Francine Pascal’s Elizabeth & Jessica Return In New Stories in May
March 19, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite is honored to publish the first ever Sweet Valley High original graphic novel in Francine Pascal’s juggernaut all-ages soap opera franchise.
The $14.99 136-page Academic All-Star? reinvents the nostalgic saga of the Wakefield twins for a new era of readers, while paying tribute to the originals that captivated so many. Rising star writer Katy Rex (Charmed Magic School, Jade Protection Services) enrolls in Sweet Valley with artist Devaki Neogi (The Skeptics, Curb Stomp) and colorist Pippa Mather (Charmed Magic School).
Sweet Valley High debuted in 1983 from writer Francine Pascal and evolved into an incomparable success. The core series of novels has 181 installments and counting spinoffs adds up to over 400 books – amounting to hundreds of millions of copies. Fans will also remember the TV show from the 1990s which ran for four seasons starring Brittany and Cynthia Daniel.
The usually impulsive and rash Jessica develops a crush on her new Shakespeare teacher, motivating her to model herself on her regimented and sincere sister Elizabeth. Will people start mixing the two girls up? Will Jess fall back on her ways only for Liz to straighten everything out?
For writer Katy Rex, Sweet Valley High is a lifelong love, “I have been an absolute bookworm my whole life and I transitioned from Sweet Valley Twins to Sweet Valley High, and in a lot of ways I grew up alongside Jessica and Elizabeth. They’re timeless characters, so much so that it’s practically intuitive to see how they would feel and act in any era. My lifelong experience with the books really allowed me to nail the voices and the feeling of the series. This is absolutely classic Sweet Valley and it’s equally absolutely 2019.”
“Sweet Valley High is a book I read as a teenager and to actually be on art duty in the translation to the graphic medium is a dream to me!,” said artist Devaki Neogi. “I have spent the large part of a year on this book and the entire team of Katy, Pippa, Cathy and Joe (Rybandt – editor) have been fantastic to work with.
“Sweet Valley High is such a prolific hallmark of young readers fiction and we are proud to be bringing it to graphic novels for the first time,” said Nick Barrucci, Dynamite Publisher/CEO. “Francine Pascal has been a joy to collaborate with and we’re lucky to have such a passionate writer like Katy. Sweet Valley Fans of all ages will love this book!”
Sweet Valley High: Academic All-Star? will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors’ March 2019 Previews catalog, the premier source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, and slated for release in May 2019. Comic book fans are encouraged to preorder copies with their local comic book retailers. It will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Kindle, iBooks, Google Play, Dynamite Digital, ComicsPlus, and more!