Taki’s Belt through Fumio Obata is a new mid-level contemporary graphic novel about a boy named Taki who takes martial arts lessons when his classmates start bullying him. But when things start spiraling out of control and new friendships hang in the balance, Taki must figure out what strength really means. Andre Arnold at HarperAlley has acquired worldwide rights to Taki’s Belt which will appear in the fall of 2024. Fumio Obata’s agent Chad W. Beckerman at the agency CAT brokered the deal.
Fumio Obata is a cartoonist/graphic novelist/illustrator/lecturer at the University of Gloucestershire, whose latest book It’s like that is with Jonathan Cape now. Fumio was born in Tokyo and grew up with the manga and anime cultures of the 70s and 80s. In 1991 he moved to the UK, studied BA Illustration at the Glasgow School of Art and completed a Masters in Communication Design at the Royal College of Art in London.
HarperAlley is a graphic novel imprint launched from HarperCollins Children’s Books under former art director and publisher-acquirer of First Second Andrew Arnold last year, described as a “creator-focused collaborative publisher” that will specialize in graphic novels for “readers of all ages.” The new line “seeks to publish books that readers of all ages can enjoy, from the youngest readers to teenagers and adults. We believe that a good story is one that any reader can relate to. That is what we mean when we say “readers of all ages.” HarperAlley seeks to publish about ten books per season, or about thirty books per year and is one of many mainstream book publishers who have rapidly increased the number of graphic novels for young readers.