Founder of the Glasgow-based comic book publisher BHP Comics, Sha Nazir is set to launch the UK's first dedicated graphic novel rights agency, 9 Panels, which will represent a variety of unsigned graphic novels and comics from UK-based creators.
The new endeavour follows the recent news that Curtis Brown has signed BHP to represent their titles' film and TV rights. The agency's aim is to bring creators to new audiences internationally in print, and expanding into the film and TV market with their titles. BHP Comics's roster includes Judge Dredd creators John Wagner and Alan Grant, Clare Forrest (Mighty Women of Science), Gary Chudleigh and Tanya Roberts (Plagued: The Miranda Chronicles), Frank Quitely (Jupiter's Legacy), and anthologies We Shall Fight Until We Win and Full Colour. They also produce comic events across the country including Glasgow Comic Con, the Edinburgh Comic Art Fair in partnership with Edinburgh International Book Festival.
9 Panels Agency will run independently of BHP, and their launch list includes creative duo writer Fraser Campbell and artist James Corcoran (Alex Automatic), Scottish artist and illustrator Kat Hall (the Paper Moon series), Dan Whitehead – Star Wars and Lord of the Rings – and cartoonist Marc Jackson, who has created comics for the Beano, and is a Bleeding Cool regular.
Sha Nazir says "Comics have come out the shadows of cult fiction and the book sources are now leading the way as mainstream entertainment. We see it as only right to help speed up the growth of the book market to create a platform to promote new, unsigned talents, of which there are hundreds in the UK alone."
9 Panels Agency will be attending New York Comic Con, Frankfurt Book Fair, Angouleme Comic Festival, London Book Fair and the Bologna Children's' Book Fair over the next year.