My Life as a Cartoonist Blog Tour!

Welcome to the final stop on the My Life as a Cartoonist Blog Tour!


Boy, age 8
Q:  In the scene where Umberto and Derek first meet, were you thinking that Umberto was just being mean to Derek, or were you imagining that Umberto was embarrassed by Derek's question, and he just didn't want to share about why he was in his wheelchair?

I think Umberto was embarrassed because if I was in a wheelchair and somebody came up to me and asked me why I was in my wheelchair it would be embarrassing!  ~Aly, age 8

Janet: I think Umberto's gotten into the bad habit of being aggressive as a way to deal with feelings of uncertainty, especially since he just transferred to a new school.  He's nervous and wants to do well and make friends, but he's not sure how to do it.  Unfortunately for Derek, he's the one Umberto zeroes in on to act out all his fears.

Ashton, age 9
     In the scene where Umberto is yelling at Derek about nicknames, Derek said he felt like a verbal punching bag.  The same thing happened to me at recess today, and I said it felt like I was being punched in the face with words.

     I thought it was weird for Umberto to give himself a nickname that is his enemy's name.  Derek was so embarrassed when that happened.  It made me wonder...  

Q:  Have you or Jake ever experienced an embarrassing moment?  (Matt, age 9 & Katy, age 8)

Janet: I have had lots of embarrassing moments! But here’s one involving Jake.   We were at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, which is full of beautiful antiquities.  Jake was four, looking at a large marble statue that was 5000 years old.  As I bent down to read the description of the statue, I suddenly heard people screaming and running through the hall.  People were shouting; I thought there was some kind of medical emergency.  Then I looked up to find Jake happily sitting in the lap of the marble Egyptian King, as if it were Santa Claus.  I got him down immediately but the guards were NOT happy.

Jake: My embarrassing moments always involve my mother trying to kiss me in front of my friends.  Beyond embarrassing. 

Grant, age 9
Q:  When writing the scene where Carly starts dating Crash, did it remind you, or Jake, of a time when it felt like your best friend ditched you for somebody else?  ~Zoe, age 9

Janet: Sometimes when I’m working, my friends will go out without me and it does feel a little like I got ditched.  But you have to have faith that your friends are still your friends – even when they do things without you. 

Jake: It kind of reminds me of the time when I wanted to hang out with a smart, funny, and nice girl at my school but she always had better things to do – or so she said.  I was crushed.  It was TERRIBLE.  But you know how hard preschool can be.

Emma, age 9
     When I get older I want to run an art after school club. 

Q:  Have Janet or Jake ever run an after school club?  What was it and how did it go?  ~Dee, age 9

Janet: Jake and his friends in middle school were obsessed with funny movies so I started a comedy club after school so he and his friends could watch and talk about movies. We had a blast; they loved it.

Jake: My mother was totally embarrassing. She picked these totally sappy movies and snorted when she laughed.  It was awful.

Aly, age 8
Q:  Jake, did you ever get in a fight at school?  ~Madelyn, age 8

Jake: I’ve never been in a fight at school  - unless you count the time I got jumped by the bus driver trying to steal my lunch money.  I had to clobber him with my Simpsons lunch box; then my dad saw us and jumped on top of the bus driver and started shoving my tunafish sandwich in his mouth.  Kids were screaming and freaking out.  Oh wait…I think that’s a scene from a book we’re working on...  

Zoe, age 9
     Derek has to sit and be lectured by his parents and he has to go to detention with Umberto.  

Q:  Have you ever gotten caught doing something wrong that was someone else's idea, and then took the blame for it?  ~Emma, age 9 & Jaelyn, age 8

Janet:  I’ve done plenty of things that were stupid or wrong.   Unfortunately they were always my own ideas!

Jake: Yes.  My friend Sam suggested I draw a picture on the wall of our third grade classroom.  I drew all these stick figures, like a giant cave painting.  I got in trouble; Sam didn’t.  But now I draw stick figures as my job – thanks, Sam!
Dee, age 9
Zoe, age 9

Joey, age 9
Enter to win the My Life as a series: A paperback copy of My Life as a Book, a paper-over-board copy of My Life as a Stuntboy, and a paper-over-board copy of My Life as a Cartoonist.  US/Canada only, please.  Books mailed directly from the publisher.

Contest will run through May 4th at midnight.  Good Luck!

Brought to you by:

Thanks for stopping by.
We'd love to hear your thoughts!


  1. Third grade readers I enjoyed reading your questions and comments. Your drawings matched the illustrators creations very well. Thank you for the thoughtful and interesting posts to enjoy.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts