DRAMA: Q&A with Author/Artist Raina Telgemeier

September 19th, 2012 by

A couple weeks ago, we shared an exclusive video from Raina Telgemeier, the super-awesome-amazing-rock-star author/artist behind the new book DRAMA. And we also announced a totally-majorly-cool-can’t-miss sweepstakes where the winner gets an autographed copy of the book and an original illustration by Raina Telgemeier herself!Well, the DRAMA continues today with another author exclusive: a Q&A with Raina Telgemeier! Read on to find out how she spent her spare time in high school, her favorite thing to draw, and more:

DRAMA is about putting on a school musical. Did you work on stage crew or act in plays growing up? Did you base any parts of the book on your real life experiences?

I never did stage crew, but I did some acting in middle school and sang in the chorus in all of my school musicals in high school. It was really fun!

I had my hands in a bunch of other fun creative stuff, too: Besides drawing comics for my school paper, I was the Art Commissioner of the Student Activities Board — a fancy title for a student government position where my job was to make posters, fliers, tickets, and so forth for school events. I also loved making costumes, although I have no skills with needle and thread — I made Halloween costumes using found clothing at second hand stores, big papier mâché masks, wigs, make-up… in college I made friends with real costume designers, and my costumes during those years were excellent! (Before you ask: Queen Amidala; Jessie the Cowgirl; Rogue from the X-Men; and Strawberry Shortcake.)

All of this filtered into DRAMA. Working on a giant, multi-faceted project with a group of people is challenging and rewarding, and there are always stories to tell afterward!

You previously illustrated the graphic novel versions of The Baby-sitter’s Club books. If you could do the graphic novel version of any other book, movie, TV show, play, song, etc., what would it be?

My favorite pieces of art and literature tend to work perfectly in their original mediums (for example, how could you adapt Pee-wee’s Big Adventure into anything other than the film it is?), but that’s not to say it wouldn’t be fun to try! Maybe a graphic novel version of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Or the Ramona books. Anything with lots of kids would be a blast to draw.

I once drew a short comic called Small Steps that was an adaptation of the song Monochrome by The Sundays. It’s about the first spacewalk. Music is a big inspiration for me, although it’s not always quite that literal.

What’s your favorite thing to draw?

Kids in action! I love to draw them running around, jumping over things, playing, dancing… maybe I was an animator in a past life. Or maybe I just read so much Calvin and Hobbes growing up, that I wanted to draw kids that looked like they were having that much fun, too!

And that’s the scoop, right from Raina! You can definitely get a sense of how much energy, excitement, and (of course) drama she brings to the new book — but nothing compares to actually reading DRAMA yourself! So go out and get yourself a copy, or enter our sweepstakes below for a chance to win!

This sweepstakes is now closed.

Photo Credit: Marion Vitus

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