March 19, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite is honored to publish the first ever Sweet Valley High original graphic novel in Francine Pascal's juggernaut all-ages soap opera franchise.
The $14.99 136-page Academic All-Star? reinvents the nostalgic saga of the Wakefield twins for a new era of readers, while paying tribute to the originals that captivated so many. Rising star writer Katy Rex (Charmed Magic School, Jade Protection Services) enrolls in Sweet Valley with artist Devaki Neogi (The Skeptics, Curb Stomp) and colorist Pippa Mather (Charmed Magic School).
Sweet Valley High debuted in 1983 from writer Francine Pascal and evolved into an incomparable success. The core series of novels has 181 installments and counting spinoffs adds up to over 400 books - amounting to hundreds of millions of copies. Fans will also remember the TV show from the 1990s which ran for four seasons starring Brittany and Cynthia Daniel.
The usually impulsive and rash Jessica develops a crush on her new Shakespeare teacher, motivating her to model herself on her regimented and sincere sister Elizabeth. Will people start mixing the two girls up? Will Jess fall back on her ways only for Liz to straighten everything out?
For writer Katy Rex, Sweet Valley High is a lifelong love, “I have been an absolute bookworm my whole life and I transitioned from Sweet Valley Twins to Sweet Valley High, and in a lot of ways I grew up alongside Jessica and Elizabeth. They’re timeless characters, so much so that it's practically intuitive to see how they would feel and act in any era. My lifelong experience with the books really allowed me to nail the voices and the feeling of the series. This is absolutely classic Sweet Valley and it's equally absolutely 2019.”
“Sweet Valley High is a book I read as a teenager and to actually be on art duty in the translation to the graphic medium is a dream to me!,” said artist Devaki Neogi. “I have spent the large part of a year on this book and the entire team of Katy, Pippa, Cathy and Joe (Rybandt – editor) have been fantastic to work with.
“Sweet Valley High is such a prolific hallmark of young readers fiction and we are proud to be bringing it to graphic novels for the first time,” said Nick Barrucci, Dynamite Publisher/CEO. “Francine Pascal has been a joy to collaborate with and we’re lucky to have such a passionate writer like Katy. Sweet Valley Fans of all ages will love this book!”
Sweet Valley High: Academic All-Star? will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors’ March 2019 Previews catalog, the premier source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, and slated for release in May 2019. Comic book fans are encouraged to preorder copies with their local comic book retailers. It will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Kindle, iBooks, Google Play, Dynamite Digital, ComicsPlus, and more!
About Dynamite Entertainment
Dynamite was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Red Sonja, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more. Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt. In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high-profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, Neil Gaiman, Andy Diggle, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, Gail Simone, Steve Niles, James Robinson, and a host of up-and-coming new talent. Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles - including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger's Project Superpowers - have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011. The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.