Rainbow Rowell's Blog
March 9, 2018
Heyyyy, so, maybe you’ve been curious about that comic book I’ve been writing, but you weren’t ready to make the leap to comics…
GOOD NEWS! The first six issues will be collected into a paperback book.
EVEN BETTER NEWS! You'll have your choice of two beautiful editions.
Most bookstores and comic shops will have this beauty, with a cover by series artist (and my treasured collaborator) Kris Anka.
It's packed with extras, including my initial pitch to bring back Runaways, and all the variant covers. (By Kevin Wada, Adrian Alphona, Skottie Young...)
You can order this edition from any book or comic shop. (Try your local comic shop! They get the book TWO WEEKS EARLY -- April 18th. Other stores will have it May 1st.)
If you'd like a signed copy, you can order through my hometown indie bookstore, The Bookworm in Omaha, Neb. I’ll sign and personalize your Runaways, as well as any other of my books that you order at that time. Preorder here.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE. Barnes & Noble is offering this exclusive special edition, with a different, equally great Kris Anka cover. It's got all the above extras, plus Kris's style guides for each issue (I live for these every month), my original script for Issue 1, and a special introduction written by me. Pre-order here.
Something that's really special/unusual about this story arc: We have the same team working on every issue -- me, Kris, Matt Wilson on color, and Joe Caramagna on letters.
If you have any questions, hit me up on Twitter.
If you'd like to know more about Runaways, start here.
February 10, 2018
Last night I realized that I've got a lot of STUFF happening or about to happen. I try to keep interested parties posted on social media -- but maybe it would be helpful to put everything all in one place...
So here's everything I've got cooking and coming, including books, merch and -- I swear! -- a novel:
RUNAWAYS -- I've been writing a monthly comic book for Marvel, and I'm loving it. Our sixth book came out this week, the end of the first story arc, and you can now order a paperback collection of all six issues from any comic or book shop. (Amazon, Powell's, Barnes & Noble)
Yes! These are the same characters that are on the Hulu show, though I'm writing them when they're a little older.
If you've never read comics, but you like my books -- you might want to give this collection a try. It's got teenagers, broken hearts, jokes, a dinosaur... Basically, it's a lot like one of my books but with beautiful artwork by Kris Anka and Matt Wilson.
For people who are reading the comic each month -- thank you. Your support gave us the chance to do at least six more issues after this arc. That's a whole year of Runaways!
PUMPKINHEADS -- I'm collaborating with artist Faith Erin Hicks on a graphic novel about two best friends who work at an over-the-top pumpkin patch. I think it's the rompiest thing I've ever written. And Faith has captured the spirit of the story perfectly. This is coming out Fall 2019 from First Second Books.
ALMOST MIDNIGHT -- My UK publisher put together this truly lovely short story collection. Both short stories -- Kindred Spirits and Midnights -- have been published before. But here they're illustrated by Simini Blocker, one of my favorite artists and people.
And the book itself is so pretty. It's smallish and covered in a glittery cloth (at least in its first print run). The book can be found in bookshops in the UK, Ireland and Australia. And the Philippines has its own paperback edition.
But you can also order it really affordably on Book Depository. They offer free shipping to the U.S.
KINDRED SPIRITS and THE ACLU -- If you're in the U.S., you can order this short story about Star Wars fans in ebook form (wherever you buy ebooks), and all of the proceeds will go to the ACLU Foundation.
MERCH -- I have two new T-shirts coming to the DFTBA store! (By two wonderful artists.) I can show them to you on Valentine's Day. I've had a really good experience with DFTBA: They're easy to work with, they ship worldwide. It's the only place you can buy legal merch for my books. I split profits evenly with the artists.
SECRET PROJECT -- I'm running out of secrets -- down to just one secret project that I can't talk about! But I am hoping against hope that this news breaks by summer.
NOVEL -- I am writing a YA novel, I promise I've got 50,000 words and a title and a playlist! I kind of crashed writing my last book, and for a while, I wasn't sure I wanted to do it again. (Even though that book -- Carry On -- is my favorite of my books.) Working on these other projects helped me catch my breath and remember that I really love writing.
I hope that when this book comes out, a few of you will still remember me.
February 8, 2018
Faith Erin Hicks just finished the final character designs for the graphic novel we're working on together -- and I LOVE them.
