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Nov 8 / Michael

My crowning Archievement!

Awesome art by Gretel Lusky (who I also know from DC!)

Comic books were a big deal to me growing up. I am dyslexic and struggled with reading. I was held back a year and spent time in special ed. There was a lot of shame—some self-imposed and some not—and as a result, a lot of secrecy. Reading was not only frustrating for me, it was isolating. Comics were the first thing I read on my own for fun, and the first thing I read socially. They were the first thing I could read (almost) as fast as my classmates and friends, and the first thing I felt confident talking (even arguing!) about with them. And the first comics I read were Archie comics.

So it is a really incredible, almost surreal moment to have my first Archie story coming out in December and to see my name on the cover of Archie’s Holiday Magic Special—Archie is practically stepping on it! Saying I’ve come full circle is like saying Jughead likes burgers: a major understatement!

There are three linked stories in this one-shot holiday special. It’s a sort of ghost of Christmas past, present, and future for our redheaded hero. My humble contribution, “Return to Riverdale,” might also seem strangely familiar. Let’s just say it’s a hallmark of holiday storytelling 😉 Archie left town to give life in the big city a try. It didn’t work out, and now he has retreated to Riverdale to start over. On a head-clearing walk downtown, he bumps into—could it be?—it’s Betty! She stayed in town. There was a guy. Didn’t work out. The two tentatively reconnect at Betty’s bakery…

Archie! And Betty! As adults! And just look at that gorgeous art by Dan Schoening 😍

Will sparks fly once again between Archie and America’s most iconic girl next door? Or will ol’ Archiekins fall back into old habits? Let’s just say the guy’s got a lot on his mind…

More fantastic art by Dan

Archie’s Holiday Magic Special hits shelves December 8, 2021, and you can preorder it straight from Archie Comics here. I will definitely head down to my local comic shop to just, like, gaze at it in wonder on the shelves until the employees turn off the lights and start sweeping up around me. Is that too long to stare? I don’t know, it’s a sight I’ve been waiting my whole life to see.

Apr 9 / Michael

Dear DC Super-Villains steals the spotlight!

The early reviews are in for Dear DC Super-Villains, and it looks like the Legion of Doom has stolen… the hearts of reviewers! Here’s a look at what people are saying about my new graphic novel:

“Clever and funny.”—School Library Journal

“DC delivers another charmer.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Fiendishly funny and wildly entertaining. Being bad has never been so good.” —Jerry Craft, Newbery Medal-winning author of New Kid

“Great fun from beginning to end.”—Batman News

“Another big win.”—GeekDad

“Often hilarious and at times actually quite heart-warming.”—The Geekiary

“Great entertainment… A natural yet hilarious continuation to Dear Justice League.”—The Aspiring Kryptonian

“Brilliant!” —The Mo’Kelly Show, IHeartRadio

Apr 6 / Michael

Dear DC Super-Villains hits defenseless shelves everywhere!

Dear DC Super-Villains is out today! Curious kids write to notorious scoundrels, asking them about life on the dark side! It’s my fourteenth book and my second graphic novel with DC Comics Kids and amazing artist Gustavo Duarte. The origin story for this one is pretty simple. Simple… and evil! Dear Justice League got a lot of ✨accolades✨ and the Legion of Doom got jealous. Villains, am I right? They reached out 👊💥 and told me: “Our turn, buddy!” So I hope you/they enjoy it. Lex Luthor has created a special device to track sales—and I really don’t want to upset Gorilla Grodd 🦍

Dear DC Super-Villains is now available wherever books are nabbed!

This books is STACKED! 😂

Sep 15 / Michael

Don’t Turn Out the Lights (read these spooky stories instead)!

Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and the two followup collections have scared the wits out of whole generations of kids and campers (and, OK fine, adults too). They are some of the most enduring and beloved American children’s books ever written. So it was both a thrill and a chill to be asked to contribute a spooky story of my own to Don’t Turn Out the Lights: A Tribute to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Like the title says, it is the first official tribute to the classic stories, published by HarperCollins and the Horror Writers Association.

There are 35 stories, all good, scary fun. Mine is titled “In Stitches,” and like many of Schwartz’s originals, it was inspired by an old American folktale. This one was told to me by my Yankee granddad, about what happens to little kids who talk too much on lazy summer days. (Come to think of it, I was a little kid who talked too much. Hmmm…) I had a ton of fun writing it, so if you’re looking for a spooky story for a stormy night, you can pick the book up at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, your local independent bookstore or wherever books are sold. (True story: I was going to title this post Scary Stories to Sell Like a Dork!) Happy reading—and, of course, BOO!

Jun 2 / Michael

New Edition: ROTTEN in paperback!

It took seven years and one professional dog model on the cover, but ROTTEN, my YA tale of a tough teen and a rescued Rottweiler, is finally available in paperback. Just look at this good boy!

