This post was written as part of the National Children’s Book Day 2015 Blog Tour. This week’s writing prompt is naming a creator of children’s books or books for young people that one would want to have a date with.
Uhhh my introvert personality is interfering with my ability to write this second installment of the National Children’s Book Day Blog Tour on Titser, Titser! Now, while being my kind of introvert does mean avoiding noisy crowds and feeling completely drained an hour into a house party, it doesn’t mean I’d run screaming and hide myself in a dark hidey hole the minute a person taps my shoulder. Also, while I do go on dates with myself I have also gone on dates with other people, that is, people whom I call my friends. That’s the thing, really. I can and do go on dates with friends, but imagining myself going on a date with a complete stranger just completely fills me with dread. Even if it were with the greatest author that ever lived whom I consider a personal hero and kindred, Ursula K. Le Guin. But, well…I’ll go out on a limb and think in the hypothetical for the sake of children’s books and books for young people in this country!
A local book creator I would probably want to go on a date with if I were a more extroverted person would be Rob Cham. Early this year, he released a silent comic called Light with Anino Comics. It was utterly marvelous! I loved it instantly! It reminded me so much of Polytron’s Fez, a video game and art piece in one. But then it also had the vibe of Legend of Zelda, Legend of Mana and all the other adventure and puzzle games I treasured in my early teens. It was also like a cartoon from my childhood. There is not a word in Light but it is completely engaging. Rob Cham built the story locomotive and laid down the tracks, but the story itself runs on the reader’s imagination. For a gamer like me, reading Light actually feels like having a go at a video game. You are right there, in the game of the story, playing the character.
But then, I’m no extroverted social butterfly. So when I was at a reading of Light at Uno Morato early this year, despite the prodding of my boyfriend whom I strongly claim is a lesser fan of Rob Cham the man than I am, I failed to scrounge up enough courage to walk up to him and ask/plead him to sign my copy with his silver pen. If I can’t even manage to ask for an autograph, I shouldn’t even dream of going to a date with the guy. I might run out of fingernails to bite and take my frustration out on!
You know what else would be awesome? Meeting Robert Magnuson and telling him in person what an awesome awesome cat Kuting Magiting is and that Porcupirate Plans the Day and The Great Duck and Crocodile Race were really cute and funny and that when I read his books, his characters are quite alive in my head.
While we’re being hypothetical, I might as well add that it would be awesome to have a friendly conversation with Sir Bong Redila, creator of Borderline, Fables from Melag and Kahon (a short story in PIKO, a comics anthology for children that came out early this year, too!) because I would also really like to tell him how intriguing his comics are to me, how they are like Alice’s looking glass allowing me to inhabit an other world. If I could just relax!
But even now thinking that one of these creators might stumble upon this post and read it is making me feel nervous! It feels safer to be a fan standing in the sidelines, awed and inspired by their work. I would totally cheer them on (and buy their books for my nephews and nieces and arrange meet-ups so I can lend my copies to friends) but always as an anonymous person in the crowd because what if they didn’t like me as a person? What if I said something inane or insipid? What if they turned out to be completely different from what I imagined they would be like? What if they thought I completely misread their story? The thought of it is just far too terrifying. So I think I’ll pass up the dream date. But give me one of their books and I would even free up my Friday night schedule for it.