Local Women Launch New Comic Novel Series for Kids

(as seen in The Fort Collins ColoradoanOctober 8, 2009)

Say hello to the funny cartoon kid with the squiggly hair and a pint-sized paunch, because you’ll be seeing a lot of him in the years to come.

His name is Aldo Zelnick. The brainchild of author Karla Oceanak and illustrator Kendra Spanjer, both of Fort Collins, Aldo is the star of a forthcoming comic novel for kids 8-13 entitled Artsy-Fartsy.

“Aldo is a a10-year-old boy who’s not so good at lots of things,” said Oceanak. “He’s not athletic. He’s a bit of a scaredy-cat. The kids at school call him a geek. But he CAN draw…and with the encouragment of his grandma Goosy, who’s an artist, he starts to draw comics in a sketchbook.”

“The problem is,” added Spanjer, “Aldo is embarrased that he’s good at drawing—because that’s for girls, right? So he has to come to terms with what Goosy calls his ‘artsy-fartsyness.'”

Artsy-Fartsy is the first in an alphabetical series. In the vein of the Wimpy Kids books and other popular comic novels for children, the Aldo Zelnick books are unique in a couple of ways. One, they feature fun vocabulary, which Aldo defins and illustrates in a glossary at the back of each book. (As the “A” book in the series, Artsy-Fartsy introduces kids to words such as abominable, agape, and apoplectic.) And two, the series is set right here in Fort Collins. Artsy-Fartsy includes a trip to Walrus for ice cream and a hike to Horesetooth Rock.

Oceanak and Spanjer own Bailiwick Press, the local company that will publish the Aldo Zelnick series. “Fort Collins has a thriving literary community, with many excellent books by area authors,” said Oceanak. “We’re encouraging everyone to think globally and read locally!”

Artsy-Fartsy’s release date is December 1st. The book is being printed in hardover and will cost $12.95. Watch for it in local bookstores, or call Bailiwick Press at (970) 672-4878 to pre-order a signed copy. In the meantime, Oceanak and Spanjer invite you to visit www.bailiwickpress.com to download a sample chapter and coloring page.

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