Five Questions with Luke Pearson

Celebrate kids comics with Q&As with fantastic children’s cartoonists for Children’s Book Week! Join us as great authors talk about their own creative work and the graphic novel industry throughout April and May. Comics for kids are reaching a time of unprecedented acceptance in the American literary scene, and it’s now true that there are comics for everyone. All interviews are conducted by Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado (Dragons Beware!).

What’s your process like on the Hilda books?  Do you write a full script for yourself, or do you start with an outline and write as you go?

Luke PearsonGenerally I start with a rough outline of all the important scenes and then start to slice each one up into an estimated number of pages. For the first book, which was 24 pages, this was very informal and I used it as a rough guide as I figured it out page by page, just trying to hit certain beats at the right point. I worked the same way for The Midnight Giant but for a longer book I found it much harder, so subsequently I’ve written more detailed outlines. I try to get the dialogue down in some form, which I didn’t do before. It’s nothing like an actual script though, just a long, messy first pass of an idea.

I bought the Hilda vinyl model at TFAC last year, and it’s one of my favorite pieces in a studio full of figures and trinkets. Are there plans to develop Hilda in other mediums? Animation, for instance?

Luke Pearson: Maybe, maybe not. That would be mostly out of my hands though.

How do you balance your illustration work with your comic work? Does one inform the other? Are you able to work on both at the same time, or do you have to carve out separate time for each?

Luke Pearson: They certainly inform each other. Frequently someone wants an illustration where a comic I’ve done is the point of reference. My illustration tastes aren’t quite the same as what I like to see in comics, but my own style usually and maybe inevitably veers pretty close to my comics work.

If I'm working on something like a Hilda book, or if I'm storyboarding, I'll usually just close down the illustration side of things. I'm not good at multitasking, even over a long period of time.

What are you reading these days or what authors or cartoonists are currently influencing you?

Luke Pearson: I’ve been reading a lot of folk tales and short stories. I read Hisao Tamaki’s Star Wars manga recently which I wanted to read forever and enjoyed more than I probably should have.

What are you working on next?

Luke Pearson: Another Hilda book, in theory!

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 hereImages of last year’s entries are here.
  • Winners of the 8th annual Children’s Choice Book Awards (CCBA), the only national book awards program where the winning titles are selected by children and teens, will be announced live at the Children’s Choice Book Awards Ceremony on Monday, May 4This year, 6 of the 35 finalists are graphic novels! Voting for the CCBA is open until May 3 at Last year, over 1.2 million kids and teens made their voices heard.
  • With Book Week less than a month away, we’ve just launched our #storylines campaign on Twitter, where will be sharing inspiring and uplifting quotations from children’s literature new and old every day from now through Book Week! Each quote will also be posted to our Kid Lit News page. We’ve love for folks to share their fave quotes from comics books and graphic novels using the hashtag #storylines. 
  • Celebration ideas: Visit our brand-new children’s book activities page at, which has a dedicated graphic novels section for the 7-12 and 13+ age groups containing party ideas, activity sheets, and more.
  • Graphic novel showcase on the CBC site: We're featuring exciting, eye-catching graphic novels all month in honor of our official Children's Book Week kick-off event, Free Comic Book Day!
  • Top 25 All-Time Favorite Children’s Graphic NovelsTo help celebrate Children’s Book Week, Diamond Comics has compiled a list of the Top 25 All-Time Favorite Children’s Graphic Novels. Pick up a good book to read now!
  • Top 25 Notable New Releases: Children’s Graphic NovelsTo help celebrate Children’s Book Week, here’s a list of the Top 25 Notable New Releases: new kids’ graphic novels that have come out in the past year. Find a great kid’s graphic novel right now!

Sponsored by the Children’s Book Council with Every Child a Reader and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in celebration of Children’s Book Week.


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