Papercutz publishes hilarious, adventurous, monster-smashing, bronco-busting graphic novels for kids of all ages!
In the yesteryear of 2005, literary graphic novel publisher Terry Nantier had an idea for a children’s graphic novel publisher simply because there weren’t any at the time. Although it’s a surprise to some, comics have evolved over the last 20 years to become almost entirely for adults, and Terry realized that kids today were missing out on the fun of reading comics that most of us got to enjoy when we were growing up.
He asked Jim Salicrup, who helped create the first early-reader comics for Marvel in the early 1980s, to team up with him, and Papercutz was born. They published only two series at first, both mysteries: Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys.
They’ve since added dozens of new books and more come every publishing season. Jim still edits the entire line, but it has grown a lot in the past seven years. Now they have books about fairies, mermaids, ballerinas, Smurfs, time-traveling mice, ninjas, superheroes, and donkeys struggling with their homework!
Papercutz Dance Class Series
Dance Class is an ongoing graphic novel series all about the struggles, mishaps, thrills, and hilarious moments in the lives of three best friends trying to improve their dance skills.
Julie, Alia, and Lucy are all great dancers looking for new challenges, so each volume of the series introduces them to a new style: African Folk, Hip-Hop, you name it! They still have to live their regular lives, too, so finding time to get better isn’t always easy, but they’re working hard to make it to the national competition.
Papercutz editor-in-chief, Jim Salicrup has spent some time in a dance studio. “For years I’ve told friends that dancing is like a form of therapy for me. Because dancing doesn’t come very easy to me, each lesson requires a tremendous amount of focus and concentration. By the end of the class it’s as if I’d been transported to another world, and when the music stops I return to reality, but refreshed and relaxed, as if I had just taken a short vacation.” He finds dance fulfilling perhaps because, full of music and movement, it’s the opposite of his work in comics.
Dance Class writers, Bertrand Escaich and Caroline Rogue, who write under the pseudonymn Béka, also have a history with dance. “We have always been fond of dance shows and ballroom dancing,” they insist. “We practiced African dance for several years, as well as rock, salsa, and lindy-hop. We sometimes dance when we are thinking over our scripts for Dance Class.”
It is not always easy to make jokes or gags about dance. “Ballet is an earnest, strict, and somewhat austere exercise,” explains the team. “But we always manage to find the humorous touch.” Gags don’t always take place during a class or a performance. The writers deal with the girls’ everyday life: school, family, boyfriends, and holidays. “But Julie, Alia, and Lucie are dance addicts, so they keep thinking about dance, whatever the circumstances.”
Illustrator, Crip, on the other hand didn’t know a lot about dance prior to Dance Class. “Obviously, that changed when I started work on the series. Now I do watch ballet and modern dance on TV.” Crip does quite a lot of research in order to comfortably draw the girls dancing. “The biggest task is to make sure their positions are accurate and that they look elegant doing them.”
More adventures await the Dance Class characters. The brand new Vol. 4 is set in Paris. In Vol. 5, “To Russia With Love” (on sale July 2013), they fly to St Petersburg, a legendary city for ballet dancing. In Vol. 7 they go to London for a Christmas ballet, and I’m told a possible New York City experience may be on the horizon.
The three books, “So You Think You Can Hip-Hop,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and “African Folk Dance Fever” are beautifully produced, with sewn hardcovers that will last forever.
How to enter the giveaway:
ONE: Sign-in to the form below.
TWO: Leave a comment responding to the following:
What style of dance would you most like to see in an upcoming volume of “Dance Class”?
Commenting is the only mandatory task for entering!
THREE: Go back to the form and click that you Did It!
That’s it! Easy as 1-2-3!
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.