Ten Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About First Second
So First Second comes to me and says it’s their 10th anniversary. Happy anniversary, sez I. They ask if I want to participate in the celebration by doing so kind of a post. My mind is a bit blank but I give it a think. Then I came up with the idea of the following post. They actually managed to think up ten. No mean feat. As such, I present to you (in the company’s own voice):
TEN THINGS YOU (PROBABLY) DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT FIRST SECOND
for First Second’s 10th Anniversary
- Curious about how a graphic novel imprint gets created? :01 Editorial Director Mark Siegel coincidentally met the publisher of Macmillan (our parent company), John Sargent, at a wedding they were both attending . . . and things took off from there!
- First Second has an imaginary office pet — though unfortunately not a real one (for allergy reasons). It is a cat-shaped pillow, and it comes on the road with us to conventions. Probably we should come up with a name for it!
- How much time does it typically take from when we acquire a graphic novel to when we publish it? On average, about three years — partially because graphic novels take a long time to make; partially because we print our books in China and the production process is pretty extensive, too!
- We (like Macmillan) have a commitment to being green — our sales reps drive hybrid cars, and we print our books on sustainably sourced paper.
- First Second’s longest-running series to date is George O’Connor’s Olympians. We published the first volume (Zeus: King of the Gods) in 2010; the final volume will be on sale in 2020!
- Our list in 2016 will be twenty-four titles — twice the number of graphic novels we published in our first year, 2016. We’re growing!
- Three-quarters of First Second’s staff are women. We don’t have the typical staff gender breakdown for a comic book publisher! We currently have four full-time employees.
- Our Editorial Director, Mark Siegel, grew up in France. So if you’re wondering why First Second publishes so many books in translation — he (and his childhood love of the graphic novel) are the reason!
- Every book in our first list (of six titles!) was published on the same day! Ten years later, we try to space out our publishing program a little more evenly throughout the year.
- First Second’s offices are based in the flatiron building — New York’s iconic wedge-shaped historic building. Fictionally, the flatiron building is also home to Peter Parker’s The Daily Bugle. Unfortunately, we have yet to see his superheroic counterpart swinging by our windows!
Thanks to the folks at :01 for the insider info.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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