1. Do you tend to think of yourself more as a writer or as an artist?
In my case, I think the two are pretty inseparable. I work a lot on the structure of my stories and I get a lot of joy out of that, but my art is not just in the service of the story, it's very much a part of the storytelling. I find things like characters’ body language to be a wonderful storytelling tool. I’ve also lately been interested in projects that separate words and pictures -- illustrated novels on the one hand and wordless comics on the other.
2. The Zita books feature some pretty strange creatures. You must've had a strange childhood!
I’ve always been drawn to weird creatures. Some of my early drawings are vast underground scenes full of creatures that aren’t that far removed from some of the species in the Zita books. I was lucky in that my parents exposed me to a lot of different influences -- all kinds of books and movies. And we spent days spent exploring rivers. We were even active members of the Society for Creative Anachronisms!
3. Out of all that, what kinds of things influenced you the most?
When I was a very small child my older cousin took me to see The Dark Crystal at the theater. We had to leave about halfway through the film because I was crying. The grownups all said it must have been too scary. I’ve seen The Dark Crystal since, but I also remember very clearly seeing those creatures on the screen for the first time. All these years later I wonder if maybe I wasn’t just frightened, but overloaded by the the intense creativity. I still think that they did more with those puppets than we do with CGI today.
4. How does Legends of Zita differ from Zita the Spacegirl?
I feel like this volume lives up to the title a little better in that there are scenes that take place in SPACE. I’m finally putting some “space” in “spacegirl.
5. Can you tell us about one of your favorite scenes or moments in this new story?
There’s a chase through the back alleys of a domed space city that culminates with the dramatic entrance of a new character. I’m proud of that part. There’s another moment toward the end of the book, a moment of danger for Zita, that I decided to make into a single image spread across two pages with no dialogue. That’s the joy of comics: you can show any given moment a hundred different ways but when it works it’s a lot of fun.
Although something of a sophomore slump compared to the first book, this second Zita outing is still a fun read.Published 25 days ago by Kristen D. Maxwell
Unfortunately this didn't at all interest my graphic novel loving 9 year old.Published 1 month ago by Laura Jacobs
My daughter discovered this series through schoolastic and she is now hooked! Was happy to see we could find other books in the series here on Amazon at very reasonable prices. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Drea Drea Bo Bea
I've given the first two Zita books to my 7 year old granddaughter, and she and her 9 year old brother love them. She and a friend also love drawing the characters. Read morePublished 1 month ago by James G. Bruen Jr.
Bought for my younger brother whom read it without any problems on the pages.Published 2 months ago by owns
Wonderful story and beautifully illustrated. Both my 9yo and 6yo girls just love this seriesPublished 2 months ago by Darsh
This series is well-loved in this house by kid girls & daddy alike. They are read & re-read over & over!Published 3 months ago by Stephanie Y.
When I read the first Zita, I thought it was pretty good, but I wasn't sure graphic novels were for me. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bookphile