Kids Comics Q&A Blog Tour with Hope Larson

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Children’s Book Week, (May 4-10, 2015) – 96th annual celebration!
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In 2015, official Children’s Book Week events – including appearances by beloved children’s book authors & illustrators, children’s open mic nights, read-alouds, book-themed costume parties, and much more – will be held in all 50 states. Photos from last year here. Event attendees receive complimentary Children’s Book Week posters and tote bags. You can see how the celebrations for 2015 are shaping up here.

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RAFAEL/JORGE:  Hello, Hope, we are fans of your work and we appreciate you taking the time to answer our questions.   Thanks.  Here we go…

QUESTION:  Recently you Tweeted (please pretend that’s a verb) something that made us do a double-take. “Looking at the dates on old files to work out production schedule for new book.  Crazy that I drew all the roughs for AWIT in 6 months.”  We went back and checked – A Wrinkle in Time is 392 pages – how the heck did you manage to rough it out in such a short amount of time?

ANSWER: I did nothing else for those 6 months! But honestly, it wasn’t as grueling as it sounds. Those pages are fairly simple–lots of closeups and “acting”, which is my favorite stuff to draw. There aren’t many elaborate backgrounds, and even better, there’s a lot of dialogue to cover up the art. I did some basic math and figured out how many pages I had to draw in week to meet my quota, then I loaded up on audiobooks and it was off to the races!

https://twitter.com/hopelarson

 

QUESTION:  Related to the last question, what’s your working process like with your graphic novels?  Do you write a full script, an outline?  Or are you scripting with thumbnails?

ANSWER: My working process has fluctuated over the years, but at this point I’m locked into a system that works for me and my editor. For short comics I may just do a rough outline, but for graphic novels I like to build in many checks and balances so the project is constantly being honed and refined.

I start with a 1-paragraph idea, which is what I discuss with my editor to see if she’s interested in the project. For the book I’m working on now I wrote 5 of these, all of which were rejected, before finally hitting on the right idea.

Next I write an outline, which is usually 10 to 20 pages long. This is the document that my editor will use to try and sell the acquisitions committee and publisher on the book. If the committee likes the outline, I go to script. I script in Final Draft using a customized comic script template. It’s set up so that each page in the graphic novel has its own page of script, and the pages are auto-numbered by the software. Years ago I had an issue where I mis-typed the page numbers in a script I was numbering by hand, and it was a nightmare. Never again!

Once I finish the script I do a couple rounds of edits with my editor before I start drawing. Next I do a rough pencil version, which we edit again before I start on inks–which is the really time-consuming part. Last come colors and letters. After a couple rounds of copyedits the book is finally finished! Hurray! I take a short vacation and start the process all over again.

Wrinkle in Time Graphic Novel_hi

 

QUESTION:  How do you think of the music in your web comic SOLO (which is pretty cool – the comic and the music)?  Is the music what you picture the characters listening to? Or is the music you listened to while drawing it? Or is it the soundtrack?

http://solocomic.net

ANSWER: The soundtrack was put together by my friend Michael Stock, who’s a brilliant DJ and promoter here in  Los Angeles. All of the tracks are sessions he recorded with bands who played his club night, Part Time Punks (http://parttimepunks.com)–if you’re familiar with the Peel Sessions, it’s the same sort of thing. The soundtrack is his idea of what the comic would sound like. I wrote the script for Solo over a year before I started drawing it, and long before I met Michael, but the soundtrack has definitely influenced the comic. I’ve listened to it while drawing quite a few pages, and I’m only a quarter of the way in!

 

QUESTION:  The directing in your short film, “Bitter Orange” is very assured and sophisticated. Have you been approached about directing other projects?  Do you have plans for more short films?  A feature, perhaps?

ANSWER: I would love to direct a feature, and I’d love to direct another short or music video when the time is right. Right now I’m working on muscling my way into animation, which is a better fit for me based on my body of work–and the animation industry has so much crossover with the comics community that I feel right at home.

 

QUESTION:  Also from Twitter, we’ve learned you often make your own ice cream. What ice cream would you recommend that we try making with our kids?  Any simple-to-make crowd-pleasing recipes?

My recipes are kind of fiddly and complicated, so I suggest picking up Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. A fun tweak to her base is to use light brown sugar instead of white sugar and add a teaspoon of black walnut extract, which gives you a delicious butterscotch-y flavor. You could add anything to this: marshmallows, candied walnuts, bits of chocolate. You can put almost anything into ice cream, even weird stuff like blue cheese, and it will be delicious.

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Enjoyed this? Check out the other Q&A pieces on the tour.

Monday, April 27
Cece Bell interviewed at Sturdy for Common Things

Tuesday, April 28
Kazu Kibuishi interviewed at Geek Dad

Wednesday, April 29
Joey Weiser interviewed at The Brain Lair

Thursday, April 30
James Kochalka interviewed at Bumbles & Fairy Tales

Friday, May 1
Mariko Tamaki interviewed at A Book and a Latte

Saturday, May 2
Jorge Aguirre interviewed at The Windy Pages

Sunday, May 3
Luke Pearson interviewed at Mr. Schu Reads

Monday, May 4
Jeffrey Brown interviewed at For Books’ Sake

Tuesday, May 5
Cecil Castellucci interviewed at WinterHaven Books

Wednesday, May 6
Frank Cammuso interviewed at Reading with ABC

Thursday, May 7
Hope Larson interviewed at The Book Wars

Friday, May 8
Eric Orchard interviewed at Alice Marvels

Saturday, May 9
Kean Soo interviewed at Jenuine Cupcakes

Sunday, May 10
Dave Roman interviewed at Amy the Frog Queen

Monday, May 11
Gene Luen Yang interviewed at Finding Wonderland

Tuesday, May 12
Nathan Hale interviewed at Kid Lit Frenzy

Wednesday, May 13
John Allison interviewed at Supernatural Snark

Thursday, May 14
Maris Wicks interviewed at The Roarbots

Friday, May 15
Jenni and Matt Holm interviewed at The Busy Librarian

Saturday, May 16
Craig Thompson interviewed at The Book Rat

Sunday, May 17
Chris Schweizer interviewed at Panel Patter

Monday, May 18
Sara Varon interviewed at Sharp Read

Tuesday, May 19
David Rubin interviewed at Teen Lit Rocks

Wednesday, May 20
Adventures in Cartooning interviewed at Word Spelunking

Thursday, May 21
Mike Maihack interviewed at Bookish

Friday, May 22
John Patrick Green interviewed at Haunted Orchid

Saturday, May 23
Rafael Rosado interviewed at Shae Has Left the Room

Sunday, May 24
Faith Erin Hicks interviewed at Good Books and Good Wine

Monday, May 25
Dan Santat interviewed at SLG Fuse #8

Tuesday, May 26
Andy Runton interviewed at The Hiding Spot

Wednesday, May 27
Colleen AF Venable interviewed at Graphic Policy

Thursday, May 28
Jay Hosler interviewed at My Bookish Ways

Friday, May 29t
Eleanor Davis interviewed at Love is Not a Triangle

Saturday, May 30
Ben Hatke interviewed at YA Bibliophile

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One response to “Kids Comics Q&A Blog Tour with Hope Larson

  1. Pingback: Five Questions — WEEK 2 « GIANTS BEWARE! DRAGONS BEWARE!·

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