Picador buys 'remarkable' graphic novel from McGovern

Picador buys 'remarkable' graphic novel from McGovern

Picador has bought a “remarkable” graphic novel, Twelve Percent Dread, from Emily McGovern.

Associate editor Paul Martinovic acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Nicola Barr at The Bent Agency. Picador plans to publish Twelve Percent Dread later in 2021 with Brett Israel at Dark Horse Comics releasing it in the US.

The book is the second graphic novel from McGovern after 2019’s Bloodlust and Bonnets (Andrews McMeel), recently shortlisted for the Comedy Women in Print Award. McGovern won fame and gained fans across the world as the creator of the popular Harry Potter webcomic parody My Life as a Background Slytherin, which helped her amass 400,000 social media followers and more than 2,000 Patreon subscribers.

Her new title tells the story of Katie and Nasim, two 20-something women living in 10-minutes-in-the-future London who are “doing their best to navigate an anxiety-inducing modern world characterised by relentless technological advancement, looming climate catastrophe, political turmoil and systemic prejudice”.

The synopsis explains: “Katie is a recent graduate who is attempting to make a dent in her student loan debt by nannying for the super-rich Michelle, while the Iranian-born Nasim spends her days attempting to avoid deportation by an increasingly hostile Home Office while working on her epic 'Creative Project'. These respective trials and tribulations intertwine and coalesce into an uproarious screwball caper that combines Broad City's hilarious dissection of female friendship with the queasy dystopian satire of Black Mirror, and an ambitious and laugh-out-loud funny work of graphic fiction in the vein of the works of Daniel Clowes, Alison Bechdel and Kate Beaton."

Martinovic said: “As a lifelong fan of and advocate for the medium I’m delighted to be bringing a graphic novel to the Picador list, but I’m even happier about welcoming Emily to our stable. I believe she is a writer and cartoonist with an incredibly bright future. Twelve Percent Dread retains the remarkable joke hit-rate and knack for comic plotting of Emily’s previous work while demonstrating a formal ambition and a keen satirical eye that I believe represents a hugely exciting step forward for her and her work.”

McGovern added: “Twelve Percent Dread is a book about living with the weirdness and absurdity of our times so I'm extremely glad and excited to have Paul and the Picador team alongside me to share the dread.”