SCIENCE COMICS: DINOSAURS — FOSSILS AND FEATHERS
Every volume of Science Comics offers a complete introduction to a particular topic–dinosaurs, coral reefs, the solar system, volcanoes, bats, flying machines, and more. These gorgeously illustrated graphic novels offer wildly entertaining views of their subjects. Whether you’re a fourth grader doing a natural science unit at school or a thirty-year-old with a secret passion for airplanes, these books are for you!
This volume: in Dinosaurs, learn all about the history of paleontology! This fascinating look at dinosaur science covers the last 150 years of dinosaur hunting, and illuminates how our ideas about dinosaurs have changed–and continue to change.
Interview with M.K. Reed conducted by John Patrick Green
1. What inspired you to get into graphic novels? Do you have any favorite comics or cartoons or children’s books from when you were young?
Calvin & Hobbes & The Far Side were our household staples, and probably the main reason we had a newspaper subscription when I was a kid. I also read Archie, but there weren’t as many comics available when I was a kid, definitely not any graphic novels that I knew of
2. Between the research, the writing, the drawing, the editing, and the printing, making a graphic novel takes a really long time. And yet, scientific advancements and discoveries are made every day, even in regard to million- and billion-year-old dinosaurs. Did you have any obstacles to overcome in making sure that Dinosaurs was as scientifically accurate as possible?
That was part of the reason I decided to talk about the history of dinosaurs. There’s basically a new dinosaur discovered every week, but there’s a finite amount of research about Mary Anning or Edward Drinker Cope. In fact, in between the time I wrote the script & when Joe was almost done drawing it, Brontosaurus was reestablished as a valid genus, so we had to add a page updating it. And the second to last panel of the book, which I’d written as something that would soon be possible, just became a thing that actually happened, in between the time the book went to print at the end of last summer and now.
3. You’ve illustrated some of your own comics but have also worked solely as writer with a number of artists. What makes the collaborate process so appealing, especially when it comes to comics?
It’s … nicer? It’s very pleasant to have someone else to talk to who’s as invested as you are in the project, and to have their talents working with yours to make something together. It can be a lonely process all on your own, versus while working with Joe, we regularly talk about how things are going, and our frustrations and potential solutions to problems we’re working out.
4. What is your creative process like? As someone who writes and draws comics, do you keep a separate writing notebook, or do you doodle your stories, even if someone else might draw them?
It’s always a little different, but I usually start with an outline and figure out how many pages I’m going to take for an idea. For Dinosaurs I kept a binder of graph paper and did a draft with very rough sketches and layouts, although I ultimately ended up using post it notes for texts & smaller panels, because I kept having to go back and move things around. I was also trying to limit the amount of text from becoming too much of an information dump on each page, so fitting all the words on a small post it helped keep it from getting too wordy. Then I typed it up so that other humans could make sense of it all, and not lose my post-its in the process.
5. Do you have any upcoming projects? What’s a subject you’d like to take a crack at next?
I’m working on a series about teen girl wizards for later this year, a nonfiction GN about the passing of the 19th Amendment, and another book or two for Science Comics.
6. What are some recent comics or kid’s books you would recommend?
Follow the entire blog tour:
Monday, May 2nd – Forever YA featuring Gene Luen Yang
Monday, May 2nd – Read Write Love featuring Lucas Turnbloom
Monday, May 2nd – Kid Lit Frenzy featuring Kory Merritt
Tuesday, May 3rd – Sharp Read featuring Ryan North
Tuesday, May 3rd – Teen Lit Rocks featuring MK Reed
Wednesday, May 4th – Love is Not a Triangle featuring Chris Schweizer
Wednesday, May 4th – SLJ Good Comics for Kids featuring Victoria Jamieson
Thursday, May 5th – The Book Wars featuring Judd Winick
Thursday, May 5th – SLJ Fuse #8 featuring Eric Colossal
Friday, May 6th – SLJ Scope Notes featuring Nathan Hale
Friday, May 6th – The Book Rat featuring Faith Erin Hicks
Saturday, May 7th – YA Bibliophile featuring Mike Maihack
Saturday, May 7th – Supernatural Snark featuring Sam Bosma
Sunday, May 8th – Charlotte’s Library featuring Maris Wicks
Sunday, May 8th – The Roarbots featuring Raina Telgemeier