have been a registered Landscape Architect for 13
years and a professional Cartoonist for over 20 years.
Green pieces is naturally, the world's greenest and most
environmentally friendly humor. My first book, Green
Pieces: Green From the Pond Up, is a collection of the
best daily cartoon strips. The collection is organized
by seasons and features four main characters ~
protagonist Iggman, the claustrophobic turtle;
antagonist Radic, an annoying dragonfly; Cabby, a highly
intelligent bullfrog; and Roc, a dumpster diving raccoon.
This feature showcases their wetland home and also
includes the rest of the natural world to make you
wonder, think and laugh.
Books-and-Authors.net: Where did you grow up and was reading
and writing a part of your life? Who were your earliest influences
Drew Aquilina: I grew up in New Milford,Connecticut.
I spent most of my time outside as most kids did at that time. My
biggest influences during adolescence were the cartoon pages created
by Charles Schulz, Mort Walker, Dik Browne and Johnny Hart. Later
Gary Larson, Brian Walker, Berke Breathed and Bill Waterson became
very influential. Every Sunday I would lay out the comics page and
read the words and drink in the images. My mind back then, as it is
today, always seemed to work better with images.
Books-and-Authors.net: Discuss your career as a cartoonist. Do you
remember the first cartoon you created? Has any of your work ever
Books-and-Authors.net: GREEN PIECES GREEN FROM THE POND UP is an
absolutely wonderful collection of cartoons with adorable characters
(Iggy,Cabby, Radic, and Roc) -- What is your process when you sit
down to create a story? Do you already have an illustrated idea?
Books-and-Authors.net: Discuss "Pacing" as it relates to writing
Drew Aquilina: Pacing is an interesting question
when it comes to cartooning. The goal of any cartoon is to make
people laugh. The challenge of a cartoon story is to reward both the
loyal and first time reader. One valuable cartoon strip technique I
learned from observing Berke Breathed and Bill Watterson was that
when you are telling a story over several days and weeks, the first
scene of each daily strip should be used to reintroduce the idea of
the overall story. The goal is make each cartoon understandable and
funny by itself while at the same time adding to the overall
humorous conclusion of the story. This allows someone to pick up a
newspaper a few days into a storyline and immediately know what was
going on. You never want draw a cartoon that someone can’t
understand if they read it as a stand-alone strip or draw a portion
of a story that did not let the new reader in on overall story. This
techniqueconsistently was seamlessly integrated into Bloom County
and Calvin and Hobbes, two examples of brilliant writing and amazing
art work, making these two cartoons the icons they are today.
Books-and-Authors.net: What do you hope to achieve with GREEN PIECES
GREEN FROM THE POND UP?
Books-and-Authors.net: What was the last book you read?
Drew Aquilina: The last book I read was the Perfect
Storm by Sebastian Junger. Most of my reading involves researching
information for the cartoon strip. Being that it is about nature, I
strive to create stories as accurately as possible. This gives the
cartoon an underlying informative base that will leave the reader
with much more than a good chuckle.