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The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza Paperback – March 25, 2014
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James Kochalka in Conversation with Tom Angleberger
James Kochalka is the first Cartoonist Laureate of Vermont. He's the author and illustrator of several popular children's book series, but he's also won the Harvey Award and four Ignatz Awards for his books for adults. The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza is his first book with a traditional publisher. Tom Angleberger is the author of the bestselling "Origami Yoda" series. He is also the author of Horton Halfpott and Fake Mustache, both Edgar Award nominees, and The Qwikpick Papers: Poop Fountain! Here, they chat about blowing minds, monsters, and magic robots.
I like authors who are capable of blowing kids' minds and aren't afraid to do it. Did you have that amazing ending in sight when you started?
Honestly, it kind of blew my own mind too! It turned my light-hearted adventure into actual science fiction, which I thought was pretty cool. I definitely didn't know how it was going to end when I began scripting... but somewhere along the way I figured it out. Actually... near the end, when the Magic Robot pointed out the Glorkian Warrior's mistake, that was the first I knew about it. And then as I drafted the final chapters, I pieced together the reasons why. What's really great about the ending is that it will totally change your reading experience of the beginning if you go back and read the book a second time.
Did anyone say to you, "This is just too weird for a kids book?" or maybe "This is just too weird for an adult book?"
The biggest knock I've received so far was from myself. .. after finishing the final draft, I read the book to myself and was actually kinda overwhelmed and embarrassed by how relentlessly stupid the story is. When I first submitted it to First Second, the publisher brought the draft home to read to his kids. The kids declared it the "stupidest book ever written," but they absolutely loved it. I guess it's the kind of stupid kids like. Which makes sense because I drew the whole thing as a bedtime story to entertain my own sons.
What did you read as a kid that blew your mind?
The Bad Island by William Steig definitely blew my mind. It's like non-stop constantly escalating monster destruction. And in the end EVERYBODY DIES! It's since been republished as The Rotten Island... and the language has been altered a bit since the first edition. Almost all of Steig's books are more intense than your standard children's book, but this one in particular used complicated language and especially wild imagery. It has the best monsters ever drawn, for sure.
Will there be a Return of the Glorkian?
Oh yeah! I'm well into book two, but I haven't chosen a title yet. By the time The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza actually comes out I will already be finished drawing book two. It's probably even stupider than book one and will have an even more ridiculous ending.
James Kochalka & Tom Angleberger
From School Library Journal
Gr 1–4—The Glorkian Warrior, a three-eyed, amiable alien dunce with an overdeveloped sense of drama, and Super Backpack, his sentient portable weapon system with a yen for action, receive a mysterious call to deliver a pizza. "You say wrong number… I say… DESTINY!" the Warrior declares, and the book continues in this vein of tongue-in-cheek lunacy. The mild adversarial relationship between the Warrior and his backpack mimics the sibling dynamic found in Kochalka's other books-most obviously in the "Johnny Boo" series (Top Shelf, 2008)-and provides much of the humor and the engine with which most readers will find a recognizable hook amid the flights of fancy. The book is leisurely paced, featuring large panels with lots of breathing room padding out most of the surprising length, with zany miscommunication and humorous confusion slowing down the action. Kochalka uses this ambling storytelling style to have a gag with each turn of the page, thus ensuring engagement with readers. While the character renderings are rather staid, the expressiveness of their eyes and mouths is effectively dynamic, and the eight-bit, retro-aesthetic color palette helps establish the extraterrestrial bona fides of the setting. Quirky, funny, lighthearted, and interestingly subversive.—Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
He wasn't interested at first (he's just starting to read on his own, a little bit) and needed some coaxing. But once I explained to him that it's supposed to be a pretty silly book and easy to read and another comic book (he's read one or two other easy ones), he reluctantly decided to start reading it.
That took about a chapter and a half of begrudging reading until he was hooked, and now he's just devouring it, plus pausing periodically to tell me the funny lines in it.
Really big hit with him. Definitely recommended.
I look forward to finding an opportunity to read it myself, after the glowing discussion and unending babble about the story going on around our house.