August 17, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes, Books

You guys!

We have advance copies of our whole list for Fall 2015 in the office.  It is glorious!  So many books!  So shiny and attractive and new!

Here’s a quick preview.

Covers of books (with Human Body Theater being slightly shiny because of spot gloss)!

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Also, we’ve got back covers!  These are some attractive back covers.

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And spines!  All in a line.

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Fall!  It’s coming up quick, you guys.  We can’t wait to share all of these books with you!

August 13, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

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(my Fall 2015 review copy shelf right now)

Sometimes the books we publish aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

That’s something we’re actually pretty okay with.  We publish a whole bunch of books, over a number of different age levels and genres, addressing lots of different subject matter.  If you are a person who likes both girl outer space adventure and adult nonfiction, that’s awesome — but we don’t really expect that everyone who reads one of our graphic novels will like them all.  And those are two opposite ends of the scale — we know readers whose tastes are even more specific than that, enjoying nonfiction biographies but not political ones; enjoying kid space adventure but only girl space adventure.

That’s all fine!  We’re glad if you like our books — and our publishing program — but liking our books and our publishing program doesn’t mean that you have to enjoy every single thing that we publish.  If you just enjoy some of our books and are completely oblivious to our publishing program, that’s fine, too.

We do send out review copies, and because our books are a very varied lot, that sometimes means a reviewer will get something that seems up their alley, but is not to their taste.  And sometimes they review it anyways, pointing out the flaws.

Obviously, we prefer positive reviews of our books.  But (almost) no book is perfect, and there are lots of different literary tastes out there in the world.  We understand that not liking books is something that happens, and we don’t vow revenge against people who just can’t make that connection with one of our titles, even if we’ve sent them the book in the first place.  Getting a book in the mail does not come with an obligation to like it, or to review it positively (or at all)!

So, dear reviewers, there is no need to e-mail and apologize profusely for reviewing something negatively.  Sometimes it happens!  If you can just refrain from actively insulting us and the author, we promise we will still speak to you in the future.

August 10, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

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(art from Richard Sala’s lovely graphic novel Cat Burglar Black. No publishing idea theft occurs during this book.)

Every so often, someone e-mails or calls or comes up to us at a show to tell us that they have a wonderful book that they’re working on, but they don’t want to show it to us because they’re afraid we’ll steal the idea for it, then get another author and artist to write and draw a book with the same concept behind it.

I’m here today to tell you definitively: if you’re an author, this is not something that you have to worry about.

Because we’re publishers, we’re always on the look out for new authors and new books to publish.  We are constantly wandering around being like, ‘I hope some amazing new author comes and sends me their wonderful new book and then we will give them a contract and publish it!’  It is literally the best day of the month when someone e-mails us with a wonderfully exciting new project that has something in it that speaks to us, or when a talented author we know comes to us and says, ‘let’s work together.’

If you’re a person who’s a writer/artist who has lots of interesting and great ideas that work harmoniously with our publishing program and you e-mail us about them, our response is not, ‘great! Let’s steal those and then we’ll have to go through the trouble of finding and hiring another person who’s less enthusiastic about these interesting and great ideas and we’ll give them some money to develop them; I’m sure that’ll work out amazingly.’

We’d rather work with the person who has the interest and great ideas in the first place!  And then perhaps they’ll have more interesting and great ideas in the years to come and we can publish them for years and years to both of our benefits.  We’re publishers; finding an author/illustrator who has great ideas and can make them into a book for us is an exciting and wonderful and valuable thing!

 

August 6, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

Omaha Beach on D-Day!  We’re so pleased to share a first look at the advanced books for this title, which just showed up in the office right now.

They look super! This book is a new format for us — it’s translated from French.  What it does is take an iconic historical photograph, and tell the story (in graphic novel format) of how that photograph came to be taken.  It also includes a historical essay at the end.

Comics + photographs + history — it’s like peanut butter and jelly and some other sort of delicious sandwich thing, possibly bread!

Here’s the cover for the book — you can see immediately the photo and the comic elements!

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And here’s the spine.

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Here’s a set of books all lined up together.  They’re very dignified!

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And a close-up on the soldier at the bottom!

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(Extremely red) title page!

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Here’s one of the comics parts in the interior.

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And here’s the essay part!

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And the back cover!

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Omaha Beach on D-Day will be in stores in October.  We can’t wait for this handsome graphic novel!

August 4, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

We’re delighted that we have for you a new chapter in the saga of Battling Boy: The Fall of the House of West, the second volume of Aurora’s story!

