Whether you’re young or old, regardless of your tastes and interests, there’s no denying the appeal of a well-written, well-drawn comic book or graphic novel. “All-Ages” doesn’t have to strictly mean “For Kids Only”… especially when there’s so much wonderful content being created today that’s perfectly suited for anyone to pick up and enjoy.
This month PREVIEWS celebrates Kid Comics throughout the issue with plenty of new and backlist titles available. And in anticipation of this month’s theme, we reached out to some of All Ages Comics’ most talented creators for these mini-interviews! You may know the titles, but do you know their creators? Hopefully you’ll get a better insight into these talented creators with this month’s special feature!
Comic Creator Known For: Mermin
PREVIEWSworld: Tell us a little bit about yourself and about your book!
Joey Weiser: Hi! I’m Joey Weiser, the author of the Eisner Award-nominated Mermin graphic novel series (Vol. 1—OCT121154, Vol. 2—JUL131211, Vol. 3—MAY141499), frequent contributor to SpongeBob Comics, and more! Mermin is about a fish-boy who is washed up on the beach one day, and then is found by some human kids who take him in. But he is being pursued by other fish-creatures trying to take him back home. It’s a comedic adventure story for all ages!
PREVIEWSworld: What is the most exciting part of working on a kid’s comic? What do you think is most essential in crafting a story geared toward young readers?
Joey Weiser: The most exciting part about making comics for kids is hearing from young readers who love the book! Some of the most influential pieces of art in my life were things that I encountered early on, so to think that I could potentially have that impact is exciting for sure. I try to make my work as fun as possible, both to read and to create! I think this element is something that pushed me more towards making kids’ comics, and it’s great to just embrace that and really enjoy the work!
PREVIEWSworld: What can readers look forward to in your upcoming project?
Joey Weiser: In the previous volume, Mermin and his friends go underwater to the city of Mer where he and the other Mer-people reside. In Mermin Book 4: Into Atlantis (MAY151477) we get to explore another underwater city, Atlantis. It is a much different city, with much different residents!
PREVIEWSworld: And lastly, what was your favorite comic as a kid, and how does it continue to influence you today?
Joey Weiser: As a kid, I mostly read comic strips. Calvin and Hobbes, Bloom County, and Peanuts were among my favorites. I think my sense of comedic timing and some of the ways I compose panels and things like that are heavily influenced by comic strips. A thing that I love about Peanuts, specifically, is that you can feel the love and compassion that Schulz had for his characters. I hope that I can do the same with my comics.
Please recommend three current comics for kids that you enjoy, and provide a few sentences about why you think these comics are top picks!
1. Kitaro GN (JAN131107)
WHY? Shigeru Mizuki is one of my favorite cartoonists, and I especially love his “yokai” ghost stories! They are great adventures with lots of crazy creatures and spirits with a whole world of mythology to learn. I am so happy to hear that we will be getting more in English starting in 2016, and that they are going to be aimed specifically at a young audience.
2. Costume Quest: Invasion of the Candy Snatchers (JUN141332)
WHY? A totally wonderful Halloween story that can be enjoyed any time of year! Zac Gorman’s art is great and this book is really funny! I love the big format too. I didn’t even realize that it was tied in with a video game until I finished the book!
3. Leaky Timbers
WHY? A self-published book that was funded with Kickstarter, Joey Ellis is an amazing cartoonist, and you never can quite expect where he will take you with his humor! He’s a great puppeteer as well! There are some hilarious Leaky Timber videos online that I also recommend!