What’s better than having one Baby-sitters Club artist on our blog? Having TWO Baby-sitters Club artists on the blog!
We’re so excited to share this exclusive interview between acclaimed artist Gale Galligan, adapter of four of the bestselling Baby-sitters Club graphic novels, and Gabriela Epstein, who is adapting the upcoming BSC graphic novel CLAUDIA AND THE NEW GIRL (on sale February 2, 2021)!
Find out more about Gabriela below, and check out an exclusive sneak peek of her fabulous illustrations from the new book!
Gale: Hi, Gabriela! I had the opportunity to read an early draft of your book (BSC privileges!) and I loved every page! Your work is so joyful and energetic, I can’t wait for everyone to read it.
I know I had a lot on my mind when joining the series at Book #5—nerves, delight, just a whole huge mishmash of excitement and worries about doing right by this series I love so much. So I’m really excited to have people to talk about this experience with! How are you feeling? What has working on these books been like for you?
Gabriela: Gale! That means a lot coming from you. And yeah, I’ve been buzzing about this nonstop! As soon as I got the email about testing to become an adapter, I was so excited that I ran to the nearest bookstore and read all the BSC graphic novels in one sitting. They were so heartfelt and engaging that I couldn’t put them down. Even though I didn’t grow up reading the BSC, I immediately fell for it through the love, care, and pure craft you all have poured into these books.
Claudia and the New Girl was the perfect segue into the series because, growing up as an artsy kid, I connected to the story a lot. I’ve had a blast with Claudia, and hopefully readers will relate to her artistic struggles, too.
This is my first graphic novel, so the whole process has been a huge learning curve. I’m thankful to have had the Scholastic family here to guide me at every step. It’s like I’m back in school in the best way possible. My brain and heart feel so nourished from my time learning from this amazing editorial team, and especially from artistic giants like you and Raina, who have laid the groundwork for the comic’s style and humor.
As a kid, some of my favorite memories are from the Scholastic Book Fair. It’s beyond exciting to get to be a part of that again, but this time on the other end of things. I can only hope I’ve done right by you, Raina, and this series.
Gale: Were you a big reader growing up? What kind of stories did you enjoy, and how do you think that’s affected your work today?
Gabriela: Absolutely! I was a total bookworm, mostly reading nonfiction books about animals, especially dinosaurs and sharks. In middle school, I got into sci-fi-fantasy series like The Golden Compass and A Wrinkle in Time because they treated science like another form of magic— something wild and awe-inspiring. That genre got me into short story writers like Edgar Allen Poe, Ray Bradbury, and O. Henry, all of whom were inspirations for the original Twilight Zone, which I adored as a kid.
These stories play on the idea that if you take our world and nudge it a bit, all sorts of strange things can be revealed that were hiding in plain sight. And it usually takes someone new or weird to do the nudging—it takes a kid!
I think that’s inspired me to put that sense of excitement and awe in my stories, and to especially root for characters who are considered weird or quirky in their worlds.
Gale: If you were pulling a Claudia and stashing snacks in your room, what would be your snacks of choice?
Gabriela: I’ve got to show my Philly pride and have some Tastykake powdered donuts stashed away. I’d add in some Zapp’s Voodoo Chips and Takis, too—they’re tasty and vegan, so all my friends could enjoy them.
Gale: What should I read while I’m waiting for your book to come out?
Gabriela: There’s a plethora of wonderful books out this year—what great timing! I just finished Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Yang and Gurihiru and loved it. If you’re looking for a fun, heartfelt and educational superhero story, this is it!
Also, be on the lookout for another Scholastic book, Twins by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright. It’s gonna be amazing!
Gale: You know I have to ask: Which baby-sitter are you most like??
Gabriela: Haha, I’m definitely Kristy. We’re both sporty tomboys who love to talk and make grand schemes. Plus, we both have closets filled with nothing but jeans and plain sweaters. It’s a classic look for a reason!
Check out Gabriela’s fabulous art in this exclusive sneak peek of CLAUDIA AND THE NEW GIRL!