Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Another Interview! This One With James Ransome

Hey Guys, Carl yet again. We've got another interview from one the Truly Fantastic Four who came to the Novello festival in October. This time we have the great illustrator James Ransome, who's done the artwork for some really great books. James is the second to the right, wearing the blue shirt.

Why do you think it's cool for boys to read?

I think we all enjoy stories, whether we’re male or female. The story-telling you have in books unlike movies or television allows you to go into the character’s mind. Knowledge and being informed is also cool.

Is it cool for boys to write/draw? Why?

I would have thought it was cool to draw. It’s often seen as “magical.” There’s always something special about being able to make lines and shapes turn into images. I think it’s kind of the ultimate cool thing to do to impress people. Also, art is a means of communicating. Sometimes we find that if we have a difficult time with words, we can use art to communicate our ideas.

Who was your favorite comic book character when you were a boy? Do you have a favorite character now?

My all time favorite has disappeared from our comic book shelves: the Master of Kung Fu. If you can imagine a combination of Bruce Lee and James Bond tied into one, that’s the Master of Kung Fu. I just loved the drawings in these comic books. I would say that today, my favorite is Batman. I’ve grown to really appreciate the Dark Knight. I love it that he doesn’t truly have superhuman strength, but relies on his wit and inventions to fight evil.

What is your favorite sport? FOOTBALL!

What do you like to do for fun?

Nothing special;, listening to music of being with friends. I still enjoy playing football, and I have a group of guys that get together on Saturdays and play for fun.

What is the favorite book you have written?

I have favorites I’ve illustrated: Satchel Paige, Bruh Rabbit and the Tar Baby Girl and Uncle Jed’s Barbershop.

Which do you like better--cheeseburgers or pizza? What do you like on them?

I’m a cheeseburger person.

Thanks, James. Let show you a few of the books he's illustrated:

Uncle Jed's Barbershop by Margaree King Mitchell.
Jed, the only black barber in the county, tries to save enough money to open his own barbershop but, back in the day, that was hard for a man like Jed. Really good story.

The Wagon by Tony Johnston.

A powerful book. A young slave boy, raised in the Carolinas, dreams of being free. Does it ever happen? Could it ever happen? This story really makes you think about what it was like to have been a slave, to have grown up in slavery, or to hope desperately for freedom.

The Jukebox Man by Jacqueline K. Ogburn.

I love this book! Takes me back to the days of jukeboxes with vinyl records. A young girl follows her grandfather as he goes around repairing jukeboxes. She gets to try them out with him in his reapair shop.

And if you would like to visit his website, click here. As for why I was sleepy last Friday, just wait a few days and I'll tell you! There was a good reason, Bill!

1 comment:

Rosalba said...

Thanks for writing this.