Drew Brockington is joining us today to talk about his graphic novel, Waffles and Pancake: Planetary-YUM. Here’s the publisher’s description:
Inspired by his beloved CatStronauts series, Drew Brockington is going back in time to when everyone’s favorite Catstronaut, Waffles, was a kitten! Fans of Narwhal and Jelly and Elephant & Piggie will love this fun, cat-tastic early graphic novel series.
One very special Saturday, Dad-Cat decides to take Waffles and his sister Pancake to the big city to go to the science museum! While they’re there, the kittens see extraordinary things, like dino-cats, hairballs in 4D, and even the planetarium. But as the kittens learn about constellations and Neil Pawstrong, they get separated from Dad-Cat. Oh no!
Will the kittens be able to find their (possibly invisible) Dad-Cat? Or will they get stuck living in the museum and eating star tots and tuna melts fur-ever?! This early graphic novel series is chock-full of educational facts about space—perfect for young readers.
What’s Drew’s favorite bit?
There’s a lot of love about writing and drawing a graphic novel about two kittens discovering that they love space and rockets and want to become CatStronauts when they grow up. But honestly… my favorite thing when I’m working on these books is figuring out what the characters are going to wear.
Waffles and Pancake is a prequel to the CatStronauts graphic novel series. In CatStronauts, each book is a high-octane adventure inspired by real science, Nasa missions, and technology. They are a team and each character wears a flight suit uniform that is standard issue for CATSUP (The Center for Aeronautic Technology and Space Underlying Programs)((aka Cat NASA)). There’s not a lot of development that goes into the costuming of my characters in a CatStronauts book, then I can spend more time on making the CatStronauts’ adventures more epic.
But Waffles and Pancake is not about epic adventures with Cat Astronauts. It’s about kittens that geek out on space so much that they want to become Cat Astronauts! And if there’s one thing that being a dad of twin 5-year-olds has taught me, it’s that kids have some awesome clothing options.
So, I’m leaning in! Before I start drawing the books, I like to have a few outfit options for each character. I’ll scope out the kids’ section at Target for whatever the kids are wearing these days. I’ll see what my own kiddos gravitate towards. Then I’ll say, would a kitten wear this? Sometimes I’ll take it a step further and give a little backstory to their clothing. In Planetary-Yum Waffles wears a yellow shirt with a fish blowing bubbles on it, and Pancake has a sweater with a rainbow on it. Waffles chose his fish shirt because his favorite food is Tuna, and he is fascinated with seeing where his food came from. Pancake likes rainbows because there’s a rumor that if you find the end of the rainbow, there’s a basket full of sparkle cat toys.
Graphic novels are amazing because the reader absorbs so much information about the story visually. What the character wears actually conveys a big part of who they are. Waffles and Pancake’s dad has a red hoodie, he’s a casual fun dad! Their mom wears a long sweater dress and tights, she’s a hip mom! It might seem like such a small note of personalization to each character that probably gets overlooked, but it’s so important. At a glance, it gives every reader an idea of who this character is, and I love it so much.
Drew graduated from Kalamazoo College with a degree in Art and Art History, and soon found himself in Central Park working for Christo and Jeanne Claude on “The Gates” artwork installation in the winter of 2005. He went on stay in New York as a graphic designer, using his illustration talents to help create custom logos and stationery pieces. In his spare time, he continued to doodle in his sketchbook, as well as, participated in cheese eating contests.
In late 2012, Drew and his wife relocated to Minneapolis, where he refocused his efforts into writing and illustration. He currently draws in his home studio, while his dog, Leroy, snores next to him.
His work has been featured at Shirt.Woot, The New York Pops, Central Park SummerStage, and Bisquick. He has a special love for comics and will never shy away from a pun. Drew is represented by Elena Giovinazzo, agent for Pippin Properties