"That’s actually my favorite part of making images, doing the coloring."
October 4, 2020 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Sara Varon has written many excellent graphic novels and picture books for kids but she doesn't draw people, except herself. She does draw a squid who would like to be president, a cupcake who is friends with an eggplant (and loves to bake), and (coming soon) a dog detective.

Sara explains her no-humans stance, when talking about her award-winning book Robot Dreams.
I find non-human characters more relatable. You don’t have to worry about their race, age, or gender. Also, each animal comes with inherent character associations, so my choice of animal is a sometimes a way of adding background info. For instance, everybody knows a dog is supposed to be a loyal friend, and it’s a story about friendship. I mean --- no offense to cat people --- but if a cat broke its friend and left it lying on the beach, who would be surprised?
She softens her stance on cats with a chicken and a cat who run a cleaning business (and are friends). Here is Varon talking about her process going from story ideas to final sketches. More images--including a Turkish rug she made from her characters--on her website and her Instagram.
posted by jessamyn (1 comment total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I love Robot Dreams so much--the mix of melancholy and light humor, the shoutouts to Miyazaki and the public library, the emotional maturity of the ending.... It's so good.

I haven't read all the rest of her books, but I liked the Chicken and Cat books, Bake Sale, and New Shoes. I'm looking forward to My Pencil and Me, which just came out last week.
posted by johnofjack at 1:39 PM on October 4, 2020

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