'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 10 January 2015

12 Curly Questions with author/illustrator Gregory Mackay

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you. 
When I was a teenager I worked at a special effects company for a while. It introduced me to industrial arts and machine building for artistic practice. It also made model making cool for me.

2. What is your nickname?  
My nick name in school was ‘Star-fighter’ because I liked science fiction movies. Looking back, it may have actually been derogatory. Those meanies!

Nowadays, it’s ‘George-ory’ because many people can’t pronounce Gregory it seems.

3. What is your greatest fear?
I have an unreasonable fear of planet wide gravity failure. It’s not going to happen, but have you ever just laid down in a field on your back and looked at the sky? Yikes!

4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
Miyazaki meets Peanuts at a party in a 1930’s coffeehouse.  I refer to Miyazaki’s comics, not his film making, and George Schultz’s early comics, before his animation too.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
A person with acceptable handwriting.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
I used to think I was a lot like Water Rat, from The Wind in the Willows.  But know I realise I am thoroughly Mole. He’s always learning new skills, making mistakes and generally being in a state of ecstatic wonder about the simplest of things, not jaded like Ratty or selfish like Toad.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? 
Apart from ruling the planet because I could time travel, I would travel to the various stone ages to meet other types of hominids and witness the mysterious emergence of humans as a distinct culture. I imagine this would get pretty boring after a while so I’d probably just travel forward to the 1960’s and buy cheap sports cars.

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
“You had time to draw and entire book? I thought I was going to live in a tent for the rest of my life! What happened?!”

9. Who is your greatest influence?
 My greatest influence is my Grandfather. He was an engineer and an inventor. He could also draw beautifully.

10. What/who made you start writing?
I saw underground comics coming out of the US and Canada in the early 90’s and thought I could do that too. People like Chester Brown, Daniel Clowes, Julie Doucet and Chris Ware. I then read many other styles of comics and realized the scope available to the cartoonist.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Right now it’s ‘Capsize’. Not sure why, I’ll have another favourite soon. Last week it was ‘station-wagon’.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The Library. I’d simply cheat and glue all the books together into one big book. Awkward and time consuming I know, but that way I don’t have to read the Silmarillion, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, or some another impenetrable saga just because it’s really long and will take the rest of my life to read. Sadly, I would miss out on all of the cover art though because the books would be glued together.

Gregory Mackay has been making comics since he was at school and enjoys drawing and watercolour painting. Anders and the Comet, published by Allen & Unwin, is his first book for children. You can find out more about Gregory and Anders at the Anders Comics website.

If you are an author or illustrator who thinks they are BRAVE enough to answer our questions, 
OR if there is an author or illustrator you would like to hear from, LET US KNOW! 
We will see if they are up to the task. Just email: susanATkids-bookreviewDOTcom