The esteemed publisher of American Born ChineseLaikaFriends with BoysBoxers and Saints, Battling Boy, Relish, The Shadow Hero and much, much more First Second Books has revealed its lineup of new graphic novel releases for next spring. In keeping with the publisher's history, the slate covers a wide array of subject matter, from kids' adventure comics to explorations of violence and terrorism in the Middle East.

We're sure we'll be writing more about some of these books and even talking to their creators in the future, but for now you can get a preview of what First Second has in store with some extracts from their spring catalogue below.

  • Anna Banana and the Chocolate Explosion

    WRITTEN BY DOMINIQUE ROQUES; ILLUSTRATED BY ALEXIS DORMAL

    Anna Banana is at it again!

    The lovable tyrant from Sleep Tight, Anna Banana! is up to no good, and so are all of her beloved stuffed animals. In this adorable sequel to the 2014 picture book, Anna Banana and her stuffed pals set out to make a chocolate cake...and end up making a big, big, big mess.

    With all the charm and whimsy that won readers' hearts in the first book of the series, Anna Banana and the Chocolate Explosion will give Anna Banana's fans more of what they love...and win over new readers.

    Dominique Roques has two sons, one of whom likes drawing picture books. Together they have published several books starring Anna Banana. Sleep Tight, Anna Banana! was the first to be translated into English.

    Alexis Dormal makes books with word balloons. He has collaborated with Dominique Roques on the Anna Banana series, the first of which was Sleep Tight, Anna Banana!

     

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  • Dragons Beware!

    WRITTEN BY JORGE AGUIRRE; ILLUSTRATED BY RAFAEL ROSADO

    Watch out, dragons! Claudette the Giant­ Slayer is back, and she's ready for action, in this fast­paced and hilarious follow­up to the hit Giants Beware.

    Scrappy Claudette sets out once again with her pal Marie and her little brother Gaston to right wrongs and fight evil. And this time, it's personal. Claudette is out to get the dragon who ate her father's legs...and his legendary sword. But as usual, nothing is as simple as it seems, and Claudette is going to need Marie and Gaston's help more than ever.

    Funny, fast, high­energy storytelling in an inventive and perilous fantasy landscape makes Dragons Beware! a fantastic follow­up to 2012's middle­grade hit Giants Beware!

    Jorge Aguirre is a Colombian­American from Columbus, Ohio. He’s written for everything from the most popular children’s shows to documentaries about Romanian exorcisms. He lives on the East Coast.

    Born in Puerto Rico and based in Ohio, Rafael Rosado is a veteran of the animation industry. He is currently a storyboard artist for Warner Brothers, Disney, and Cartoon Network.

     

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  • The Royal Cup

    BASTIEN VIVÈS, MICHAËL SANLAVILLE & BALAK

    The plot thickens in the second volume of this Game­of­Thrones­style epic fantasy adventure series!

    Richard Aldana, the mysterious stranger who entered the Games in the first volume of Last Man, continues to defeat all of his competitors, despite his outlandish refusal to use any magic, and to rely solely on martial arts. With young Adrian fighting at his side, he's beginning to look like a likely contender for the Royal Cup.

    But in a breathtaking twist, everything changes: this world is not what you thought it was, and Richard Aldana is certainly not who he claimed.

    With the same fast­paced, action­oriented storytelling and gorgeous art as The Stranger, the second volume

    of the Last Man series changes all the rules, and will leave readers eagerly awaiting book three!

    Bastien Vives studied illustration and animation at the Ecole des Gobelins. After movie­making classes, he dived into comics, and his first title came out in 2007.

    Balak (aka Yves Bigerel) works as a storyboard artist, 2D animator and TV show director in France. He works with Marvel Comics on the new digital Infinite Comics brand, as a storyboard artist (Avengers VS X­men with Mark Waid, Guardians of the Galaxy with Brian M. Bendis, Wolverine: Japan's Most Wanted with Jason Aaron and Jason Latour).

    Michael Sanlaville graduated from the Emile Cohl school, and later the Gobelins, after which he followed twin careers in animation (at the Xilam studio) and in comics with Casterman Publishers.

