“Underpants on the brain.”
On this episode of The Comics Alternatives Interviews, Andy W. and Derek talk with Nathan Hale, a writer/illustrator and the genius behind the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series from Amulet Books. They begin with Nathan’s brand new volume about World War I, Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood, and the meticulous work that went into it. As the Two Guys point out, this is perhaps Nathan’s most ambitious book to date, not only in terms of the intricate and detailed art, but also because of its vast sweep of political and military history. They ask the author about his unique narrative frame — the historical figure, Nathan Hale (no relation to the author), about to be hanged as a spy, yet with a complete knowledge of American history due to strange flying history book — and the way he applies it to all of the books in the NHHT series, including One Dead Spy, Big Bad Ironclad!, and Donner Dinner Party. The guys have a great time talking with Nathan about his work, asking him about his writing habits, his background in children’s picture books, his strategies in writing for an adolescent audience, and his responsibilities as a researcher and educator. So put on your historical thinking cap, plug in your podcast-listening device, and enjoy this conversation with Nathan Hale.