Ben Hatke: Archer and Father of a Gaggle of Girls
Mr. Bookworm first found Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke for Mini Me possibly after discovering Andy Runton’s Owly series. Owly is a great introduction into graphic novels for the early or pre-reader as most of the panels are wordless. Mini Me fell in love with both Owly and Zita right away. Thus started our love for all of Ben Hatke’s works, which are full of adventure, humor, and heart.
Here’s the skinny:
Zita the Spacegirl will always be one of our favorite series. Both girls adore her and we are all about space and adventure in our house. Putting both together with an awesome heroine? Yes, please! (Psst, the Zita/Mighty Jack crossover just came out this month!)
Making Little Lion a Zita costume has been one of my favorite creative endeavors. Even when I chose a pattern with ruched knees (that weren’t needed) that drove me crazy.
Even before Mini Me got into Dungeons and Dragons, we were all about Hatke’s Nobody Likes a Goblin because it’s humorous and likable. And it was Mr. Bookworm who pointed out to me that the characters are <ahem> a crossover from D&D.
Hatke and his wife have a gaggle of girls. If you follow him on his blog (not as active now), they are always on adventures. (I believe they had many sabbaticals in Italy during the summers while Hatke worked on his graphic novels.) And one of his daughters is named Zita and one is Julia and they’ve been known to dress up as his characters. I can relate to this family love so much.
Hatke is an archer. My Bookworm girls approve.
See our read-along of Julia’s House of Lost Creatures here.
When there was a mix-up in our order for ACTUAL ORIGINAL pages of artwork from his graphic novels, Hatke sent us a special drawing of Mighty Jack. (See below)
Robots: Little Robot is also one of our favorite books. More girls should have a robot. We have many. :D
In short, our family feels a special connection to the Hatke family even though we have never met. I had already planned to do this short write-up to re-start our “The Skinny on this Writer” series, but I would be remiss not to mention the tragedy that happened last week. The Hatkes’ four-year-old, Ida, was in a tragic accident last week and passed away. I tear up every time I think about it. But the writing and graphic novel community has come together to support the Hatkes. We donated because we feel so much for their pain and loss. And we are so grateful for the joy that Hatke has brought to our us through his illustrations and books. For more information, click here.