An Interview With Comic Arts Fest Author Kazu Kibuishi

Author Kazu Kibuishi. Source: Gordon Luk, Scholastic.
Author Kazu Kibuishi.
Source: Gordon Luk, Scholastic.

The Comic Arts Fest is wrapping up. Our final author visit will be on Saturday, February 25, 2:00 PM at the Foster City Library. The Library will be hosting author Kazu Kibuishi.

Author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Amulet graphic novel series for children, the webcomic Copper, and the action-packed series Daisy Kutter. Kazu is also the founder and editor of the Flight Anthologies. Amulet is a layered fantasy adventure with a legion of characters, an epic fantasy and science fiction quest, and gorgeously elaborate and detailed worlds. A book selling and signing opportunity will follow Kazu’s author talk.

Get to Know Kazu Kibuishi Through His Own Words

Let's find out more about this graphic novel author and what inspires him through a series of questions.

Did you read comics as a kid? Which ones?

I always looked forward to picking up Garfield and Heathcliff books at the Scholastic Book Fair when they visited my school. When I was spending time at my grandmother's restaurant, I would often read MAD Magazine or CARtoons that I picked up at the grocery store. I discovered superhero comics many years later.

What are the biggest influences on your work?

The work of Hayao Miyazaki and Jeff Smith.  My goal with Amulet was to follow in their footsteps and to create an adventure graphic novel series that was worthy of sharing shelf space with Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and Jeff Smith's Bone.

For any aspiring graphic novelists reading this interview. What advice do you wish someone had given you when you were first starting out?

Give yourself time to fail often and fail safely. It's how you learn. If you are fully committed to working on anything- and this doesn't only pertain to drawing comics- you will become an expert, given enough time.  Once you reach that point, where you have expertise and are able to contribute to the world, decide on how you want to apply it.  Among my many heroes I would include Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy) and Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics), because I see them as doctors in the comics field, and I related to them in that I believed I was going to be a doctor when I was really young.  As a comic creator today, I see myself mostly as a teacher/librarian's assistant.

What’s the one question you’ve never been asked in an interview, but always wanted to answer.

I've been content with the kinds of questions I have been asked over the years, so I don't really know that I've been yearning to provide any specific answer! However, I often enjoy unexpected questions.

Will you be going to meet author Kazu Kibuishi?