KidsComicQuestions-TourBannerWelcome to Kids Comics Q&A Blog Tour, held in celebration of Children’s Book Week!

 

 

Thank you so much to Mac Teen for organizing!! And to our sponsors for this blog tour: Children’s Book Week, Every Child A Reader and Comic Book Legal Defense Fund!

Today we have a wonderful treat!

Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosad, co-authors of “Dragons Beware!”

 

 

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RAFAEL:  Jorge, I met you at The Ohio State University many years ago.  We were both in the Photography and Cinema Department and we became friends.  It took about twenty years, but we’re finally working together.  And now, I’m going to ask you some questions:

JORGE: Fire away!

 

RAFAEL:    You’ve always addressed your Latino heritage in your work, yet here we are working on fantasy stories set in medieval France.  Do you still  have a need or feel an obligation to tell stories about the Latino experience?

JORGE:   For awhile many of my stories were kind of Midwestern Latino-centric, which mirrors my own experience.  While I never felt an obligation to tell Latino stories, those kind of stories are really important to me, and I hope I get to tell more of those in the future.  At the same time, I hope I get to tell a lot more Claudette’s adventures too.  If I’m lucky, I will get to write all kinds of things.

 

RAFAEL:    You’re one of my oldest friends…..besides working on the student films we made in college, did you ever think we’d be doing something like this together?

JORGE:  There was a period after I dropped out of Georgetown Law school, and you were living in Los Angeles, when I was convinced we would collaborate on a feature film.  I figured I would write it and you would direct it.  But then I moved to New York instead of Los Angeles, and by the time I finally moved to LA, you had already moved back to Columbus.  At some point around then, it didn’t see likely anymore that we would collaborate on a film.  And then Claudette came along.  Collaborating on Claudette with you is sort of what I thought making a films together would be like. Only way  better.   Waaaaaay better!!!

 

RAFAEL:     Do stories come easy to you, or is it a constant struggle?

JORGE: It’s a constant struggle for me. I’m not a guy with a million ideas in a notebook.  I’ll take an idea and I’ll twist and turn it around like crazy and try all sorts of things before it starts to feel like a real story to me.  At the same time, I try not be to precious about my ideas. If it’s not working, I try to toss it and move on.  Nothing comes easy to me when it comes to writing.  I rewrite stories like crazy (as you’ve seen).

 

RAFAEL:     What was your favorite comic growing up? What about Latino comics like Quino’s Mafalda? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafalda

JORGE:  I loved Superman. He was an immigrant like my parents :-)   I loved all the DC super heroes: Flash, Green Lantern, Batman, Legion of Super Heroes, Infinity Inc, Teen Titans, etc. On the Marvel side, Spiderman, Daredevil, and Iron Man  were my favorites. We’re talking mid-80s here, I think.  I also really liked the Battlestar Galactica comic (which I don’t think lasted very long), and for some reason I still think about Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew.

As for Mafalda! I can’t say enough about how much I love her.   I always knew about Mafalda growing up, but I didn’t read her until I was older and my Spanish was improved enough to understand Quino’s humor.   The way Claudette speaks is sort of modeled on Mafalda.  At least they are similar in my brain.  And before I write each book, I re-read some Mafalda to get into the right mind frame.

 

RAFAEL:     I directed a film you wrote when we were in film school together and I forced you to act in it-have you ever forgiven me for this?

JORGE:  I’ve forgiven, but I have not forgotten! Boy, was that embarrassing! But the reality is I think all writers should take plenty of acting classes or act in films or take public speaking classes.  I wish I had done more of that. When I started writing, I liked the idea of being alone with my thoughts and a keyboard, but the reality is to be a working writer you have to be able to explain your ideas to others. You have to be able to pitch your ideas. And if I had been better actor or public speaker many of things that were very difficult for me would probably have been easier.

 

 

Thank you Rafael and Jorge for stopping by!

 

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  • Free Comic Book Day to kick off Children’s Book Week: The CBC and ECAR have partnered with Diamond Comic Distributors and Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) to designate Free Comic Book Day (May 2) as the official kick-off event to Children’s Book Week 2015. Over two million comics will be given away to younger readers at over 2,000 comic book specialty stores. Press release here.

 

Throughout CBW, comic shops, bookstores, and libraries will host official events in all 50 states. See what celebrations are happening near you at www.bookweekonline.com/official!

 

  • The third annual Children’s Book Week display contest for booksellers

The CBC is partnering with the ABC Children’s Group at ABA on a Children’s Book Week display contest again this year, and we encourage comic book specialty stores to participate. Details online here. Images of last year’s entries are here.

 

 

Children’s Book Week, (May 4-10, 2015) – 96th annual celebration!
Children’s Book Week is the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading. It is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country.

In 2015, official Children’s Book Week events – including appearances by beloved children’s book authors & illustrators, children’s open mic nights, read-alouds, book-themed costume parties, and much more – will be held in all 50 states. Photos from last year here. Event attendees receive complimentary Children’s Book Week posters and tote bags. You can see how the celebrations for 2015 are shaping up here.

Children’s Book Week is administered by Every Child a Reader (ECAR) and the Children’s Book Council (CBC) is the anchor sponsor. More.