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Alexa Kitchen Gets Interviewed By A Grade One and Two Class

Interview by Riverside Consolidated School's 2006-07 grade 1-2 class.
Posted by Scott Tingley July 16, 2007

Last year saw the publication of Drawing Comics is Easy (Except When It's Hard); a nicely bound little book full of sketches and drawing tips. This year it was nominated for an Eisner, one of comics biggest awards. "That's nice.", you might be thinking. "So what's the big deal?", you also might be thinking (that's not very nice of you!). The big deal is that it was written by then seven year old Alexa Kitchen and that it is very good - perfect for younger writers and artists.

My principal said that it would be alright if I had my grade 1 – 2 students interview Alexa Kitchen. They came up with some great questions, so here we go.

Comics in the Classroom – Scott T: Thanks for agreeing to do this. I get the first question. I assume that you are now on summer vacation. Are you going to any comic conventions this summer?

Alexa: MOCCA ( Museum of Cartoon and Comic Art in New York City ) was in June. It was for self publishers (make your own books!) like me.

San Diego Comic-Con is at the end of July. It's the biggest convention in the country where all of the main cartoonists attend. I'm going to that convention because I was nominated for an award (The Eisner's) for “Best Book for a Young Audience” which was AWESOME!!! The awards banquet is during that convention.

Those are the only two I have time for when I'm out on summer vacation.

G.K + J.A.O: When did you start making books?

Alexa: I made stapled books with only a few pages when I was four and five, but my first REAL book that was spiral bound was when I was five. I made another at age six which was MUCH better. My pink hardcover book was when I was seven .

Z.S. + C.L: How did you write so many books in so little time?

Alexa: I draw FAST! And, I love to draw A LOT!

J.M: How long does it take to make each book?

Alexa: Well, I don't actually draw TO MAKE books. I mostly draw and draw when ideas pop in my head. After a while, I have a HUGE pile of drawings, stories, or funnies . We eventually turn “the good stuff” into a book.

C.L + C.W: Where do you get your ideas?

Alexa: Everything I do during the day can lead to an idea for my stories, gags, doodles, and stuff. I daydream a LOT and sometimes stories will just pop into my head. Other times, I read and read and read books that inspire me to create my own ones. Sometimes I just get a funny idea and draw it out over and over till it looks right.

D.L + J.B: Is it fun to write books?

Alexa: It makes me feel good to write my own ideas and create things that I am proud of. Sometimes I get frustrated when I can't think of an ending or when I get distracted. But mostly, I love to do it .

B.W. + M.C: When will you do another book?

Alexa: When my paper piles in my bedroom and our living room get too big! Then we will go through them and sort them into a new book. I already have my next title: “Grown-Ups Are Dumb . . . . (no offense!)” I think it may be complete sometime in the next 6-8 months.

T.W. + S.D: Where do you live and how old are you now? We live in Albert County, New Brunswick, Canada.

Alexa: I live in a very small rural town in Western Massachusetts, on a dirt road by a pond. I go exploring in the woods a lot. I just turned age 10 and will start the fifth grade in the fall.

R.S. + H.O. + K.C: What is your favorite book that you have read?

Alexa: That's a tough question because I don't have just one favorite. I love so many books I just can't decide. So, I'll tell you a list of “some” of my favorite. I love most all books on:

Calvin and Hobbes
Nancy and Sluggo
Little Lulu
Baby Blues
Usagi Yojimbo (a book about a bunny samari warrior)

Besides comics, I also read lots of other books on things like: ancient cultures (like in Egypt and the Myans), animals, bugs, funny stories about girls, adventure stuff, and cool trivia facts.

Thank you for your time. My students were always asking to borrow Drawing Comics is Easy (Except When It's Hard) and I even taught a couple of art lessons using it. They really enjoyed learning about how to draw a room.

Alexa: That's neat! Tell your students that it makes my heart smile to know that they like what I do!

AK :#)


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