Sunday, May 9, 2010

Max Estes: Children's Book Author and Illustrator in Norway with New Book Coming Out in Fall of 2010 from a Publisher in Norway Titled "Søppel" [in English that means "Garbage"] -- This book would make a great translation for Taiwan market, too, in Chinese characters! Kids and teachers here would love it! The man is a genius! Bravo Max Estes!

Søppel (Garbage) is Mr Estes' first picture book for the renowned Norwegian publisher, Cappelen Damm. It will appear in print in the Autumn of 2010. Above is a selection of two-page spreads.

Who is Max Estes?

He is an American illustrator based in Oslo, Norway. He has drawn for a diverse group of folks, including Obama for America, to Dark Horse Comics, and the Easter Seals Foundation. His illustrations and books have been published and exhibited in Europe, Asia, Canada, Scandinavia and the US. He is the author of three graphic novels, and a picture book.

A brief interview with Max Estes for his fans in Taiwan and worldwide!


1. What brought you to Norway and which city do you live in there?

ANSWER: "Why am I in Norway? Norway's biggest import draw: a tall blue-eyed gal. In 2005, a nerdy Norwegian librarian reviewed my first comic book, consequently we started talking / emailing. Three years later, we were married. Now I call Oslo home. Crazy how life tugs you round the universe if you let it."

2. Where was your hometown in the USA and where did you go to college and what was your major?

ANSWER: I grew up in the Midwest. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, a town of 7,000. Bachelors in Communication Design from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (1999). Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (2008). The decade between undergrad and graduate school I explored the West coast, dabbled in Art Direction, freelance illustration, and discovered comics. My first comic, 'Hello, Again' was published in 2005.

3. Garbage is a picture book for children in Norway, with subsequent
editions in translations in other countries. What does the title mean,
how did you come up with it, and what is the book about?

ANSWER: "As a child, I was fascinated with garbage-men and the hulking, loud trucks they drove. It's a mysterious job, because few kids (or adults) think about trash after it goes in the can. What happens after we throw trash away? Who are the people who handle our waste? I think children are interested in this subject, and more so, few topics will shape mankind's future like garbage. We need to encourage people to consider garbage starting at a young age. "

4. Which age group is the book targeted at?

ANSWER: " I haven't really given that much thought. I read and learn from children's books still, and try to write and illustrate for a broad age and audience.

5. Do you think this book would work well with children in Taiwan or
Japan or China?

ANSWER: ''Garbage is a universal topic. We all produce it, we all play a part in garbage removal and recycling. Asia's burgeoning population is well aware of the environmental concerns garbage creates. I believe much of the US's trash and recycling is now being shipped over to Asia for processing, so this is indeed an important topic for the region. ''

6. Does the book have an environmental theme?

ANSWER: ''Yes, very much so. On one hand, I tapped into the child in me who is still interested in the romantic themes of garbage men cruising the streets on hulking trucks, but mostly, I feel strongly about the environmental issues facing mankind. Norway is an extremely forward thinking country on environmental issues, and I feel that's partly the reason my editors at Cappelen Damm here in Oslo picked up this book.''

7. How did this book come about? Did the book editor approach you or
did you approach him or her?

I approached Cappelen Damm, the main children's book / picture book publisher here in Norway.

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