Scholastic has scooped a graphic novel edition of Roald Dahl classic The Witches, adapted and illustrated by Pénélope Bagieu.
English language rights were acquired by David Saylor, vice-president and creative director of Scholastic. The Witches: The Graphic Novel will be published simultaneously by Scholastic in the UK, the US, Canada and Australia on 1st September as part of the Roald Dahl Story Company’s ‘Year of the Witches’. Rights were acquired from the Roald Dah Story Company and French firm Gallimard, which published the title in January.
Originally published in 1983, with illustrations by Quentin Blake, The Witches was listed by the BBC on its 2019 list of 100 Novels That Shaped Our World. It has been adapted into a stage play, a radio dramatisation and a 1990 film adaptation starring Anjelica Huston and Rowan Atkinson. A new film adaptation, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Anne Hathaway as the Grand High Witch, is set for release in October 2020.
Scholastic said: “Boldly adapted with vivid and vibrant illustrations by Pénélope Bagieu, graphic novel readers and Roald Dahl fans alike will relish this dynamic and innovative new publishing take on a uniquely funny tale. Set in the present day, but retaining the spirit of the original, it follows the adventures of an orphaned boy as he discovers the evil witches that prey on children and then encounters them in real life.”
Bagieu added: “I remember as a child reading stories or watching cartoons where the nice people always won in the end and the grown-ups could never be a source of trouble, and I remember the fact that Roald Dahl was talking to me like I wasn’t a baby— like, you know what, that’s not how it works, sometimes grown-ups are bad, sometimes they’re not even human, sometimes you have to be careful.”