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Thread: List of Agents who take Graphic Novel queries

  1. #1

    List of Agents who take Graphic Novel queries

    Hey all! Long-time lurker. I signed with my agent last month, and I know how frustrating it can be to wade through all the query sites out there in search of the few agents who are interested in representing graphic novels.

    So I put together a list of agents I found.


    Let me know if there are any names I missed!
    Last edited by elae; 05-13-2009 at 06:15 PM. Reason: changed url


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  2. #2
    ook wordmonkey's Avatar
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    Great resources.

    Thanks for sharing and welcome to the madhouse.
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  3. #3
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    Thank you very very much. This is great!
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  4. #4
    Found an interview from NYCC09 with literary agent Judith Hansen and a bunch of publishers, for those interested. It's called "Selling Good Graphic Novels (& Manga) in a Bad Economy".

    Judith Hansen (Hansen Literary Agency): "(As a literary agent,) I'm trying to sell books that will be sold two to three years from now, so my experience of the marketplace is different. Quality does sell, and it does sell for very good prices. As the market place was tanking last year, I did an eight-book deal, and got a great deal for the author. For our agency, we're doing well, but we're being very selective. Quality will continue to sell."
    Sounds pretty good to me! Here's a link to part one and part two.

    ETA: Also, I've updated the list of agents who represent graphic novels with a few new names, and a few who have switched agencies since the last update. Enjoy~
    Last edited by elae; 03-03-2009 at 09:58 PM.


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  5. #5
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    Great list! And here's a little more info on which agents require what.

    Of the agents on that list, I queried three -- Objective, Writers House, and Baker's Mark -- and all three asked to see materials, but when I told them I only have a script, not artwork, only Baker's Mark was interested in going forward. In a brief e-mail exchange with Daniel Lazar of Writers House, he informed me that (also posted in another thread in this forum)

    In order to sell a graphic novel, unless you're aiming more for the DC Marvel kind of book, there needs to be sample art with the proposal, and there also needs to be a sensibility reason why the project should be a graphic novel --- as opposed to just a prose novel. Normally that happens when the author is also the illustrator, so the mixture is organic; or the author and illustrator have somehow joined together to create a product. Otherwise, the result feels too forced or just doesn't feel like it needs to be told in that format. If you're a writer, and not an artist, and are not involved in a community of artists who can organically work with you on this, it might be better then to rethink how you're trying to frame this story.
    FYI and good luck, all.

  6. #6
    Thanks for posting that here! Are you querying anyone else, or seeing how Baker's Mark decides first?

    I updated the master list again on Sunday, with a new agent. Jill Corcoran is a new agent at Herman Agency Inc.

    From her blog:

    I am happy to announce that I will be joining Herman Agency as an Associate Agent representing MG and YA authors. [...] I would also love to find funny boy books that are mixed prose and graphic novel a la Wimpy Kid, Bruce Hale's Prince of Underwhere, and even full graphic novels like Bone.


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  7. #7
    The Paperclip 2 your MS Word Aristocrazy's Avatar
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    do you find agents are more interested in adult or YA graphic novels?
    Quote Originally Posted by Fran
    You always sneak in here so quietly, Aristo. I don't know how we ever know you're there
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  8. #8
    From what I've seen, the majority of agents (at least those who represent graphic novels) represent both adult and YA. If they only do YA, it's because they specialize in children's books/MG. The only other one I see on my list that wants just YA/younger GNs is Rosemary Stimola, despite representing some adult fiction.

    Veritas Literary Agency doesn't seem to express any interest in YA, and neither does Rob McQuilkin of Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. Same with Samantha Haywood of the Transatlantic Literary Agency.
    The Susan Rabiner Literary Agency represents primarily "narrative nonfiction", so you may not want to bother if yours is fiction.
    Others, like Evan Goldfried, say they are specifically interested writer/artists, not just scripts.

    I'm sure there are more, but those are just the ones I see at a glance. The overarching thing I see is a lack of interest in superhero-themes. YA is probably an easier sell, because of the manga boom, but strong literary works are also a draw (because of the success of Persepolis, Fun Home, etc). Adult "genre" fiction is most likely toughest to sell, but that's just a feeling I get...

    Feel free to post how long your query responses take, you guys! If anyone wants to know how long my turn-around was for any agent in particular, just ask.


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  9. #9
    Another quick list update: Ariel Schrag's literary agent, Jay Mandel, of the William Morris Agency. I haven't seen any mention of him representing graphic novels anywhere else, though, so I don't know if he's looking for GN queries. Likewise is coming out from Touchstone in April.


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by elae View Post
    Thanks for posting that here! Are you querying anyone else, or seeing how Baker's Mark decides first?
    Elae, I'm thinking of calling around to another dozen or so agents tomorrow and asking what their submission requirements are for a graphic novel, specificaly whether they need artwork. I'll post in here with results.

    Baker's Mark said they'd get back to me in 4-6 weeks but they never said anything about an exclusive look . . . I want to get busy and not have all my eggs in one basket.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Plum View Post
    Elae, I'm thinking of calling around to another dozen or so agents tomorrow and asking what their submission requirements are for a graphic novel, specificaly whether they need artwork. I'll post in here with results.