Meet JOSIAH and DEJA, two best friends who work at the greatest pumpkin patch in the world.
Pumpkinheads comes out Fall 2019!
January 13, 2018
Hey, so, maybe you’ve been curious about that comic book I’ve been writing, but you weren’t ready to make the leap to comics…
GOOD NEWS! The first six issues will be collected into a paperback book. You can preorder it now at any sort of bookstore or comic shop.
The book is a continuation of an existing Marvel comic. (My favorite!) But you don’t have to read the old comic to understand the story that artist Kris Anka and I are telling. Basically, if you like my YA books, there’s a really good chance you’d like RUNAWAYS.
If you like teens who talk a lot and feel a lot and make a lot of mistakes… IT’S THE COMIC FOR YOU.
Also, the first six issues tell a complete story arc. So this paperback collection is a nice way to catch up or dive in.WOULD YOU LIKE A SIGNED COPY?
Order from my local indie – The Bookworm in Omaha – and I’ll sign and personalize your copy, as well as any other of my books that you order at that time. Preorder here.
October 9, 2017
Just got home from New York Comic Con, where I finally got to announce the title of the graphic novel I'm working on with Faith Erin Hicks! It's...PUMPKINHEADS
I'm (obviously) very emotionally attached to autumn. I set books in October whenever I can. For the last five years or so, I've been wanting to write a book where fall is a big part of the story. I specifically wanted to write a story that takes place in a pumpkin patch.
In Nebraska, where I live, pumpkin patches aren't just fields. They're more like theme parks or months-long harvest festivals.
When our publisher, First Second Books, gave me the opportunity to work with Faith, I knew it was time break out my pumpkin patch idea. Faith is an award-winning Canadian comics author and artist. Though she's never BEEN to a pumpkin patch (this will change in two weeks) -- she excels at writing graphic novels with a rich sense of place. I very much recommend her middle grade series, The Nameless City.
Faith and I are both drawn to character-driven stories, and to stories about friendship. Which brings me to these two ...
Josiah and Deja, BFFO (Best Friends For October)
Pumpkinheads tells the story of Deja and Josiah, two high school seniors working their last shift at the local pumpkin patch-alooza. Josiah is in mourning. He's not ready to let go of the patch. It's not just a job for him; it's his favorite place in the world!
But Deja doesn't want to spend their last shift moping. She has plans. First: to try all their favorite fall-themed snacks (pie! s'mores! kettle corn!) one last time -- and second: to help Josiah finally take a big risk.
Pumpkinheads is a book about fall and friendship and saying good-bye. About puns and pumpkin spice. And about taking a moment, while everything around you changes, to appreciate something wonderful.
It wasn't really intentional, but I think this is my most all-ages book. It's about high school seniors, but there isn't cursing or adult themes. As I was writing, I wanted it to feel kind of like The Parent Trap. Like a big fun Disney movie that an adult could really enjoy, but that would work in middle school, too.
Graphic novels take some time to make great. I'm done with the Pumpkinheads script. The art comes next. Right now, the book is set to hit shelves in Fall 2019.
August 8, 2017
I'm very happy to share more details about Almost Midnight, a book that collects "Midnights" and "Kindred Spirits," with illustrations by my friend Simini Blocker.
Both these stories have been published elsewhere, but this is a very beautiful gift edition with a sparkling cloth cover and black-and-white illustrations throughout. (It's really properly illustrated.) We went with this title because, coincidentally, both stories count down to midnight.
Almost Midnight comes out Nov. 2, 2017. If you're in the UK or Australia, you can order from your favorite bookshop!
You can also preorder the book from all over the world. (Book Depository is a pretty good choice.) My editor has told me that only the first printing will have the sparkly cover. So if that's a selling point for you, definitely preorder.
Now for the really good stuff! I've gotten permission to share some of Simini's illustrations. I met Simini online in 2013, when Eleanor & Park came out. (Simini's E&P fan art is lovely.) We became friends, and I even named a character in "Midnights" after her. Which makes this book especially dear to me -- to have her illustrate her own namesake!
I've loved watching Simini's illustrations take shape. She always shows such a rich understanding of the characters. Here are Noel and Mags from "Midnights"--
And here's Elena (also named after a friend, my assistant Elena Yip) and Gabe at the movie theater in "Kindred Spirits"--
The book features Simini's illustration throughout. Some of my favorite details are in the smaller illustrations, like on these pages from "Midnights"--
I think the book is going to be really lovely, and I'm so grateful to my editor, Rachel Petty at Macmillan Children's Books in London, and to book designer Tracey Ridgewell for working to make it happen.
