTE, Bologna Book Fair, NSTE, Los Angeles Times Book Festival, Megacon, Emerald City Comic Con, NSTA, TLA Annual, San Diego Comic-Con, ALA Annual, Brooklyn Book Festival, New York Comic-Con, Baltimore Comic-Con, Miami Book Fair, and more!

How many books does your house aim to publish per season/year?

We plan on publishing roughly 150 different titles this year. Some licensed, some creator-owned, and some Mad Cave originals as well.

Which formats does your house prefer to publish?

Papercutz traditionally publishes graphic novels. However, we have acquired some interesting titles with experimental new formats that should be released in the Spring of 2024. Stay tuned for more information soon!

Which title has your house recently rallied behind?

The Loud House has been a huge success for Papercutz. Thank you to everyone involved who has made it possible.

Which title does your house feel deserved more love than it got?

The Gillbert series by Art Baltazar comes to mind. He is an absolute all-star and everything he touches is full of heart and the sincerity leaps off the page. 

Which upcoming titles is your house buzzing about? 

Actually, it’s a book by the aforementioned Art Baltazar. His new series, YAHGZ: The Craynobi Tales, is coming out this August and it’s a blast! Art’s such a great cartoonist and a hilarious guy with such a long career, and YAHGZ is actually one of the very first comics he ever made!

It’s exciting to have the chance to bring back this remastered classic. This book is a perfect example of what happens when Art gets to do what he does best. YAHGZ follows Craybi Craynobi and his people called Crays as they go on wild adventures to save their neighbors, the Yahgeez, and their city YAHGZ. It’s got swords, monsters, giant green gorillas, and tons of laughs. It’s the perfect graphic novel AW YEAH!

Which of your frontlist titles would be great for a school or public library?

The Magical History Tour series has been really exciting for us to get into schools and libraries. They’re little pocket-sized adventures (5 inches by 6.5 inches) that follow two siblings, Annie and Nico, as they learn about various historical topics. Each volume is self-contained and focuses on a different topic, from The Great Wall of China to The Great Pyramids, to most recently about the whole history of Plagues and Pandemics, which has been a very popular volume lately. They’re quick, fun, and help kids learn without feeling like homework, while also being rigorously fact checked and a great source of info for any young historian! 

Which of your frontlist titles would be great for a classroom? Which grade?

I would say Geronimo Stilton and Magical History Tour are great picks! From readers as young as eight, both titles offer lots of fun ways to learn about a variety of topics.

Which of your frontlist tiles would be great for an at-home library?

We have the honor of re-publishing the entire classic Asterix series in gorgeous hardcover Omnibus editions. Perfect for your collections at home. Each Omnibus collects three classic Asterix adventures featuring the entire village of Gaulish warriors and the hijinx they get into.  We’ve gone back to the original French and re-translated it for a modern audience while also retaining what made the series a classic. We also addressed elements that have not aged well such as the racial depictions by providing historical contextual articles in each volume. We’ve got Asterix Omnibus #10 arriving this September, with more next year to collect the entire series in Omnibus form. With the new Omnibus and Asterix Volume #40 on the horizon, it’s a great time to be an Asterix fan.

Name a few of your favorite backlist titles that people should check out.

Stephanie Brooks, Papercutz Assistant Editor: Some of my favorite Papercutz projects are Stitched, by Mariah McCourt and Aaron Alexovich, and The Wendy Project, by Melissa Jane Osborne and Veronica Fish. As the editor for The Loud House, I am also particularly fond of those books. But there are so many to read and love at Papercutz and Mad Cave – like The Last Session and Needle & Thread that it can be hard to decide!
Spenser Nellis, Papercutz Marketing Coordinator: I’m a big fan of Attack of the Stuff by Jim Benton, released in 2020. Jim’s another hilarious cartoonist whose work I’ve loved for years, starting with his book It’s Happy Bunny. Attack of the Stuff follows Bill Waddler, a down-on-his-luck duck who’s got the unfortunate ‘gift” of being able to hear inanimate objects talk, and they’ve got a lot to say and most of it isn’t nice. It’s hilarious, surreal, and heartfelt, all in Jim’s signature style.

What else would you like to tell us about your house and the amazing work you all do?

Mad Cave Studios, Maverick, and Papercutz together have the privilege of being able to cover almost every age range, genre, and format for our audiences’ tastes and preferences. From adult thrillers like Nottingham at Mad Cave, to YA journeys of self-discovery like Maverick’s Paper Planes, and even joyous adventures like the upcoming Yahgz: The Craynobi Tales, we’re excited to give our audience what they crave and foster the medium for generations to come.

Thank you, Papercutz / Mad Cave!

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