    Baker's Mark said they'd get back to me in 4-6 weeks but they never said anything about an exclusive look . . . I want to get busy and not have all my eggs in one basket.
    Any reason for calling? I think it actually might be wiser to go ahead and query anyone who doesn't specifically say "no script-only submissions". Agents who might normally only want paired-up projects may be interested enough in your premise that they'll ask for a partial anyways (or ask you to keep them in mind and re-query if you find an artist)!

    I'm definitely a supporter of batch-querying! Getting an offer from one agent can often lead to a chain reaction and more offers from others. I know that first hand, heh~ Always good to query wide and keep your options open. I queried about 25 agents, I think, in batches of 5-10 at a time.

    If you do ask about art-sample requirements, be sure to let us know what their responses are!


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  12. #12
    I have plans... C.bronco's Avatar
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    This is a great list, and includes a few I didn't know about.

    Thanks!



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  13. #13
    Glad to be of service! ~


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by elae View Post
    Any reason for calling? I think it actually might be wiser to go ahead and query anyone who doesn't specifically say "no script-only submissions". Agents who might normally only want paired-up projects may be interested enough in your premise that they'll ask for a partial anyways (or ask you to keep them in mind and re-query if you find an artist)!
    That's exactly what the agent I quoted above said -- if I get an artist and some pages to show him, he'd still be interested.

    The reason I thought I'd call to ask about submission requirements was that I have this idea that it's "professional," it shows I'm doing my homework, blah blah. But heck, maybe the way to do it is just go for it.

    I'm definitely a supporter of batch-querying! Getting an offer from one agent can often lead to a chain reaction and more offers from others. I know that first hand, heh~ Always good to query wide and keep your options open. I queried about 25 agents, I think, in batches of 5-10 at a time.
    Whoa, you're kidding. I had no idea chain reactions could happen. How does that work? One agent says "Sounds good but it's not for me, here's another name instead"? Do tell!

    If you do ask about art-sample requirements, be sure to let us know what their responses are!
    I most certainly will. In fact I'm on my way to that list to fire off another 5-10!

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Plum View Post
    That's exactly what the agent I quoted above said -- if I get an artist and some pages to show him, he'd still be interested.
    That's great to hear. What kind of art style do you have in mind for your project, ultimately?

    Whoa, you're kidding. I had no idea chain reactions could happen. How does that work? One agent says "Sounds good but it's not for me, here's another name instead"? Do tell!
    More like: if you have your partial/full out with a number of agents, and one makes an offer of representation, then you alert the others-- that often gets them to finish reading yours within a few days, and they'll either respond back with an offer as well, or say they're passing & good luck with agent #1. Then you talk to each on the phone, and weigh your options!

    Pretty sure the same thing happens going out on submission to editors. One will make an offer, so your agent tells the others, in hopes of getting quick offers from them too. Sometimes all it takes is that first offer from someone else to provoke your dream agent/publisher to jump in the ring too. (and sometimes not. But I can dream. )


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  16. #16
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    What kind of art style do you have in mind for your project, ultimately?
    What I have in mind is something very dramatic, with some pages in full color, a lot of intense close-ups and sweeping landscapes, etc. I suppose you could call that "cinematic"?

    What I do NOT have in mind is something simple and sketchy, such as MAUS or PERSEPOLIS. Not that I feel those styles lack merit; just that they wouldn't be suited for my project, which has elements of action, fantasy, romance, adventure.

    What's your project like?

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Plum View Post
    What I have in mind is something very dramatic, with some pages in full color, a lot of intense close-ups and sweeping landscapes, etc. I suppose you could call that "cinematic"?

    What I do NOT have in mind is something simple and sketchy, such as MAUS or PERSEPOLIS. Not that I feel those styles lack merit; just that they wouldn't be suited for my project, which has elements of action, fantasy, romance, adventure.

    What's your project like?
    Cinematic is a good way of describing it! What kind of comics do you generally read (superhero, indy, manga)? Any dream-artists you'd love to have draw your script?

    Do you think wanting to do it in full-color will dissuade publishers, since it means the price of the book has to go up? My current project (and my next one) are both greyscale.

    I completely understand about styles-- I'm a strong believer in changing styles to suit the story. Highwater is in a somewhat generic/approachable style, both to make sure the story is clear and because of its appeal to the target readership. My WIP, though, I want to do in a different page format (square or landscape), with a more stylized/abstract/artsy way of drawing the characters, to fit the more mature/literary concept.

    Here's a sample page from chapter 3 of Highwater.


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  18. #18
    The Paperclip 2 your MS Word Aristocrazy's Avatar
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    Nice elae!

    Id love color as well but it be best to keep that till later "bestselling" editions :p

    Id like something along the lines of The Walking Dead for artwork, only both more vibrant and darker at the same time... not so real and uniform but rather full of contrast of an almost pseudo-abstract dream reality

    ...I've got a long ways to go...
    Quote Originally Posted by Fran
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  19. #19
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    Highwater looks pretty sweet -- that psychological content is some of what I'll need for my project.