My mom had a big heart (and a sufficient backyard), so I grew up surrounded by rescue dogs. Writing one realistically as a main character was a labor of love, and ROTTEN is one of my favorite books. And it appears I am not alone! The hardcover came out so long ago that I forgot how much people really liked this book. (OK, almost forgot 😄)

Here are some of the nice things people have said about it:

“A sure bet for any reader who loves an underdog, human or canine.”—Publishers Weekly

“A fine portrayal of a boy, a dog and the ties of friends.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A laugh-out-loud book, with so many things to love.”—Christian Science Monitor

“Northrop knows just how to get into the male mind, blending subtle humor with convincing dialogue. But above all, the author knows that nothing gets between a guy and his dog.”—BookPage

ROTTEN was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Bank Street College of Education, a Junior Library Guild selection, and a Keystone to Reading Award finalist in Pennsylvania.

Anyway, I love this book, and I am very excited that more people will get a chance to meet Jimmer “JD” Dobbs and his cooly drooly friend Johnny Rotten. You can pick up the shiny new paperback edition at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, your local independent bookstore, or wherever books are sold!

Dec 23 / Michael

Dear Justice League makes the cut!


At this time of year, a certain red-suited gentleman is known to make a list and check it twice. Well, Dear Justice League has made a list too. In fact, it’s made several! My first graphic novel has been named:

One of the Today Show’s 26 Best Children’s Books of 2019!

One of Polygon’s 50 Best Comics for Kids!

One of Comicon’s 7 Best Original Graphic Novels of 2019!

A unanimous selection for the Texas Library Association’s Little Maverick graphic novel reading list! Yeehaw!

No need to check this list twice. I’ve already double-checked to make sure it’s not all some sort of Nutcracker-esque dream. (No Rat Kings in sight, thankfully!) Thanks so much to everyone—critic and kid alike—who’s taken the time to read and review and recommend this colorful, earnest little joy ball of a book this year. This fantastic flight wouldn’t have been possible without you. Happy Holidays!

Aug 10 / Michael

Up, up, and away for Dear Justice League!

Talk about a warm welcome! Dear Justice League was the #6 graphic novel in comic book shops for the month of July. It came out in comic shops July 31st! 🔥 It came out in bookstores and online six days later, and if anything, that warm welcome has only gotten hotter. Here are just some of the fantastic, kind, and humbling things people have been saying about my first graphic novel with the brilliant Brazilian artist Gustavo Duarte:

“The best kids’ comic I’ve read all year… Charming from cover to cover.”—Polygon

“Heartwarming, hilarious, and endearing to no end.”—AiPT! Comics

“A near-perfect all-ages introduction to the Justice League’s most popular characters.”—GeekDad

“A perfect welcome for young comic fans.”—ScreenRant

“Fun for all ages… An adorable introduction to the members of the Justice League.”—The Geekiary

“A lot of fun… A story I can see fans of all ages enjoying.”—The Good Men Project

“Humorous, action-packed and entertaining from cover to cover.”—Superman Homepage

“Positively delightful from beginning to end, Dear Justice League is a great comic for readers of all ages.”—Batman News

And, well, you get the idea 😃 It has been a heck of a week and a half! I love this book so much. For months, I couldn’t wait for launch day to arrive. The whole time I was hoping that once people saw this colorful, earnest joy-ball of a book, they would love it too. Well, it’s here—and they do! ❤️ More news soon, but for now, thanks so much to everyone who has opened this book’s canary yellow covers and taken flight with its heroes.

Aug 6 / Michael

Justice is served!

 

At long last! My first graphic novel, Dear Justice League, is available in comic book shops, bookstores, onlineand everywhere else books are sold! The world’s greatest heroes, the Justice League, answer questions from their biggest fans—kids! I am so proud of this gorgeous, funny, big-hearted book and so thankful for Gustavo Duarte’s brilliant art, Marcelo Maiolo’s vibrant colors, Wes Abbott’s A+ lettering, and everyone else at DC Comics who helped me do this idea justice! More news soon!

Jul 30 / Michael

On Thin Ice is here: 6 years in the making and yours for the taking!

My new middle-grade novel is finally here! On Thin Ice is my 12th book with Scholastic and maybe my best. There’s a lot going on inside that beautiful blue cover. It’s a modern response to Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, a small-town underdog story about daring to build something new out of broken pieces, and a 6-year labor of love.

It’s already been named a Junior Library Guild “Gold Standard” Selection, and here are some of the other nice things people are saying about it: 

“A brilliant, powerful story of one boy who courageously faces life’s obstacles and is determined to overcome them, On Thin Ice is a must-read.”—the nationally syndicated column Books to Borrow, Books to Buy

“A sharp, sympathetic insight into poverty, family, friendship, and forgiveness.”—Kirkus Reviews

“An engaging coming-of-age story.”—School Library Journal

I spent years building and rebuilding this story. There were countless drafts, a half dozen titles, two editors, lots of phone calls and brainstorming and thinking and rethinking, and, well, it’s finally here. I love this book so much, and I’m so excited to finally be able to share it. On Thin Ice is available online, on audio, and in bookstores nationwide. I hope you will consider giving this determined little book a chance!

Jul 12 / Michael

It’s a Star for Dear Justice League!

I have some stellar news to share: Dear Justice League got a starred review (the blue ribbon of publishing!) in the July issue of School Library Journal. Woohoo! I am over the moon! Just a few more weeks until my first graphic novel is out in the world, and I cannot wait!