the best friends you’ll never have

Browsing in graphic novels

The weird thing about blogging like a subject like the BSC, which ended (unless you count The Summer Before) fourteen years ago, is that eons can pass with no news at all, and then all of the sudden there is a TON of news.

First of all, two new books by Ann, The Doll People Set Sail and Rain Reign, have come out. Because of RR especially, Ann has been doing some interviews, including the Elle one I linked to recently and one at Bustle. The best part of the that interview is where she says that she now thinks Dawn would be an environmental lawyer or something like that, whereas before she just said Dawn would be in California. Taken with the way she answered the question about a potential reunion book in the Elle interview, I hope this means that this is something that Ann is beginning to really consider. I think it would be awesome if she did something like Meg Cabot is doing with The Princess Diaries and The Mediator, where she is writing new books about the same characters for a slightly older audience (SUZE AND JESSE OMG!!!). Hell, I’d even be okay with a Karen in middle school book, or something; to my knowledge, Ann has never written for adults or older YA.

The other extremely exciting thing going on is that Scholastic/Graphix is rereleasing the first two graphic novels in color. Not only will it look cool, and obviously I will need these in addition to the non-color copies I already own, but to me, it’s a sign that the ebooks are generating enough interest for Scholastic to pour some real money into BSC. My hope would be that the color versions will be so successful that Raina will be asked to do a fifth book. Of course, we don’t even know if Raina would even want to, or if she’s too busy with her other projects. But still, we could dream. What book would you want? The Ghost at Dawn’s House is the obvious choice, but seeing Sea City in Boy-Crazy Stacey would also be fun.

I am taking all of this renewed interest in the series that has been going on in the past few years as a very good sign, and will keep on hoping for a reunion book!

In the 90s, I remember seventies stuff being pretty cool. That is how we ended up wearing bell bottoms and velveteen tops in 1997. The last few years have been all NEON! RAYBANS! LEGGINGS!, culling its sartorial influences from the 80s. There’s a 20-year cycle of fashion, when things have faded from memory just long enough to stop seeming hideously ugly.

Thus, we have started to see a 90s revival, both in fashion and in entertainment. Beverly Hills, 90210 is back on air, as is Melrose Place. Of recent book releases, the book I’ve heard the most about is Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music by Melissa Meltzer, which has insipired even those who weren’t even alive at the time to listen to Bikini Kill.

It’s no surprise, then, that both the Baby-Sitters Club AND Sweet Valley are coming out with new books. (Yes, the long-awaited Sweet Valley Confidential is being released.) Had these books been released five years ago, only those of us diehards in the fandoms would have cared. The sales would have resembled those of the attempted revitalization of the series that was Friends Forever, if that. But now enough time has passed since the heyday of these series to mean that people who were readers the first time around might have kids of their own of BSC/SV-reading age. Those who don’t have kids might check out the books just out of pure nostalgia, and old enough now to not be embarrassed about being seen buying them Teachers and librarians, also of the first generation of readers, can introduce the books to the kids they work with. When the graphic novels came out, I think it was just slightly too early for all of this. Only the hardcore fanbase seemed to be interested, for the most part, and I don’t remember as many writeups across the internet. Jezebel, for one, has been following the reissues/prequel story for as long as the fandom has.

While ten years ago, Ann said she was simply “done” with the characters, perhaps the real implication of her words were that, outside of her hardcore and aging fanbase, the public was done. They were a relic, overshadowed by new phenomena like Harry Potter. Even a graphic design upgrade and less focus on baby-sitting couldn’t obscure the fact that their time was over. They were innocent books without anything supernatural. But now twenty- and thirty-somethings seem to all be infected with a sense of early 90s nostalgia.

Maybe Ann saw the marketing opportunity and seized it, or her editors gently suggested it to her. Or perhaps, she, too was nostalgic for the BSC’s heyday, and wanted to revisit these characters.

There’s a little preview of Claudia and Mean Janine up at bsc_graphix.

It comes out in November. Sadly, this will be last graphic novel of the BSC. :(


A while back, I wrote about my feelings on BSC collectibles and how I wasn’t so into them. I mentioned, however, that I would really like an original cover painting by Hodges Soileau. You see them occasionally on gallery websites, and they run about 500 USD. This is a pretty big financial commitment, so I went for the next best thing (which definitely does not pale in comparison): an original graphic novel page by Raina Telgemeier.

You can buy one directly from Raina. The info is here. As you can see in the photo above, mine also came with cool extras. The only question is how to display it! I would like it framed, but I am so scared to take it out of its pretty plastic cover!

Question: did the BSC ever celebrate Labor Day?

Ashley asked for a post about Graphic Novels. I think they’re cute, and a fun way to read the earlier books, which honestly I am not a big fan of. So the comics make it more interesting. Raina also does a good job of updating the books just enough–like changing the price when Laine and Stacey go to the movies to reflect inflation. I also appreciated how in The Truth About Stacey, Raina added flashback scenes of events from Stacey’s Portrait. I think there’s only going to be two more (Claudia and Mean Janine and The Ghost at Dawn’s House), but correct me if I’m wrong. I know of people who have bought one copy to keep pristine and one to color in, which I think is fun idea. They’re also great as presents for younger readers, so you can evilly get them addicted to BSC. You enabler, you! Anyway, I probably won’t do a full post on them, but I like them a lot.

I just moved for the third time in as many weeks, and I’m pretty exhausted. But I hope all you Americans had a good holiday!

I just went to Borders and picked up some stuff that came out while I was away: 2 of the graphic novels and the first main street. Obviously sometime soon I will write about what I think.

Also while I was in Borders I saw a copy of Dawn and the Impossible Three for sale. Is it an old copy… or is scholastic experimentally rereleasing the books? We can dream, can’t we?