The Write Space is a monthly Q&A series from Creative Collective covering a local writer and a North Shore space(s) s/he associates with writing.  Questions? Contact: ellorelizabeth@gmail.com.

Give us your best writerly bio.  

Photo credit: Jason Salzarulo

Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb form an Eisner Award-winning art team, collaborating on the Adventure Time comics based on the popular cartoon, the sci-fi graphic novel Midas, and the science primer picture book One Day a Dot. Shelli is Co-Director of MICE – The Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo – an annual event highlighting the best in new and local comics. Braden is the colorist for several graphic novels including Ghosts and The Baby-Sitters Club series.

Tell us about a North Shore Write Space.

We work long hours in our home office, so we like to have easy access to fun things to break up the day. Salem is perfect for that, with a creative vibe and all kinds of good eats. We can hash out some ideas together at a cafe and then put them to paperback at home. Gulu Gulu is our favorite for its relaxed atmosphere and beer on tap for meetings later in the day. We also like Atomic, if we can beat the rush. Their chai charger is great work juice

Hiking gives us a lot of clarity, as well as a nice change of scenery. It gets us out of our heads and inspires us for our upcoming comic set in the wilderness. Salem Woods is our favorite spot – easy to get to, not too long, just a little strenuous in places, and it passes through many different environments. Our dog Biggs loves it, too!

When I’m in North Shore, not writing, I’m …

We like exploring new hikes around the north shore, like Dogtown and Ravenswood, and we’ve even started enjoying nearby beaches like Waikiki on Winter Island. For our geeky, indoor kid times, Paper Asylum in Beverly is our comic shop of choice. They have a great selection of independent graphic novels, and they’re very supportive of local comic creators. We also love BitBar for the upscale junk food and retro video games.

What are you working on now?

We’re starting to illustrate Breaking (the) News, a nonfiction comic about media, written by Jennifer Pozner (Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV). The book explores the ways that media affects how we view ourselves and the world, and how we can become engaged rather than passive consumers.

Concept work for Wildernest

Another aspect of our career is providing the colors for comics drawn by other artists. Our latest coloring project is Guts, Raina Telgemeier’s new graphic memoir, which is out this month. We’re proud to be working with many talented cartoonists to make their work shine. We’ve also colored The Baby-Sitters Club graphic novel adaptations, its spin-off series, Baby-Sitters Little Sister, and we just wrapped up One Year At Ellsmere, a graphic novel by Faith Erin Hicks.

In the meantime, we’ve also been writing our own graphic novel, Wildernest. It’ll be a young adult adventure that explores a fantasy environment where nature is out to get you. We’ve written short comics before, but this is a huge learning experience. It’s a daunting task, but it’s exciting to see our story get better and better with each approach.

And finally –

MICE is right around the corner, October 19-20, at University Hall in Porter Square, Cambridge. It’s free to attend, with family-friendly art workshops, panel discussions, and hundreds of independent cartoonists exhibiting their work. It’s also a chance to meet comics luminaries Jaime Hernandez (Love and Rockets), Ben Hatke (Zita the Spacegirl), and more! www.micexpo.org

We recently illustrated our first picture book, One Day a Dot, written by Ian Lendler. It takes the history of the universe – the big bang, evolution, and the development of human intelligence – and presents it as a simple narrative that’s easy for beginning readers to understand. We liked the challenge of starting with a simple round dot and evolving it into ever more complex shapes. Check out some pages here

We also illustrated Midas, written by Ryan North. It’s an offbeat sci-fi epic that takes Midas Touch myth and extrapolates it to a cosmic scale. With a solid gold Earth frozen in time, two women and a dinosaur have to decide what to do with an unstoppable superweapon – a dead Greek king who turns everything he touches to gold. Check out some pages here

Find out more at —-

bradenlamb.com and shelliparoline.com

And most of our work is available in hard copy at Paper Asylum


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