If you’ve been following along with us and Paul from day one, you’ll know that when Battling Boy descends to the planet of monsters, he finds that there’s already someone there cleaning up the place: a girl a little older than him named Aurora.  The Aurora West books tell her story, which concludes in this second volume.

We just got advance books in the warehouse and they look super!  Here are pictures.

We love the cover of this book!  Aurora West FTW!

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She’s on fire!  (But not literally — those are electric jet powered propulsion system things.)

And here’s the spine.

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It has a tiny Aurora West on the bottom.

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Spines all together!

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Here’s the great interior art by David Rubin!

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With monsters!

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Here is the back cover.

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Two books together!  Red and teal.

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Aw, Battling Boy.  So many books!

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The Fall of the House of West will be in stores in October.  We’re excited!

July 28, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

Hey guys!

Winter is slowly creeping up on us (in the dead heat of summer that it currently is).  So without further ado: our upcoming season!

The Nameless City, by Faith Erin Hicks

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The Show, by Bastien Vives, Michael Sanlaville, and Balak

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The Glorkian Warrior and the Mustache of Destiny, by James Kochalka
(the final volume in the Glorkian Warrior trilogy!)

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Sweaterweather, by Sara Varon

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Apollo, by George O’Connor

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Delilah Dirk and the King’ Shilling, by Tony Cliff

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Click the links for more!

We’re delighted to be publishing these marvelous books.  Winter can’t come soon enough!

July 13, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

New book!

We’ve just gotten copies of the third volume of the Last Man series, The Chase!  They’re officially in the office, and they look splendid.

Here are pictures!

The front cover — featuring our excellent female protagonist, Adrian’s mom!

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The spine (also featuring Adrian’s mom)!

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(And here are all the spines together.  You’ll notice the numbers and the logo are in red — we’re alternating between red and blue for this series!)

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The title page — also featuring guess who?

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We’re so pleased that Adrian’s mom gets a bigger role to play in this book.

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That’s because she’s awesome!

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She’s on the back cover, too — with Adrian!

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We’re so excited to see the first three books together at last.  Here are covers!

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Back covers!

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Numbers!

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Spine graphics!

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Yay!

The Chase will be in stores at the beginning of October.  We’re excited to share it with you then!

July 6, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Events

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(This is totally our booth from NYCC.  But we swear our SDCC booth looks very similar.)

First Second Books will be exhibiting at San Diego Comic-Con at booth #1323! We’ve got lots of books and authors and programs at the show – and please stop by the booth and say hi.

(And for more details about these panels, check out the SDCC website.)

THURSDAY, JULY 9th

Panel: From Fan to Creator: Making the Dream a Reality
Time: 10:00am – 11:00am / Room 23ABC
With :01 Author: Gene Luen Yang

Signing
Time: 10:30am – 11:30am
Asaf Hanuka and Boaz Lavie Signing in the :01 Booth #1323

Panel: Breaking Into Comics Right Now
Time: 12:00 – 1:00pm / Room 28DE
With :01 Staff: Gina Gagliano

Signing
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Gene Luen Yang Signing in the :01 Booth #1323

Panel: First Second Presents, ‘What’s In a Page?’
Time: 1:30pm – 2:30pm / Room 4
With :01 Authors: Scott McCloud, Asaf Hanuka, Aron Steinke, Gene Luen Yang

Panel: Eisner vs. Eisner: The Spirit at 75
Time: 2:30pm – 3:30pm / Comics Arts Conference Room #4
With :01 Author: Scott McCloud

Signing
Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Aron Steinke in the :01 Booth #1323

Panel: Banned Books
Time: 4:00 – 5:00pm / San Diego Central Public Library / The Auditorium
With :01 Author: Mariko Tamaki

Panel: The Nerd in the Classroom: Sci-Fi as an Educational Tool
Time: 4:00pm – 5:00pm / Shiley Special Events Suite, San Diego Public Library
:01 Author: Gene Luen Yang

Signing
Time: 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Jen Wang in the :01 Booth #1323

Panel: Capturing Teen Angst in Comics
Time: 5:30pm – 6:30pm / Room 8
With :01 Author: Jillian Tamaki

Event: B&N Pop Culture Month Spotlight
Time: 7:00pm – 8:00pm / Location: B&N Mira Mesa / 10775 Westview Parkway / San Diego, CA 92126
With :01 Author: Mariko Tamaki

FRIDAY, JULY 10th

Panel: Spotlight on Scott McCloud
Time: 10:00 – 11:00am / Room 9
:01 Authors: Scott McCloud; moderated by Gene Luen Yang

