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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Five Questions with Kids Comics Authors: Andy Runton, creator of Owly

Today Dragons Beware! creators Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado are at The Hiding Spot to interview Owly creator Andy Runton! This interview series was co-sponsored by Children’s Book Council, Every Child a Reader, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. You can follow the full blog tour here.

Rafael/Jorge: Andy, thanks so much for answering our questions. And so nice to cyber-meet you. 
Andy: Absolutely! It's great to meet you as well. :) 
Rafael/Jorge: How do go about writing Owly, since it’s a silent comic? Do you write an outline first or just write/draw as you go?  
Andy: All of my stories come from real-life situations that are then customized for the Owly universe. I think of the story in my mind and write down a few notes. I'll do a quick summary and then I just start sketching. Most of the time this is when the details come into play so I really don't know how the story is going to really work until I start drawing. I know where it's headed but it doesn't really come to life until it's on paper. 
Rafael/Jorge: Will we ever see an animated Owly special or TV series? Do you have any interest in that? 
Andy: We actually worked hard to get an Owly series off the ground a while back and made a great little short with the help of Sprite Animation (who are absolutely fantastic! - you can see it here: We had a few offers but it never worked out. I'll keep working on Owly stories and maybe someday it'll happen. 
Rafael/Jorge: What contemporary cartoonists influence your work these days? 
Andy: I was hugely influenced by all of the comics and illustrated children's books I read growing up. My biggest comic influences are Bill Watterson, all of the artists that worked on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (especially Eric Talbot) and Mike Mignola.
Rafael/Jorge: What are you working on now? 
Andy: I'm actually working on a few side projects with plans to get started on the next full-length Owly graphic novel soon. 
Rafael/Jorge: What's on your nightstand? 
Andy: Exploring Calvin & Hobbes, The Art of Richard Thompson, Bodie Troll by Jay Fosgitt, and Band by Christine & Erin Humiston.

About Andy Runton:

Andy is the creator of the breakout all-ages series of graphic novels, Owly, featuring a kind-hearted little owl who's always searching for new friends and adventure. Relying on a mixture of symbols and expressions to tell his silent stories, Andy?s work showcases both his gift for characterization and his love of birds, animals, and the outdoors. His animated and heartwarming style has made him a favorite of both fans and critics alike.

The Owly series has earned him multiple awards in the comics and graphic novel community, including the Howard E. Day Memorial Prize, the Harvey Award, two Ignatz Awards, and the 2006 Eisner Award for "Best Publication for a Younger Audience". He lives in the greater Atlanta area, where he works full-time on Owly comics, books, and graphic novels.


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