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Kids Comics Month: Get To Know Meredith McClaren

Whether you’re young or old, regardless of your tastes and interests, there’s no denying the appeal of a well-written, well-drawn comic book or graphic novel. “All-Ages” doesn’t have to strictly mean “For Kids Only”… especially when there’s so much wonderful content being created today that’s perfectly suited for anyone to pick up and enjoy.

This month PREVIEWS celebrates Kid Comics throughout the issue with plenty of new and backlist titles available. And in anticipation of this month’s theme, we reached out to some of All Ages Comics’ most talented creators for these mini-interviews! You may know the titles, but do you know their creators? Hopefully you’ll get a better insight into these talented creators with this month’s special feature!

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Meredith McClaren
Illustrator/Writer Known for: Hinges Book 1: Clockwork City (DEC140649)

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PREVIEWSworld: How would you describe your comic to a young reader to get them excited about it?

Meredith McClaren: Hinges is about a doll named Orio and her imp companion, Bauble. They've just woken up in the city of Cobble and must find their place amongst its people. It's a quiet comic with little sparks of action.

PREVIEWSworld: What got you excited about your comic?  Is there any part in particular you can share about the upcoming story?

Meredith McClaren: I really enjoy Orio and Bauble and how they're growing up. The series is currently in its final book, and that kinda demands a little more action. It's really going to push the characters into the people they need to be to make it through!

PREVIEWSworld: What do you think is the most essential building block in crafting a story geared toward young readers? And how have you employed it in one of your more recent projects?

Meredith McClaren: Clarity. When you're writing your own story, everything you put on the page seems obvious.  But you have to keep reminding yourself that the audience doesn't know what you know and you need to give them bigger hints.  It'll feel like you're giving away all the great secrets.  But it's important to step back and ask yourself if you've made the story, the character's motivations, and the world they live in clear enough. It's something I continue to work harder on.

PREVIEWSworld: What was your favorite comic as a kid? And how does it continue to influence you today?

Meredith McClaren: Calvin and Hobbes! I really enjoyed it because it never felt like I was being talked down to or mislead. There were some pretty complex ideas coming across in those comic strips. But it was presented in a way that I could understand regardless of what my age was.

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Please recommend three current comics for kids that you enjoy, and provide a few sentences about why you think these comics are top picks!

1. Bone (Vol. 1 ColorMAR128109)

WHY? It's both a mythic epic and a cartoon and it occupies those spaces easily.  Each of the characters are easy to love in their own way and the story is just beautifully delivered.

2. Calvin and Hobbes (See Pages 266-269 of the August 2015 PREVIEWS catalog for the Calvin & Hobbes Backlist!)

WHY? It is always good.  It NEVER stops being good.

3. Azumanga Daioh Collected Edition (FEB158565)

WHY? It's a strip comic from Japan about several high schoolers, and it is one of the most hilarious things I have ever read! If you want to chortle in the wee hours of the morning, this is the book you want!

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