Panel: 21st Century Creators
Time: 10:00am – 11:00am / Room 28DE
With :01 Author: Jillian Tamaki

Panel: Publishers Weekly Presents: The French Comics Invasion
Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm / Room 29AB
With :01 Staff: Mark Siegel

Panel: Spotlight on Dave Roman
Time: 11am – 12:00pm/ Room 4

Signing
Time: 11:30am – 1:30pm
Scott McCloud at the First Second Booth #1323

Panel: Hopey, Israel, Skim, Oafs, and Beyond
Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm / Room 28DE
With :01 Authors: Mariko Tamaki

Panel: Comics and the Real World: Using Graphic Novels as Tools of Tolerance
Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm / Room: 30 CDE
With :01 Authors: Aron Steinke, Cecil Castellucci

Signing
Time: 2:00 – 3:00pm
Dave Roman signing at the :01 Booth #1323

Panel: Creative Storytelling: Choose Your Own Adventure
Time: 3:30 – 4:30pm / Room 8
With :01 Author: Aron Steinke

Panel: Spotlight on Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki
Time: 4:00pm – 5:00pm / Room 29AB

Panel: Spotlight on Asaf Hanuka and Boaz Lavie
Time: 5:00 – 6:00pm / Room 9

Signing
Time: 5:00pm – 6:00pm / Location: AA09
With :01 Author Aron Steinke

Signing
Time: 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki in the :01 Booth #1323

SATURDAY, JULY 11th

Galley Give-Away
Time: 11:00am / at the :01 Booth #1323
We’ll be giving away copies of Faith Erin Hicks’ The Nameless City!

Program: Kids Comics Publishers Library Day
Kids Comics Summit
Time: 11:00 – 12:00 / Location: San Diego Central Library – Shiley Special Events Suite / 330 Park Blvd / San Diego, CA 92101
With :01 Staff: Calista Brill

Panel: Working Together: Writers and Artists
Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm / Room 28DE
With :01 Authors: Jillian Tamaki, Mariko Tamaki, Asaf Hanuka, Boaz Lavie

Panel: Comics in the Classroom – Real-World Ideas for Engaging Your Students with Comics!
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm / Room 30CDE
With :01 Authors: Dave Roman, Cecil Castellucci

Program: Kids Comics Publishers Library Day: Age Categories
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 / Location: San Diego Central Library – Shiley Special Events Suite / 330 Park Blvd / San Diego, CA 92101
With :01 Staff: Calista Brill

Signing
Time: 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Scott McCloud Signing in the :01 Booth #1323

Program: Kids Comics Publishers Library Day: Librarian/Educator Fall 2015 Graphic Novel Buzz
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 / Location: San Diego Central Library – Shiley Special Events Suite / 330 Park Blvd / San Diego, CA 92101
With :01 Staff: Gina Gagliano

Panel: Diversity
Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm / Room 28DE
:01 Author: Mariko Tamaki

Program: Kids Comics Publishers Library Day: Contemporary Issues in Graphic Novel Publishing for Educators and Librarians
Time: 2:00 – 3:00 / Location: San Diego Central Library – Shiley Special Events Suite / 330 Park Blvd / San Diego, CA 92101
With :01 Staff: Gina Gagliano

Signing
Time: 2:30pm – 3:30pm
Asaf Hanuka and Boaz Lavie Signing at the :01 Booth #1323

Signing
Time: 2:30pm – 3:30pm / Location: Autographing Area 09
With :01 Author Mariko Tamaki

Panel: Kids Comics
Time: 3:00 – 4:00pm / Room 23ABC
With :01 Author: Dave Roman

Program: Kids Comics Publishers Library Day: Events for Community Engagement
Time: 3:00 – 4:00 / Location: San Diego Central Library – Shiley Special Events Suite / 330 Park Blvd / San Diego, CA 92101
With :01 Staff: Gina Gagliano

Signing
Time: 4:30 – 5:30pm
Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki Signing in the :01 Booth #1323

Program: Kids Comics Publishers Library Day: Librarian Talkbalk
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 / Location: San Diego Central Library – Shiley Special Events Suite / 330 Park Blvd / San Diego, CA 92101
With :01 Staff: Mark Siegel

Panel: Storytelling
Time: 5:30pm / Room 8
With :01 Staff: Calista Brill

SUNDAY, JULY 12th 

Panel: The Girls Are Alright!
Time: 10:00am – 11:00am / Room 30CDE
With :01 Authors: Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki, Cecil Castellucci

Signing
Time: 11:30am – 12:30pm
Cecil Castellucci Signing in the :01 Booth #1323

Panel: Push Fun Forward: All-Ages Comics Have Arrived
Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm / Room 24 ABC
With :01 Authors: Dave Roman, Cecil Castellucci

See you at the show!

