Teacher Paul Hart dropped me a line to let me know how much his kindergarten class loves the Figment comic series, along with photos of class artwork and some questions his kids asked me to answer. Needless to say, I was delighted!
“Our kindergarten class loves the Figment comic and Figment is our favorite character!”
Question: Sarhenitie wants to know how did you and Mr. Andrade get the book to be so colorful?
Answer: The comic is made by several different people. I write the story, Filipe draws the pictures, and our colorist Jean-Francois Beaulieu adds the beautiful colors like how you would in a coloring book, only he uses a computer.
Filipe and Jean-Francois are a really good team and they’ve been working together for quite a while, so he chooses colors that work very well with Filipe’s imaginative line art. In my story I sometimes recommend color choices, but the final colors are decided by Filipe and Jean-Francois.
Question: How were you able to match the words to the pictures? Did you and the illustrator talk about it before writing?
Answer: The book publisher, Marvel Comics, asked me to come up with the story of Dreamfinder and Figment, so I had to explain my ideas to them for approval before I started the actual writing.
Writing a comic is a bit different than writing a storybook. For the comic I write something called a “script” that has descriptions of the pictures the artist will draw, dialogue the characters will say in the word balloons, and the sound effects on the page too. Filipe reads the script and imagines what that would look like in his mind, then illustrates that on the page. At each stage we send ideas and notes back and forth to make sure the whole team knows how it will look when it’s finished. It takes a lot of time and teamwork to make Figment, but we’re very proud of the final result.
Question: Zariyah wants to know if Figment needs anything special to fly super high and fast?
Answer: Even though Figment’s wings are small, he’s also very light so it’s easy for him to fly really high and very quick. That’s just part of his nature as an inspiration dragon.
Question: Room 101 wants to know if only Illocrant and Blair can use the thinking cap, or can Figment, Chimera and Fye use it too?
Answer: Good question! I think anyone could use the Mesmonic Convertor Helmet, though it might be tough to fit it on their head if they’re extra-big or extra-small. The helmet creates things they deeply wish for, but not always how they expect.
Question: Marvin wants to know what made you think or inspired you when writing Figment?
Answer: When I was 12 years old I went to Walt Disney World and it was a really exciting trip. There’s an attraction there called Journey Into Imagination that’s all about Figment and how each one of us has wonderful ideas deep inside. I’ve always remembered that, so when I was asked to make a new Figment story I used that idea, that we can all make new things if we dream big enough, as my inspiration.
Question: Tyroneccia loves Figment and her question is how do I make a comic book like Jim Zub?
Answer: I’m so happy to hear you want to make comics! If you like to draw then you can make your own stories and pictures at the same time. If not, then you should team up with one of your friends to make it together. Come up with a fun idea, draw each picture panel, and then add dialogue coming from the characters with word balloons. Comics are all about art and words working together so it’s a great way to tell all kinds of fun stories.
“Our weekly literacy bulletin board.”
“Made by Kamren during free writing! He is flying!”
“Sarhenitie made a picture of her camping with Figment during free writing! They love Figment!”
“This is from Tremayne. It’s Blair and Figment getting away from a sprite! He used word bubbles!”
“Armani made Figment’s grandpa, ‘Faffi’! The little green friend is ‘Disney’!”