July 24, 2017
A number of readers have told me they plan on diving into comics for the very first time to read the new Runaways series I'm writing for Marvel.
THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY. First, because I’m grateful that people want to read the things I write. And second, because COMICS ARE GREAT, AND I WANT YOU TO HAVE GREAT THINGS.
But I'm also hearing from a lot of you that you don't know where to start..."I can't wait to read your new comic book! How does one... acquire such a thing?"
THIS IS NOT A STUPID QUESTION. Comics can be really confusing and intimidating. (Even for people who have been reading comics for 30 years and now work in comics.)
The goal of this post is to make it REALLY EASY for you to find and read Runaways. I don't want you to have any Cath-avoiding-the-dining-hall feelings. (And I also don't want the book to get canceled before all the characters get their big-kiss moments.)So let’s start with some comic book basics...
I've been asked if I’m writing a novel about Marvel’s Runaways. Nope, this is a monthly comic book. I’m the writer, and Kris Anka is the artist. It kicks off in September.
A comic book works sort of like a TV show. Companies like Marvel commit to a certain number of monthly issues. And if the series sells well, they keep making them. Like TV shows, comics get canceled if numbers are low, sometimes before they’ve found their audience.
Comics read like a TV show, too – long story arcs told over multiple issues. It’s an exciting way to read: lots of cliffhangers, lots of looking forward to the next installment. When a comic book plot pays off after six months, it’s deeply satisfying."Do I need to learn 500 years of Marvel history to understand it?"
Heck no. If you’re not a regular comics reader, I think Runaways could be a really good first book for you. I’m writing it so that it’s welcoming for new readers. And Runaways has always operated sort of independent of the larger Marvel Universe, so you don’t really have to know the lay of the land. Plus, it’s a relatively young series. You could read the original run over one (great!) weekend if you felt like it. (More on that here.)"Yes, but how do I actually purchase this comic book?"
You actually have a few options here …
1. Pre-order from your local comic book store.
This helps the series the most. It lets comic stores know the book is in demand, so they can order more copies -- which keeps a book from being cancelled. You can even set up a “pull file,” which is like an in-store subscription. You can do this right now! Pre-orders can make or break a comic book before it even hits shelves. (Here's a Vox story that breaks this down more dramatically.) Don't know your local comic book store? Check this international locator.
3. Through the mail.
Marvel still sells monthly comics subscriptions! This is a good option if you don’t have a comic book store near you, you hate leaving the house, or you love getting mail. (Or all three!) (It will not surprise you to hear that I used to buy my comics this way.) Subscribe to Runaways here.
4. Wait for the trade paperback.
Comic books are collected in five- or six-issue collections that are sold wherever books are sold. I read l a lot of comics like this. The downside of this option is that a title can be canceled while you wait for the trade. It’s kind of like expressing support after the fact. THAT SAID, this is a fun way to read comics; it’s how comics get into libraries; and I’ll take your eyeballs anyway I can get them.
June 29, 2017
I finally get to tell everyone one of the secret projects I’ve been working on for the last six months…
I AM THE WRITER OF MARVEL’S NEW MONTHLY RUNAWAYS COMIC.
The book hits stores in September with art by Kris Anka and color by Matt Wilson.
I’m so excited and happy to be working on this book, and I’m especially excited for more people to discover the characters. If you like reading my books – character-driven stories about people who mess up and talk too much and eventually kiss – I think you’re going to love Runaways.
The series was created by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Adrian Alphona in 2003. Maybe you’ve heard of Saga? Or Paper Girls? Those are also Brian K. Vaughan books. He’s one of my favorite writers in any genre.
Runaways follows six teenagers who find out their parents are in a secret supervillain club called The Pride. Their parents are out to annihilate humanity in exchange for eternal life.
Our main characters obviously can’t let that happen! They … well, they run away. They betray their parents and save the world. They also bicker and kiss and banter. And they make a hundred stupid mistakes.
I was reading a ton of Marvel comics in the early 2000s, but Runaways was the one that I spent all month waiting for. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was the sort of story that I wanted to write for myself.