June 22, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Events

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Readers, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that our plans for this week involve going to the ALA annual conference — and that we’re very excited about it.  Being the publisher of the first ever graphic novel to win a Caldecott Honor makes this an automatically amazing conference for us this year, and we’re thrilled to be celebrating at this show!

First Second will be exhibiting with MacKids at booth 1003 and 1004 in the north hall. Please come by and visit us.

And don’t forget to check out the ALA Artists Alley.  :01 authors Tony Cliff, Thien Pham, Lark Pien, Dave Roman, Aron Steinke, and Gene Luen Yang will be exhibiting there throughout the show! Stop by and say hi and check out their latest books — they’re all awesome.

Here’s our complete schedule!

THURSDAY, JUNE 25th

Asian Pacific American Library Association – 35th Anniversary Plenary Session
Time: 4:45 – 6:00pm
Location: University of San Francisco / McLaren Conference Center / 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA
Gene Luen Yang (The Shadow Hero) will be featured in this celebration of Asian Pacific American authors and librarians!

FRIDAY, JUNE 26th

ALSC Preconference — Also Truly Distinguished (and Diverse!): An Afternoon Honoring the Honor Winners
Time: 11:30am – 4:00pm
Location: Moscone Convention Center – 2003 W
Jillian Tamaki will be speaking at This One Summer throughout the conference, and :01 Editorial Director Mark Siegel will speak about Batchelder Honor title Hidden.

GraphicCon: We Need Diverse Comics
Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Location: Moscone Convention Center 3010 W
This discussion of diversity in comics will feature :01 authors Tony Cliff (Delilah Dirk), Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer), Gene Luen Yang (The Shadow Hero).

Gene Luen Yang Signing in the :01/MacKids Booth
Time: 6:00 – 6:30pm
Location: Booth 1003/1004
We’ll have a few advance copies of Gene’s upcoming graphic novel Secret Coders to give away to the first people in line!

Printz Award Reception
Time: 8:00pm – 10:00pm
Location: Marriott Marquis San Francisco / Golden Gate A & B / Lower B2 Level / 780 Mission St / San Francisco, CA
Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki will be receiving a Printz Honor for This One Summer! How awesome is that? So awesome!

SATURDAY, JUNE 27th

Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki Signing in the :01/MacKids Booth
Time: 9:00am – 10:00am
Location: :01/MacKids Booth 1003/1004
We’ll have copies of This One Summer (with the silver stickers!) and Supermutant Magic Academy, as well as some galleys of Mariko’s upcoming YA novel Saving Montgomery Sole!

The History and Growth of First Second Books
Time: 10:00am – 11:00am
Location: Graphic Novel Stage (behind Artists Alley)
:01 Editorial Director Mark Siegel will discuss First Second’s past and future!

Beyond Tintin: Collecting European Comics in the US
Time: 1:00pm – 2:30pm
Location: Moscone Convention Center – Room 3004 W
A discussion of the state of the European graphic novel in our country, with :01 Editorial Director Mark Siegel.

Graphic Novel Award Winners: Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki in Conversation with Cece Bell
Time: 2:45 – 3:30pm
Location: Graphic Novel Stage (behind Artists Alley)
Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki talk to Cece Bell about graphic novels breaking the Newbery and Caldecott barriers this year, conducted by Gene Ambaum (Unshelved).

Asian Pacific American Library Association Award Ceremony
Time: 6:30pm
Location: Canton Restaurant / 655 Folsom Street / San Francisco, CA
Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew will be receiving the APALA Honor for their wonderful graphic novel The Shadow Hero!

SUNDAY, JUNE 28th

YALSA CoffeeKlatch
Time: 8:55 – 10:00am
Location: Marriott Marquis / Yerba Buena Salon 7 – Lower B2 Level / 780 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA
Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki will be featured in this YA author roundtable discussion!

Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki Groundwood Signing
Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm
Location: Groundwood Booth #1327, North Hall
If you want a Canadian copy of This One Summer, now’s your chance to snag one!

Protecting Comics: Authors & Experts on Fighting Graphic Novel Challenges
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Location: Graphic Novel Stage (behind Artists Alley)
Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki, and Gene Luen Yang will speak with the CBLDF about comics and censorship!

We Need Diverse Books Presents: How to Move from Talk to Action
Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Location: Moscone Convention Center 2005 W
Gene Luen Yang will discuss bringing diversity to children’s books in libraries with We Need Diverse Books.

