I’ve never read Cecily von Ziegesar’s Gossip Girl series. I’ve never even seen the television adaptation. So why is this announcement so exciting to me? I’ll tell you why. Yen Press’ adaptation is being written and illustrated by manhwa-ga HyeKyung Baek, author of Bring it On! (among others), a highly enjoyable manhwa series originally brought to English-speaking readers by IceKunion and now part of Yen Press’ extensive manhwa catalogue.
Whether Baek’s adaptation can have the same impact as the original novels or the very popular TV series obviously remains to be seen, but this seems like a smart move on Yen Press’ part and I’m frankly thrilled that they continue to turn to talented Korean artists for so many of these projects. Furthermore, this license is very much in step with other recent acquisitions, particularly Lisi Harrison’s The Clique. With titles like these and Twilight, Yen Press is building up quite a formidable line of YA adaptations which could serve to bring a whole new audience to manga and manhwa. Check out Yen’s press release for more details:
NEW YORK, DECEMBER 2, 2009 – Yen Press has announced that it will publish a manga adaptation of Cecily von Ziegesar’s New York Times bestselling series, GOSSIP GIRL, about the lives of girls at an elite New York City private high school. GOSSIP GIRL: FOR YOUR EYES ONLY will be serialized monthly in the YEN PLUS manga anthology, starting with the January 2010 issue.
Unlike other manga adaptations that Yen Press has undertaken in the past, GOSSIP GIRL: FOR YOUR EYES ONLY will be an original re-imagination of the girls’ senior year focusing on the lives of Blair and Vanessa, written and illustrated by HyeKyung Baek.
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers’ Poppy imprint, the series, called “deliciously catty and immediately engrossing” by Kirkus, launched in 2002 and has sold over 5.3 million net copies. There are 13 original Gossip Girl books in addition to 4 books devoted to “The Carlyles” as well as a hit television series airing on the CW. The New Yorker noted that author Cecily von Ziegesar “pulls off the tour de force of wickedly satirizing the young while amusing them” and The New York Times notes that “these novels are fantasies and projections of imaginary world where…lost boys and girls struggle on their own with good and evil, or in this case, Bergdorf Goodman and evil.”
Kurt Hassler, Publishing Director of Yen Press says: “There are few series in the publishing world that have been as impactful or successful as Cecily von Ziegesar’s GOSSIP GIRL. The novels have captured the imaginations of young women around the world, and we look forward to demonstrating with GOSSIP GIRL: FOR YOUR EYES ONLY that graphic novels as a medium can be just as welcoming to girls as it is to boys.”
Cecily von Ziegesar is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Gossip Girl series. She grew up in Manhattan and attended a small private girls’ school on the Upper East Side. She began writing poems and short stories as soon as she could hold a pen. Gossip Girl was her first novel. She has always lived in New York City. You can read Gossip Girl’s juicy secrets at www.gossipgirl.net
HyeKyung Baek, a renowned manga artist in South Korea who made her professional debut with HAPPY SPIDER has since established herself with her beautifully detailed art, fresh characters, and a unique sense of humor that maximizes the effect of the medium. Her best known titles, Bring It On! and Chiro specialize in capturing the hearts of teenage girls, and as a huge fan of von Ziegesar’s GOSSIP GIRL, Baek is the perfect artist to bring these characters to life, in manga.