     

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  • Exquisite Corpse

    PÉNÉLOPE BAGIEU

    From French superstar Pénélope Bagieu— the literary world's sleaziest mystery is about to be blown wide open!

    Zoe isn't exactly the intellectual type, which is why she doesn't recognize world­famous author Thomas

    Rocher when she stumbles into his apartment...and into his life. It's also why she doesn't know that Rocher is supposed to be dead.

    Turns out, Rocher faked his death years ago to escape his critics, and has been making a killing releasing his new work as "lost manuscripts," in cahoots with his editor/ex­ wife Agathe. Neither of them would have invited a crass party girl like Zoe into their literary conspiracy of two, but now that she's there anyway...well, as it turns out, both Thomas and Agathe think Zoe is awfully cute.

    Zoe doesn't know Balzac from Batman, but she's going to have to wise up fast... because she's sitting on the literary scandal of the century!

    Pénélope Bagieu was born in Paris in 1982, to Corsican and Basque parents. She is a bestselling graphic novel author and her editorial illustrations have appeared all over the French media. She blogs, drums in a rock band, and watches lots of nature shows.

     

  • Mike's Place: A True Story of Love, Blues, and Terror in Tel Aviv

    WRITTEN BY JACK BAXTER AND JOSH FAUDEM; ILLUSTRATED BY KOREN SHADMI

    A nonfiction graphic novel about the aftermath of a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv in 2003—from documentary film makers Jack Baxter and Josh Faudem.

    Mike's Place was one of the few spots in Tel Aviv where Jews, Christians, and Muslims could hang out peaceably, surrounded by the expats who filled the bar every night. It was a cosmopolitan haven from the conflict, a local gem that many pointed to as a hopeful sign that peace could come to the Middle East after all. In the spring of 2003, filmmakers Jack Baxter and Josh Faudem had just begun making a documentary about the bar.

    And then the bar was destroyed in a suicide bombing that took three lives and wounded another fifty people—

    an attack that changed Jack and Josh's lives forever.

    With art from Israeli cartoonist Koren Shadmi, Mike's Place is a gripping nonfiction accounting of the lives of a handful of people who came together in hope, then had to find their way together through despair.

    Jack Baxter is a filmmaker and freelance journalist from New York City. He and his wife Fran Strauss­Baxter co­ produced the award­winning film "Blues by the Beach."

    Joshua Faudem is an American­Israeli documentary filmmaker who has made many notable documentaries and television shows in Israel and Europe and is the director of the award­winning documentary "Blues by the Beach."

    Koren Shadmi’s graphic novels have been published in France, Italy, Spain, Israel, and the US. His work was selected for the Best American Comics 2009 anthology edited by Charles Burns and his illustrations have won several awards at the Society of Illustrators.

     

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  • The Divine

    ART BY ASAF HANUKA AND TOMER HANUKA, WRITTEN BY BOAZ LAVIE

    A ripped­from­the­headlines thriller with elements of magical realism from power­ house artists Asaf and Tomer Hanuka.

    Mark's out of the military these days, but you never really get away from war. So it feels inevitable when his old army buddy Jason comes calling, with a lucrative military contract for a mining job in an obscure South­ East Asian country called Quanlom.

    What awaits him in Quanlom is weirdness of the highest order: a civil war led by ten­year­old twins wielding something that looks a lot like magic, leading an army of warriors who look a lot like gods. What awaits him in Quanlom is an actual honest­to­god dragon.

    From world­reknowned artists Asaf and Tomer Hanuka (twins, whose magic powers are strictly confined to pen and paper) and Boaz Lavie, The Divine is a fast­paced, brutal, and breathlessly beautiful portrait of a world where ancient powers vie with modern warfare and nobody escapes unscathed.

    Boaz Lavie is a writer, filmmaker, and game designer residing in Tel Aviv.

    Asaf Hanuka is a comics artist. With his twin brother Tomer he created “Bipolar” comics (2000­2005) and

    his latest book, The Realist (2012), won a Gold Medal from The Society of Illustrators.

    Tomer Hanuka has won multiple gold medals from the Society of Illustrators and the Society of Publication Designers. With his brother Asaf, he also contributed art to the Oscar nominated Waltz with Bashir.

     

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