Can you tell us about your comic book or graphic novel?

Right now I’m elbow deep in revisions for my upcoming illustrated YA novel, YOU’RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE (Knopf ’17) . But I do have a comic project I work on every now and then. It’s a middle grade comic called FAKE BLOOD. It’s about a boy who pretends to be a vampire to win the heart of a vampire obsessed classmate.
What made you want to create comics or graphic novels?
Art is in my blood. I picked up some crayons when I was a kid and I don’t remember ever putting them down. I went to art school and shortly after graduating I became a children’s librarian. I fell deeply in love with story telling. I used to think that I couldn’t write stories, so writing with pictures really helped me come into my own as an author.
Who are some of your idols in the comic book industry?
Jillian Tamaki’s artwork is so beautiful I think my eyes start to melt every time I open one of her books.
I also admire:
  • Madeleine Flores
  • Jake Lawrence
  • Noelle Stevenson
  • Sam Bosma
  • Megan Rose Gedris
Are you working on anything new? Can you tell us a little about it?
YOU’RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE is my current sweet baby project. I’m really proud of how it’s coming together. It’s about a Deaf teen artist named Julia who finds herself in a graffiti war with an unknown opponent. It’s full of all sorts of drawings, from still life to street-art. photo2.jpg
Do you do the illustrations as well as writing the dialogue?
Yes! I feel so lucky that I am able to do both, but even on my best day this means there’s at least twice as much work to do. And twice the amount of critique I have to endure. It’s not for the faint-of-heart.
Whitney Gardner is an author/illustrator living in Portlandia with her husband, Roger and pug, Gouda. She is represented by Brent Taylor at TriadaUS Literary Agency. She’s woefully/giddily addicted to coffee and office supplies and probably has more pens than any one human could ever need. She loves telling stories, the color yellow, and you.
@heywhitney on twitter

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