Q&A with Drew Brockington

Drew Brockington is the creator of the CatStronauts series and new series, Waffles and Pancake. I was so thrilled to have the chance to ask him a few questions!

  1. Catstronauts is a popular series of graphic novel for young readers, where did the idea come for this series?

    My editor at Little Brown came to me with doing a CatStronauts spin off for younger readers, and I put together a pitch for stories about when the CatStronauts were kittens, and where they found their inspiration to go to space at.  Eventually we settled on starting with Waffles’ stories from his kitten hood.
  2. Where did you study illustration?

    I studied fine art at Kalamazoo College, and went on to do graphic design and illustration after school. When I got interested in children’s illustration, I took some continuing education courses at MCAD to develop my style and build a portfolio.
  3. Waffles and Pancake are adorable, and exuberant- are they based on children in your own life?

    They are! When I started this series, I had twin 4 year olds at home. Listening to their conversations is an amazing source of inspiration.
  4. What do you feel graphic novels offer readers?

    So much! Your brain works so hard when you read a graphic novel because you read the dialogue in the word balloon, but then you look at the character’s face and actions to figure out the emotions and mood There is a lot of interpretation when reading comics. 
  5. What advice would you give for reading graphic novels?

    If you are reading by yourself, make sure you take time to look at what is happening in the panels. Sometimes you just want to zoom ahead in the story, and in graphics half the story is told in the visuals.

    If you are reading a graphic out loud, I love using character voices and pointing to which panel I’m reading as I go.
  6. What do you hope readers will take from reading Catstronauts and Waffle and Pancake?”

    That everything can be an adventure if you want it to be. The kittens’ Adventures that they go on can seem pretty mundane (i.e. going to the museum). But they relax and have fun with it, and end up having a great time.

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