The Eisner Award-winning sister and brother team of Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm return with a new Babymouse adventure entitled The BIG Adventures of Babymouse: Once Upon a Messy Whisker (Book 1) this month, to the delight of parents and kids everywhere.
We got a chance to talk to the dynamic duo all about the success of the series and what the deal is with those messy whiskers in this exclusive interview.
What are the origins of your Eisner Award-winning and hugely successful Babymouse series?
Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm: We grew up in a house with a lot of kids (five siblings) and a lot of comic books. Jenni loved to read comics, but there weren’t a lot of female protagonists that she could relate to as a child. Matt had always been an avid cartoonist so years later, when Jenni came up with the idea for Babymouse she asked Matt if he wanted to collaborate (baby brother=free). He said yes and the rest is history!
How would you describe the tone and atmosphere of the book to unfamiliar readers?
Holm: It’s fun and comedic! The line between fantasy and reality is blurred because Babymouse’s imagination affects her day-to-day life in a very real way (her whiskers are literally characters in the new book!).
Babymouse has many elements of classic superhero tropes. How do you work these in and appeal to an all-ages audience?
Holm: In essence, Babymouse is a superhero in her own imagination. She enthusiastically believes she can do anything and I think a lot of readers, young and old, can relate to that.
How does being siblings effect how you work on the books?
Holm: Being siblings has made it easier to collaborate. Mostly because we can communicate in a sort of shorthand, especially when it comes to art direction.
Where does Once Upon a Messy Whisker find our protagonist this time around?
Holm: Babymouse is frustrated with her “messy” whiskers. She wants them to be straight. This book is her adventure in figuring out her whiskers—and herself.
Reactions to winning the Eisner Award for Babymouse?
Holm: We were speechless! It was such an honor and honestly one of the best nights of our creative life!
Future, ongoing projects?
Holm: Book number two in the new series: Besties! Will be out next fall!
The BIG Adventures of Babymouse: Once Upon a Messy Whisker (Book 1) is currently on sale.