Interview: Nate Powell
On May 4th through 6th, while attending the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, I ran around to as many of my favorite kids comics creators as I could and asked them all the exact same questions. Keep in mind, exhibit halls are crazy loud and crazy busy (even when they’re held in a library), so there is a lot of background noise. Let me know in the comments if you have trouble hearing anything and I’ll translate for you.
Back in 2008, Top Shelf sent me a copy of Nate Powell’s book Swallow Me Whole, a fascinating look at mental illness from inside the heads of two suffering teens. I became a fan for life. Nate’s newest two books are very different, but also compelling. The first, The Silence of Our Friends, done with Mark Long and Jim Demonakos, is a civil rights story set in 1967 Texas. Second is a graphic novel hybrid called The Year of the Beasts, in which Nate did the comic-style chapters and collaborator Cecil Castellucci wrote the prose chapters. It’s pretty interesting twist on the usual graphic novel hybrid fare and Nate’s a pretty interesting guy. Take a look.
Books mentioned in this video:
- Sweet Tooth, by Jeff Lemire (not for kids – this was a joke on me, as I’d accidentally called Nate “Jeff Lemire” when introducing him)
- Anya’s Ghost, by Vera Brosgol
- Hicksville, by Dylan Horrocks
- Invisible Cities, by Italo Calvino
- The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami
Filed under: Interviews
About Eva Volin
Eva Volin is the Supervising Children's Librarian for the Alameda Free Library in California. She has written about graphic novels for such publications as Booklist, Library Journal, ICv2, Graphic Novel Reporter, and Children & Libraries. She has served on several awards committees including the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics. She served on YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens committee for three years and is currently serving on ALSC's Notable Books for Children committee.
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