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Friday, March 7, 2014

(MMGM) James Kochalka, author of The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza {Review & Interview}

I'm stoked to have James Kochalka stopping by the March MG Madness today to chat about his graphic novel! Check out our interview and my review below...

The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza
by James Kochalka
First Second 

The Glorkian Warrior isn't the brightest bulb in the box, so it's good he's got his trusty talking backpack to advise him as they set out on a perilous journey to deliver a pizza. The pizza's got clams and peanut butter on it, so it's not clear who's going to want it, but deliver it they will. With bright, lively illustrations and classic pratfalls, this graphic novel for kids is 112 pages of super icky gross-out humor and ludicrously bad decisions— in other words, The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza is a winner.

James Kochalka’s graphic novel, The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza is an outrageously wacky, giggle-inducing read!

The Glorkian Warrior and his talking backpack set out on an unforgettable journey to deliver a peanut butter and clam any cost! This dangerous, twisty mission is full of mishaps, monsters, and mayhem!

In The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza, Kochalka takes readers on a zany, kooky ride with an even zanier and kookier hero. Kochalka clearly “gets” his middle-grade audience and delivers a story that has everything young readers want: gross-out humor, weird characters, exciting adventure, and pizza! Over-the-top silly and amusing, in the way young readers love, I found this graphic novel’s humor infectious and endearing. Young readers will delight in the Glorkian Warrior’s fun antics and mishaps, and love the illustrations. The illustrations are wonderfully bright and spirited, and capture the fun essence of Kochalka’s story perfectly.

The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza amused and delighted me from beginning to end and I think younger middle-grade readers will find Kochalka’s hero and storytelling to be addicting.

What three words best describe The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza?
Only three words!?  Whoops, I already used them up.  Can I have one more try?  Silly space adventure!

Grab a copy of The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza and answer the following:
favorite page/illustration?
There are so many good drawings of explosions!  And so many good drawings of the Glorkian Warrior punching himself in the face.  But I guess instead I'll pick page 30, where Super Backpack blasts Gonk's hand with his laser nozzle.  The look on Gonk's face makes me laugh!  He looks so surprised.  All he wanted was to bonk Glorkian Warrior with his fist and make him share the pizza.  Is that so wrong?

favorite character?
Baby alien!  She looks so cute when she's sucking the Glorkian Warrior's brains out.  She loves him!

favorite line of text?
"Then Frazzle Wazzle must DIE!"  said by the fearsome Magic Robot in response to some total nonsense sputtered out by a very nervous and confused Glorkian Warrior.

What inspired this fun Glorkian Warrior adventure? Will Super Backpack and his Boss be going on any other adventures?
I guess it was inspired by pizza!  The whole adventure happens just because the Glorkian Warrior happens to have some left-over pizza in the hyper-fridge.
There will absolutely be more Glorkian Warrior adventures.  I plan to put out a new book each year.  In book two he meets up with Buster Glark, his bitter rival.  Also, he eats a cracker and also some pie.  Oh, and we get to see Baby Alien grow up!
Fans of the book should also check out Glorkian Warrior: The Trials of Glork, my new video game for iOS (iphone, ipad, or ipod touch).  (The game comes out March 19).  I drew all the art & animation by hand, and wrote all the silly dialog.  Magic Robot from the book makes an appearance, as well as some new characters.  There are two little girls in battle suits named Zoe and Chloe who make the Glorkian Warrior undertake ridiculous challenges while he's already busy saving the world from an alien invasion.

As someone who writes and illustrates stories for the middle-grade crowd, why do you think middle-grade is so important? What do you love about writing and reading middle-grade?
It's fun to make kids laugh and inspire their imaginations.  Also, I kinda make it look easy, so a lot of kids start writing their own books after reading mine.

What is your all time favorite middle-grade book, middle-grade hero, and middle-grade heroine?
I really like the Moonintroll series by Tove Jansson, but I'm afraid it's not that well known in the USA.  So... favorite hero is Moomintroll, and favorite heroine is Little My... a very very tiny girl who does whatever she wants and often bites people.

Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at making crazy pizza.
I’m really embarrassed to admit that I haven't read all the Harry Potter books.
The last great book I read was Tik-Tok of Oz by L. Frank Baum.  I've been reading through the entire OZ series to my boys.

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
I guess I'd have to try to make a peanut butter and clam cupcake... like the peanut butter and clam pizza in the book.  The Glorky Special!

Thanks so much, James, for stopping by!

James Kochalka is an American comic book artist and writer, and rock musician. His comics are noted for their blending of the real and the surreal. Largely autobiographical, Kochalka's cartoon expression of the world around him includes such real-life characters as his wife, children, cat, friends and colleagues, but always filtered through his own observations and flights of whimsy. In March 2011 he will be declared the cartoonist laureate of Vermont, serving a term of two years.


Brenda said...

"A zany kooky ride." Sounds very entertaining and so middle grade.

ChaBuku said...
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ChaBuku said...
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ChaBuku said...

Just wanted to chime in and let you know the launch date for the game is actually March 13th!(You reference this in question 3 paragraph 3.)


Charlotte said...

Sounds like a fun one! but worst cupcake ever :)

Orchid said...

Definitely sounds like a crazy fun read.