INTERVIEW: Wonderbound’s Rebecca “Tay” Taylor shares how to get young readers into genre books

September 30, 2020

Vault Comics’ middle grade line of graphic novels is set to launch in the summer of 2021, with managing editor Rebecca “Tay” Taylor leading the charge. The imprint, which recently saw a name change from Myriad to Wonderbound, promises exciting, accessible genre books for young readers, giving kids science fiction, fantasy, horror, and more to explore.

Taylor chatted with The Beat about working with Vault on the Wonderbound brand and why books such as these are so important for children.

Deanna Destito: Tell me about your background in MG/YA?

Rebecca "Tay" TaylorRebecca Taylor: Eleven years ago when I started in comics, the book market surge of graphic novels for young readers was only just emerging, so kids comics weren’t yet as politely cordoned off into middle grade and YA. It was the lawless world of what we called “all-ages” publishing. I started at Archaia, then moved to BOOM! Studios, where I got to work on amazing comics for young readers like Mouse GuardRustFeathersJim Henson’s Storyteller, and Peanuts. When I later moved to DC Comics, I joined the movement there of wonderful editors and staffers passionately pushing for more middle grade and YA content, editing books like Batgirl, Gotham Academy and We Are Robin. I was lucky enough to come into comics at a time when this new era of young readers comics was being born–it allowed me to see the brilliant successes and the fitful starts, but more importantly, it allowed me to get to know the incredibly dedicated community of hearts and minds who refused to give up until more stories in the medium we all love made it into the hands of kids.

Destito: What about Vault’s line was appealing to you and made you decide to join in?

Taylor: If we’re talking about incredibly dedicated hearts and minds who refuse to give up until they connect directly to people through comics, that’s pretty much Vault in a nutshell. From my first phone call with them, I was so impressed with their thoughtfulness and work ethic. It was tangible how much they cared, not just about the quality of their books, but about the people they considered part of the Vault family–creators, staff, retailers, and fans. It’s a deeply personal mission for them. When they believe in something, they’re all in. There’s also a selflessness to their approach–it’s about connecting with people, creating community, giving a mouthpiece to new voices, and keeping the flame of comics burning bright for new people to discover. They put into action the concept that to tell the best stories, you first have to be a great listener. That combination of joy and service is vital to making great kids content. I knew from those first conversations with them that when faced with a decision between making the safer choice or potentially reaching even one more kid, they’d 100% of the time, no hesitation, pick the latter.

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