Children's author: Anyone can learn how to draw
By Justin Jervinis, Correspondent
July 21, 2009
WENHAM — Jay Piscopo, children's author and illustrator of "The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli," will teach an interactive cartooning class for young artists this week at the Wenham Museum.
Children ages 7 and up can learn to draw cartoons on Thursday, July 23, from 1 to 3 p.m. (Registration is required, and cost is $20 for members, $25 for nonmembers.)
Piscopo chatted with The Salem News this week from his home in Portland, Maine.
What inspired you to be a graphic novelist? -- I grew up in an interesting time with fun television and comic books. I was also fascinated with comics. I always wanted to publish my own comic.
Where did the idea come from in the creation of "The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli"? -- It was a root beer brand. I was brought in to help promote the brand ... to make it an entertainment media. At the time, Web comics were more popular.
What was your favorite comic book when you were growing up? -- I always loved obscure superheroes. I always loved Batman, Iron Man and Captain America. I also loved characters from golden ages and all around the world.
Who was your favorite comic writer? -- Roy Thomas. I'm a big Jack Kirby fan. Love Steve Ditko. Alex Toth was very influential to me.
If you were not a graphic novelist, what would you be? -- Probably a teacher. I would love to be a general grade-school teacher, teach all subjects like science and math.
How did you know about the Wenham Museum? -- The Wenham Museum contacted us initially. They saw the Web site of me talking about my workshop. They saw that I did interactive things with kids.
What do you expect your students to learn when you teach them about comic design? --
I hope they can draw anything. Make people perceive what they can draw. Try to get ideas across even if they don't create anything. I believe that anyone can draw.