Young Animal is a mature reader’s imprint under DC that is curated by Gerard Way.
We have to admit the first time we heard this we were very confused.
What’s an imprint and why does Gerard have one? Did he finally decide to give into his animalistic urges for Twilight and pledge himself to Team Jacob fanfiction??
How can it be Young Animal and still be for mature readers? I mean, YA in a book store means “Young Adult” and “mature readers” … well, let’s face it, it makes us think of a dear old pépère pulling out his glasses and a magnifying glass to read his newspaper. The only way that sounds dangerous is if dear old pépère holds his magnifying glass so the sun hits it just the right way for too long and the newspaper bursts into flames (high five if you’re not bl/ind to what we did there).
So what is this thing they call a Young Animal and what does it do?
With that very question in mind I did some searching to find the answer and was mindblown yet again when I saw someone call Vertigo a DC Imprint too!
What? Shut the front door! They tricksed us, precious! You see, I had long since thought Vertigo to be an “indie publisher” not owned by a big publisher like DC.
Once I was able to get my inner gollum in check I realized, Vertigo, just like Young Animal, for all intents and purposes basically is an indie publisher. Meaning if a book doesn’t sell on Vertigo then it gets canned and if Vertigo doesn’t do well enough to keep the big boss happy (DC) it can dissolve.
So, my uneducated, comic-novice guess is an “imprint” is a publisher with a sweet sweet sugar daddy looking out for it’s best interests and is willing to disown if it doesn’t work hard and mature to a point where it can stand on it’s own and make a living.
I also realized that this also comes with some nifty little perks like having experts in the field to consult/work with, being able to use DC owned titles (Doom Patrol) and getting to use a special signal or two…
With this new found knowledge I was able to deduce that Young Animal is owned by DC, run by Gerard Way, who, with the “ok” from Jim Lee and Dan Dido, determines what books will run under the imprint’s name and assists the team’s that work on those books along with the help of the Vertigo editors, Molly Mahan & Jamie E Rich.
It’s mature because it’s not for young readers, but not necessarily meant for nursing home coffee tables either (though that would be rad… They should do that and see if it increases life expectancy.) It’s Dangerous because each book has one major goal: Take risks.
Young Animal is meant for a reader who enjoys books that break the rules, live outside the box, explore new ideas, stretch the imagination and aren’t designed for easy reading snuggled up by the fire in your favorite snuggie.
These books are designed for an adventure of the mind that may leave it’s readers in a state of existential crisis much like Doom Patrol’s Casey Brinke, or at least finding themselves more enlightened than they were when they began.
Comics for dangerous humans? Yes.
Are you in?