Lincoln Peirce: Big Nate’s 25th Anniversary Interview

Carl: I’m here with Lincoln Peirce, artist, writer and creator of Big Nate, a comic strip and graphic novel series that everyone I know reads – and you should read, too!
Lincoln, I’d like to ask you a few questions for my readers.

Lincoln Peirce: Let’s do it, Carl!

Carl: What were your favorite comic strips when you were a kid?
Lincoln Peirce: Well, Peanuts was number 1, of course. Charles Schultz was my boyhood hero, and I kind of taught myself how to draw by copying pictures of Charlie Brown and Snoopy.
Carl: I like Peanuts, too!
Lincoln: You like Peanuts, too?
Carl: Yeah!
Lincoln: So that was a favorite, and I liked the comic strip called Andy Capp, which is still around. I liked the comic strip called Tumbleweeds, which is not around anymore. And then when I was a little older than you I started discovering some really old comics from the past, comics like Lil’ Abner, and Polly and her Pals, and Krazy Kat; so those were old comics that I really started to like when I was a little bit older than you.

Carl: My family and I love Big Nate! Sometimes my mom can’t keep reading to me at bedtime because she’s laughing too hard. Do you make yourself laugh when you’re writing?

Lincoln Peirce: Sometimes, because when I’m writing jokes, or when I’m writing one of the novels, if I can make myself laugh, then I figure, OK, that’s probably going to crack up a kid. If I can crack myself up, I feel pretty confident that it’s going to crack up most kids.

Carl: I read on your blog that you’re not going to write anymore Big Nate books. Will the comic strip end, too?

Lincoln Peirce: No, the comic strip is going to keep going. It’s just the novels that I’ve stopped. I got to the end of the eighth novel and I thought that I had told all of the stories I wanted to tell, but, I can always change my mind and it might be that in five years or so I say to myself, “you know what, I have a couple more Big Nate novels I’d like to write,” and then I could just resume. Because sometimes artists do that, they take a little bit of time off…have you ever read the Captain Underpants books by Dav Pilkey?
Carl: Yeah.
Lincoln: He took sort of a long break from doing Captain Underpants books and then he started up again. So maybe someday I’ll start up again.
Carl: Will you be writing anything new soon, or are you taking a break now that you’ve finished the Big Nate books?

Lincoln Peirce: I took a little break but now I’ve started something new, and it doesn’t even have a title yet, but it’s a different kind of story than Big Nate, but I tell kids that if they like Big Nate then they’re going to love this story. The book is the same sort of combination of text and comics that the Big Nate novels are, so I think kids will really like it, and it’s intended for about the same age group.

Carl: Is there anything you can tell me about it?

Lincoln: I can tell you it’s a medieval story; it takes place in the middle ages, so there are knights and swords. There might be a dragon or two; you never know. But it’s going to be funny. It’s an adventure, but it’s a funny adventure.

Carl: Cool! Thank you for answering my questions. It was really exciting to meet you!

Lincoln: You’re welcome, Carl! It was my pleasure.

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