Magical Boy, the Studio Tapas Original webcomic created by illustrator and comic artist The Kao, will be published in a young adult graphic novel format by Scholastic. The worldwide deal grants Scholastic the rights to produce a wide range of all language formats, including novels, eBooks, and audiobooks. Set to publish in fall 2021, the graphic novel will compile the 30-episode series into print format for the first time.
Debra Dorfman, Vice President and Publisher, Global Licensing, Brands and Media at Scholastic, said: "We are profoundly excited to work with Tapas and comic creator The Kao to publish Magical Boy. In the tradition of Sailor Moon, our protagonist, Max, a transgender high school student, is joining his mom and a long line of Magical Girl descendants to save the world, but as a Magical Boy! Hysterical and heartwarming only begins to describe this story. We hope it's the first of many graphic novels for Max."
With over four million views online, The Kao's energetic and joyful story has captured Tapas readers' hearts and is sure to take the young adult and graphic novel audiences by storm. A heartfelt and hilarious riff on the classic magical girl genre, Magical Boy, follows Max, a trans man just trying to get through high school as his true self. But on top of classes, crushes, and coming out, Max's life is turned upside down when he discovers that he is descended from a long line of Magical Girls tasked with defending humanity from a dark, ancient evil. Max must take on his destiny with a sassy feline sidekick and a loyal group of friends by his side, save the world, and become the first Magical Boy.
"I am absolutely thrilled and honored to have Magical Boy be part of the Scholastic library and so thankful to Tapas for continuing to find ways to share my story," said creator The Kao. "As someone who spent my childhood reading Scholastic books, this is truly a dream come true. I can't wait for readers everywhere to meet Max and join him on his journey of self-acceptance and magical misadventures. I hope Magical Boy will capture the hearts and imaginations of readers the same way that I was inspired by Scholastic stories when I was a younger reader."
The Kao is Vincent Kao, an illustrator and comic artist known for his slice-of-life web series, Mondo Mango, and the Prism Award-winning webcomic, Magical Boy — both original series available at Tapas. Vincent graduated from Columbia College in Chicago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. He started his career through a series of comic strips surrounding his daily life and since then has freelanced, self-published, as well as collaborated in a few crowdfunded comic anthologies, all under "The Kao" name. To this day, he continues to work on his illustrations and comics in hopes to inspire and bring joy to everyone around him. His official website is The Kao. Liz Parker at Verve Talent & Literary brokered the deal with Scholastic on behalf of Tapas Media.
"We are all better for having grown up with Scholastic—and it's wonderful to see Scholastic continue to grow alongside all of us, embracing stories like Magical Boy that highlight heroes we don't see often enough and creators with unique visions like The Kao," says Corey Sienega, Tapas Head of Business Development. "The whole team at Tapas is thrilled for more readers to be invited into the world of Magical Boy, and we couldn't be more proud for The Kao's incredible creation to have found a home with the amazing team at Scholastic."