Scott: I started with large 18” x 24” pieces of newsprint and some Chartpak markers and sketched scenes I thought could be visually compelling as well as express the direction of the book—Ernie vigorously erasing one of Linus’ drawings, for instance.
Scott: Thank you. I am totally Linus and Ernie! I love to draw but I want my work to be better. I hold those opposed ideas in my mind at the same time as I work. For many years that made for trying times. Fortunately, I’ve found more of a balance, much like Linus and Ernie do.
Scott: I often think about an interview I read between Pete Docter at Pixar and Joe Grant who was the head of the Disney Story department in the 1940s. In that interview Grant said the secret for films was all about emotional connection. What are you giving the audience to take home? he asked. What's the audience member going to remember from this film? Not only today, but tomorrow, their entire life? He said it's those great emotional moments that lodge in your memory. I think the same is true for books. And so on every single page of Linus in my inDesign doc as I was working on it I had “EMOTIONAL CONNECTION?” next to my layout to make sure I had some kind of emotional hook—whether it be in the art or in the story. It can be a charming character, an expression or something the character experiences in the course of their arc. Bottom line: connect. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide if I was successful with this book.
Scott: Not inordinately. Most editors to whom I submitted got the premise but for their own reasons rejected it. They may have already had a pencil book in the works for instance. ;)
Scott: Making Ernie likable. In early drafts Ernie was a jerk to Linus. But hey—I can be a jerk to myself and so from that standpoint it felt true, you know? Still, for Linus and Ernie to come together as a team Ernie had to be more open and palatable, so to speak—and so my work was cut out for me there.
Scott: I love solving the puzzle of storytelling. The discovering and development of a story idea. Then crafting the story alongside the visual style of a book. Bringing the story in line with the art is very difficult. But I love it. I could not solve it if I did not love it.
Scott: I’ll let Linus’ mentor Smudge answer this one. He’s the oracle that lives in the pencil sharpener. Smudge tells ‘Linus, hey, you ain’t dead kid. While you draw breath you can draw.’ It's a bit of tough love—but Smudge is right. Our time is short. Do what you can do while you can. Be the best you can be. Don’t. Give. Up.
Scott: A graphic novel. Beyond that, I’d love to write a fresh and fun historical novel. And maybe even a little bittersweet. And a little funny.
e: I can't wait to see it! Thanks for stopping by, Scott!