Historical Fiction Graphic Novels
Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Location: Graphic Novel Stage (behind Artists Alley)
Tony Cliff (Delilah Dirk) talks about what goes into writing and drawing historical fiction!

Newbery Caldecott Wilder Banquet
Time: 7:00 – 11:00pm
Location: Hilton Union Square, Grand Ballroom A&B, Level 1 / 333 O’Farrel Street, San Francisco, CA
Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki’s This One Summer is the first ever graphic novel to receive a Caldecott Award! So exciting!

MONDAY, JUNE 29th

ALSC Book & Media Awards
Time: 8:30am – 10:00am
Location: Moscone Convention Center – 3006 W
Hidden, by Loic Dauvillier, Marc Lizano, and Greg Salsedo will receive the Batchelder Honor! :01 Editorial Director Mark Siegel will accept the award for the authors.

See you at the show!

June 18, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

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(we’re delighted to present this Q&A with Faith Erin Hicks in honor of this week’s publication of a mass market edition of her first graphic novel with us, Brain Camp!)

What’s your protagonist’s favorite flavor of ice cream and why? What’s your own favorite flavor of ice cream?

I’m going to say Lucas probably likes something gross like bubblegum because you get both ice cream and gum (so bonus candy), and Jenna likes something classic like chocolate, because she’s nerdy like me and chocolate’s my favourite.

Which literary character would you fall in love with if they existed outside of the pages of books?

Can I pick a comic character? Roy Mustang from Fullmetal Alchemist. So hot. So tragic. So loyal. So hot. Did I mention he was hot?

What book would you take with you to a desert island?

Yikes, I’m not sure. I’d probably want to take my three favourite comic series: Bone by Jeff Smith, Pluto by Naoki Urasawa and Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa.

Flight or invisibility?

Flight! So exercise would finally be fun.

What was your favorite book as a kid?

Hm, I think it was a dead heat between the Chronicles of Prydain and the Vesper Holly books, both by Lloyd Alexander. Both series had action, adventure and awesome girls who kicked butt.

What was the last book you read?

A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner, the fourth book in her fantasy series about warring (or at least conspiring) kingdoms. That sounds really bland, but I love these books. They have great characters who are never what they seem.

What food goes perfectly with your novel?

No one should eat while reading this comic, because this comic is SUPER GROSS. You will lose your lunch.

What’s your favorite word?

Cake.

What literary character should your readers use as a basis for their mental picture of you?

I have no idea. I’m literally stumped by this. I mean, I know characters that I’d like to be, but they’re definitely not like me at all. I’ll get back to you on that.

You have one chance to convert someone into a book lover. What book do you give them?

Bone by Jeff Smith. No one can resist its charms.

What literary character is your favorite Halloween costume?

I’m bad at Halloween. The last time I dressed up I was Superhero Girl, who’s my own character from a comic I draw. So I guess Superhero Girl?

What’s your favorite part of a book?

I like the part just past the middle when the action really gets going and I’m a lot more familiar with the chracters, so I’m really rooting for them to save the day or whatever. Any part of the book with a lot of action or drama is my favourite part.

What animal would your daemon (or patronus) be?

A sloth. Because I’m always tired and hanging from trees and making weird “eek!”ings noises when I want to be fed.

What’s the first book you remember reading?

I learned to read on Asterix and Tintin comics. My dad would go to work and I wouldn’t want to wait until he came home for him to read them to me, so I started reading them myself. Probably explains why I’m a cartoonist.

If you and your main character went on an adventure together, where would you go? Would it be fun?

I think Jenna and I would have an incredibly informative time at various museums. It would look boring to other people, but I love museums and would enjoy the heck out of our trip. PS. I’m boring. I’m sorry!

What would a reading tree house designed just for you look like?

First off, it would be someplace where it always rains, so I’d never look out the window and see a nice day and feel badly for being indoors. It would also have an English version of Silver Spoon by Hiromu Arakawa, because I’m dying to read that and it’s still not legally available. :( And pillows. Lots and lots of pillows. Also a few cats. And someone to vacuum because cat hair gets everywhere.

Who’s your favorite author?

Just one? That’s mean, I can’t pick just one. I’ll list a bunch. Rainbow Rowell, Jeff Smith, Maggie Stiefvater, Naoki Urasawa, Megan Whalen Turner, Lloyd Alexander, Diana Wynne Jones, Hiromu Arakawa. I could never pick just one.

If you could meet one now-deceased author or illustrator, who would it be?

Lloyd Alexander. He’s the reason I decided to tell stories for a living, so it’d be nice to thank him. Or yell at him, whichever.