I’m so excited to welcome the awesome Mike Lowery to the MUF blog today!
He is celebrating the release of his new book:
The Rise of the Rusty Robo-Cat! by Workman Publishing.
A little bit about the book: Carl the Duck is back and needs help on the very important mission of discovering why the cats around town are acting like jerks. Can you track them down and break the spell they are under? (And maybe draw a space vampire along the way?) Each page combines hand-lettered text, delightful illustrations, plus prompts and plenty of space for the reader’s own contributions. The book is sturdy paper over board with high-quality cream paper that’s a pleasure to draw on. Kids will love using their imaginations to complete the story, then reading it over and over again.
“Perfect for a summer birthday gift, a travel distraction, or for gathering out on the porch and enjoying a warm evening together.” — Geek Dad
Thanks for joining us today, Mike! Here are a few questions for you
Why do you write graphic novels/illustrated stories for middle grade readers?
I really got into comics and reading when I was around 9. Later, when I was given the chance to pitch my own ideas for books, I tried to make something that 9-14 year old me would’ve loved. Also, I like making jokes about pizza and pirates and slugs and silly stuff.
What comes first—the art idea or the book idea?
All of my projects are usually based on something that I came up with in my sketchbook, so I guess I’d say art idea comes first.
You seem to love random facts—why is that? Why do you think these appeal to kids?
We used to take a LOT of road trips when I was a kid. My dad would get audio books on tape, and we’d listen to lots of stand up comedy…and sometimes we would listen to non-fiction interesting facts books. You could say I started collecting weird facts at a very young age, and never really stopped. So, it made sense years later to start drawing some of the stuff that I found particularly interesting.
How long does it take you to do the illustrations for a book?
It really depends on the book. For some stuff it might be just a few months, but the random facts book that I’m working on has taken almost two years!
Where do you come up with your wacky and fun characters?
Every morning, before I start drawing for projects that I’m working on, I spend some time just making doodles and sketches in my sketchbook. Sometimes these doodles turn into funny looking characters and I develop them to have personalities that might be funny in a book.
Why did you decide to invite kids to write in your book?
Again, I wanted something that I would’ve liked as a kid. I loved drawing, but I didn’t always know what to draw. I wanted a book for kids that needed a little push to help with drawing, and I’ve gotten to see some really crazy and awesome ideas from the folks who have been filling out the books.
Do you have a favorite of all of your books?
That’s tough. I’ll say I’ve had a lot of fun drawing the Doodle Adventures series because I get to draw a grumpy duck named Carl.
Can you give us a hint about the next book you are working on?
Yes! But just a little hint. One book is a collection of drawings of random facts, one is about an evil character (who turns out to be not-so-evil).
That sounds really cool! Thanks for being with us today, Mike.
If you want to learn more, please check out this information :
Mike Lowery is the creator of the Doodle Adventures series and The Kid’s Awesome Activity Calendar. He lives with his wife and daughter in Atlanta, GA. Mike shares daily sketches on Instagram @mikelowerystudio. Find out more about him and his work at www.mikelowery.com.
Workman Publishing is offering a FREE SET of Doodle Adventure Series books!
Just leave a comment below to be entered.
Great to read a bit more about your inner workings, Mike. My son loves your doodle adventure books. Looking forward to the weird facts book!
Would love to share these books with students!
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My son would really enjoy these books
“Pesky pizza pirate” was such a hit with my seven year old. Would love to surprise her with this!
your books will be an inspiration for my young library patrons. I love finding new stories that are interactive and creative. Thanks for the opportunity.
Congrats on the new book! These sound like a lot of fun!
Thanks for sharing more about your process!
Great interview! I shared this with my doodle loving son. This would be a great series to add to my class library. Thank you for sharing!
Working in an elementary school library, I can attest to the irresistable urge some kids have to leave their marks in storybooks – kudos for tapping into that compulsion. It looks like great fun!
Mike Lowery rocks! Fun stuff!
Thanks for an interesting interview. The books look great, but please let someone else win. I am buried in book right now.
These books sound fun! How great to be able to draw and interact with a book in this way.
What a great collection! My students would love these!