Agatha Christie, one of the UK’s most iconic writers and still the world’s best-selling author, is being relaunched in a series of illustrated comic novels as part of a major strategy to appeal to new and younger readers.
As part of the push, Christie will appear as a character in the new series of BBC1’s Dr Who, which is due to start next year.
HarperCollins, which holds the publishing rights for all 83 Christie novels, is rolling out the novels in illustrated comic formats and is rejacketing the books with new modern covers. It is hoped the books will appeal to younger readers and will reinvigorate interest among existing fans.
The launch will be timed to coincide with the annual Agatha Christie Week on September 9 to 15 – which marks the 70th anniversary of the publication of Christie’s Death on the Nile – and will be backed by an in-store and outdoor marketing push. The week will also feature a series of dedicated programming and broadcasts of Christie dramas on BBC Radio 7.
The new comic versions, alongside rejacketed novels, will be rolled out in phases. The first 12 of 83 titles will launch next month, and the remaining 71 titles will appear over the next 12 months.
Further marketing and promotional activity from HarperCollins will be rolled out next year in April, around the time of the “author’s” appearance in Dr Who. It is not clear whether licence holder Chorion will roll out an Agatha Christie doll but a spokeswoman says it is a possibility.