This is an interesting one. Random House Graphic Senior Editor Whitney Leopard, who has been featured many times on Bleeding Cool has now sold her own graphic novel to a rival publisher with artist Connie Hernandez.
Fitting In is the debut middle grade graphic novel by the pair and story follows half-Filipina seventh-grader Naomi, whose favorite class used to be gym—that is, until the annual physical fitness text, when she realizes she is the fat kid and the resulting anxiety changes everything. Picked up by Marisa DiNovis at Knopf, in a preemptive purchase, publication of Fitting In is planned for the autumn of 2024.
Previously Leopard had tweeted "A while ago @CO32minus and I teased about a graphic novel pitch that we've been working on and now we want to introduce you to the main cast of kids from Pecan Middle School: Naomi, Sam, Taylor, and Bethany!"
And Connie Hernandez posted "Long time no see guys! I'm excited to announce that the wonderful @WhitLeopard and I have been working on an #OGN pitch about being the fat kid in middle school. I'm very fortunate to work on this project as one of my firsts – there's a lot of love in it already." Connie is a comic book artist from Chicago. "Drawing from identity, his work often features fat, gay, trans, and Filipino characters. Working in a variety of audiences and genres (middle grade fiction to adult, realistic fiction to horror), all of his work centers the specificity of human experience and finding resolution to conflict through love. It is about appreciating the people we know and the places we inhabit. It is about finding joy and freedom in the few precious moments we share together."
Book agent Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary negotiated the two-book deal for world English rights on behalf of Whitney Leopard and Connie Hernandez.