    And to tell the truth, I haven't read a whole lot of comix -- I've "looked at" the most famous ones by Marvel and DC as well as the Crumbs and American Splendors -- but my project is more like a full-length novel in comic book form. I've ordered a few graphic novels that aren't so easy to find at Barnes & Noble.

    My dream artists might be Dark Horse types -- this looks like me.

    Yeh, I know the color would up the price, but it's more a guideline than an actual rule. My project is a dual narrative, sort of like the Wizard of Oz except with more time in Kansas in between the Oz developments, and I've written in directions for color and B&W to more easily distinguish between the two storylines and also to distinguish between the realistic and fantasy worlds.

    btw, I sent about 10 e-mail queries out last night/this morning. I'll let you know how it goes!

  20. #20
    The Paperclip 2 your MS Word Aristocrazy's Avatar
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    I could definitely see the color/black and white vs real/fantasy working great plum. Sounds interesting
    Quote Originally Posted by Fran
    You always sneak in here so quietly, Aristo. I don't know how we ever know you're there
    Aristo, AW Ninja since ?

  21. #21
    Thanks! The art you linked to looks like it would fit really well with the themes in your project, Aristocrazy.

    I'm penciling chapter four right now, and waiting to hear back from my agent with her opinion on chapter three. Have to stay distracted

    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Plum View Post
    And to tell the truth, I haven't read a whole lot of comix -- I've "looked at" the most famous ones by Marvel and DC as well as the Crumbs and American Splendors -- but my project is more like a full-length novel in comic book form. I've ordered a few graphic novels that aren't so easy to find at Barnes & Noble.

    My dream artists might be Dark Horse types -- this looks like me.

    Yeh, I know the color would up the price, but it's more a guideline than an actual rule. My project is a dual narrative, sort of like the Wizard of Oz except with more time in Kansas in between the Oz developments, and I've written in directions for color and B&W to more easily distinguish between the two storylines and also to distinguish between the realistic and fantasy worlds.
    Have you read Sandman? You might be inspired by how different stories/scenes are drawn by different artists-- do you want your real/fantasy worlds to differ in art styles, or just in color vs black and white?

    I guess a lot of what style comes down to is considering who your ideal readers are. For some reason I had figured it was aimed more at women (from your query, probably because of the protagonist and no emphasis on fighting), but the style you linked to seems more appealing to male readers.

    btw, I sent about 10 e-mail queries out last night/this morning. I'll let you know how it goes!
    Good luck! Sometimes I would get immediate responses... and in other cases, well, they still haven't gotten back to me Waiting can be a pain.


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  22. #22
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    Elae, in fact Sandman is one of the comix I've looked at, and I LOOOVE the art. I think the style in my project should be consistent, just the color differences to make it clear where we are -- the characters "double" in the parallel plots, so I really think a strong visual cue is needed that we're switching between them. Color seems to me the easiest way to do it.

    The link I gave was one I sort of grabbed willy-nilly; it shows the style of art I need, but not necessarily the content. There is, in fact, some action and violence in my script. Think Pirates of the Caribbean (the first one, not the fx-crazy sequels). A lot of romance, exotic locale and history, an injection of magic and some fight scenes, an overarching story of character.

    Sigh, it sounds fantastic I know. I hope I'm pulling it off!

    Aristocrazy, I click on Mansions in Eternity and I get to an AW forum that wants a password. Is that right?

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Plum View Post
    The link I gave was one I sort of grabbed willy-nilly; it shows the style of art I need, but not necessarily the content. There is, in fact, some action and violence in my script. Think Pirates of the Caribbean (the first one, not the fx-crazy sequels). A lot of romance, exotic locale and history, an injection of magic and some fight scenes, an overarching story of character.

    Sigh, it sounds fantastic I know. I hope I'm pulling it off!
    So, a generally realistic/mainstream style?

    I'd say the best thing you could do now is just read lots of graphic novels. Find books that you think would be read by your audience, so you know what kinds of styles they react well to. Publishers (and agents, I figure) will definitely want to hear whose work you would compare yours to. Try Gunslinger Born, you may like that.


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  24. #24
    So Beacon Press officially has a new graphic novel line, for projects "that speak to the house’s mission of publishing on issues of social justice and liberal political activism."

    Some of the titles in the line:
    Kindred (looking for an artist) by Octavia Butler, deal by agent Merrilee Heifetz
    Calling Dr. Laura by Nicole Georges, deal by Holly Bemiss

    The other projects don't have agents attached, and the publisher's website has instructions for submitting proposals, if anyone thinks they have one that would fit. You would probably want to have art attached, though.


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  25. #25
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    Yup, realistic/mainstream. I got a Vertigo Comix GN today called Crossing Midnight, and the art is very much what I'd want. It's a soft-cover in color. That would be perfect. (I wouldn't go with Vertigo since they're part of DC and DC takes your intellectual property, but I'd sure love to have someone spend money on me like that!)

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