The series was canceled in 2009, but I always felt like there were so many more stories to tell about the characters. For me, they’re Marvel classics.
So … when a Marvel editor reached out to see if I’d be interested in writing comics, my first thought was bringing back Runaways.
I was really surprised that he was open to the idea.
That editor, Nick Lowe, and I have been talking about how to bring the team back for three years now. (While I finished Landline, Carry On, “Kindred Spirits” and my graphic novel with Faith Erin Hicks.)
By the time I was ready to roll (or run) (haha), Marvel was announcing a Runaways TV series with Hulu, which felt like serendipity.
The last few months have been so much fun – digging into the characters and then working on their evolution with Kris Anka. Kris is also a Runaways fan, so all his designs come out of a deep knowledge and love for the characters.
I should say that the comic series will be totally different from the TV series. I didn’t have any details about the show when I was writing. I think the TV show is more of an origin story – with somewhat different characters.
Our series will pick up inside Marvel comics continuity, where the characters have been scattered to the four winds and occasionally crushed. (When you talk about the Runaways, there’s a lot of, “Is s/he dead? Hmm. What degree of dead?”)
The first six-issue arc will be a getting-the-band-back-together story. These are a bunch of kids who never really chose to be a superteam; they just ended up in the same boat. In the new run, we’re going to let them choose: Do they want to be Runaways? What does that even mean?
The most common question I’ve gotten on Twitter is, “Will the series be friendly to new readers?”
YES. IT WILL ABSOLUTELY BE FRIENDLY TO NEW READERS.
My goal is to write it the way I did Carry On, where it’s clear that the characters have been together for a while, but you the reader are just meeting them.
THAT SAID, RUNAWAYS IS ONE OF THE BEST COMICS EVER, AND YOU MIGHT LOVE THE ORIGINAL RUN.
Even before I took this job, I suggested Runaways to anyone who thinking about reading comics.
If you want to catch up before September, I recommend reading the Vaughan/Alphona run – basically the first 42 issues.
They’re on Kindle, Comixology, Marvel Unlimited… They’re collected in hardcover and paperback books, which you can find new and used. And MANY libraries carry them.
If you’re reading print collections, you can start with this edition:
Or this smaller, digest-sized collection:
If you have any questions about Runaways, you can hit me up on Twitter. You can also follow Kris on Twitter and maybe see some of his artwork as it’s happening.
I’ll be back soon with another post about how to get your hands on the new series in September!
May 3, 2017
GOOD NEWS: My short story "Kindred Spirits" is finally available in the U.S.!
My agent, Christopher Schelling, and I are publishing "Kindred Spirits" as an ebook and donating all proceeds to the ACLU Foundation. ALL OUR PROCEEDS. ALL OF THEM.
Online bookstores take a cut of sales, but we'll donate everything else to the ACLU to support its ever-more-important work defending the rights guaranteed to all Americans by our Constitution.
You can buy it on Nook.
"Kindred Spirits" was originally written for World Book Day in the United Kingdom. Here's a description of the story:
A short story about waiting and believing -- but mostly waiting -- by the New York Times bestselling author of Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Carry On.
When Elena decided to camp out for the next Star Wars movie, she was expecting a celebration, a communion -- a line full of people who love Star Wars so much, they have to share it.
She wasn't expecting this: a freezing sidewalk, nowhere to pee, and three nights stuck with a boy who decided not to like her before they even met.
It's enough to make a girl leave the line...
But Elena came here for Star Wars, and it will take more than bad weather and a dumb boy to squash her spirits.
April 12, 2017
I'm working with the Bookworm, my local indie bookstore, to offer signed and personalized copies of the new Carry On paperback -- this one with the gorgeous cover illustration by Kevin Wada:
You can order your copy right here on the Bookworm's website. If you'd like to order any of my other books or editions at the same time, I'm happy to sign and personalize them all at once.
The Bookworm WILL ship internationally, but it can be expensive. Ask first about shipping to your country (email@example.com).
This is important: When you check out, please leave all personalization instructions in the "order comments" field, which looks like this:
Please make sure to tell me who the book is for!
Signed books are always available at the Bookworm. What's special about this, is that I'm offering personalization, too.
I'll probably stop by the store a few days before the book is released (May 9), so that they can ship orders out as soon as possible.
I can't wait for everyone to see this book in person. The design by Olga Grlic and Anna Gorovoy is really breathtaking.