Book designer Maggie Edkins Willis has sold two middle-grade graphic novels at auction for a six-figure sum to Megan Abbate at Roaring Brook, Smaller Sister and Cheer Up. Roaring Brook Press is part of Holtzbrinck Publishers, distributed by Macmillan, and already has a graphic novel imprint First: Second.
Smaller Sister, scheduled for the spring of 2022 is the story of when Lucy witnesses her big sister's eating disorder and recovery while reckoning with her own body image. Maggie Edkins Willis provided Bleeding Cool with the spreads above and below.
Cheer Up, to be published in the spring of 2024, is the story of when Phoebe reluctantly trades her running shoes for poms when she isn't able to join the track team at her new school. When an accident unmoors her squad, Phoebe battles PTSD and finds there's more to her teammates—and cheerleading—than she anticipated.
Maggie Edkins Willisworked for seven years, in-house at major children's publishers where she designed, art directed, and illustrated dozens of covers. Maggie tweeted out the news earlier this week, saying "I AM SO EXCITED to finally be able to share this major news!! My own graphic novels are on their way into the world and I CAN'T WAIT to share them!! Huge thanks to @megadoooodle, @EditorHsu, @jenrofe, and @SeriousKayla for helping me make this lifelong dream a reality."
Maggie Edkins Willis' agent Jennifer Rofé at the Andrea Brown Literary represented the author for world rights. She tweeted "These GNs by Maggie were such a delightful surprise. When I signed her on, she was working on illustration & pb dummies. Then one day she sent me SMALLER SISTER & it was gobsmacking good & meaningful. Wonderful things are coming to her readers. Congratulations, Maggie!"
Congratulations indeed, and thanks for the spreads!