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  • Dennis DeRobertis

A Little Picture Book? A Little Comic Book? A Little Manga? A Little Different

The children's picture book "Bus Driver! Bus Driver!" will be available this October

Lilly, from the children's picture book, "Bus Driver! Bus Driver!"

Time to Warm Up that Printer!

The final pages for "Bus Driver! Bus Driver!" were delivered by Anchi earlier this week and they look wonderful! Some really nice shading and texture work going on here. So, after getting the images, I furiously updated the shell file and went to work making the necessary adjustments and cranking out a couple "proof-of-a-proof" copies.

(Going through this process is beneficial in so many ways. I'm going to pick up where I left off soon and publish new entries in the Making a Picture Book series that go into additional detail about this process.)

Various pages and images from a proof of the children's picture book, "Bus Driver! Bus Driver!"
My studio turns into a make-believe Print Shop every so often

Combining Styles

"Bus Driver! Bus Driver!" is a bit of an odd duck (no offense to any ducks reading this). It's a picture book with traditional picture book storytelling, like having a single image on a page with text above or underneath it, like this...

The character Lilly is nervous about going to school as she picks up her backpack.
Page 4. Lilly and one giant cat pillow.

But it also includes caption boxes and word balloons, much like you'd see in an American style comic book. However, since Anchi has that decidedly manga influence to her illustrative approach, I decided the word balloons should have a bit more of that manga feel, too. Traditional word balloons on the left and the manga-inspired ones on the right.

It's a Mishmash of Ideas

I never thought I'd use the word "mishmash" in a post, but there it is. Right there. Mishmash. But that's kind of what "Bus Driver! Bus Driver!" ended up being. It's a picture book with a dash of American comic book influence and a cup or two of manga influence. How will it all bake out (I wanted to keep the cooking metaphors going and add to the mishmash of this post)?

I don't know, but it's been fun so far!

"Bus Driver! Bus Driver!" will be available October 2022 at all your favorite and not so favorite retailers. There'll also be a free version available, too, so check back soon!

- DennisD.


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