How long does it take to write Cleopatra in Space?
The last Cleopatra book (#4) took me fifteen months from script to finish. Four of those months is mostly writing and roughly drawing out the book.
How many revisions do you usually go through?
It’s tough to say since I’m constantly revising as I go. Ten seems like a good guess but it could easily be more than that.
How did you get the idea to send Cleopatra in space?
I was once part of an online drawing group—this was about ten years ago now—and the topic one week was Cleopatra. I can’t recall why, but thought it would be funny to draw her in space. I gave her a goofy spacesuit and ray gun, added a floating sidekick cat, titled the image CLEOPATRA IN SPAAAACE!, and that was going to be it. But the character design I came up with ended up being so fun that I kept on drawing her. Eventually the comic developed and at that point I had to do some actual research about ancient Egypt and who Cleopatra really was. Haha.
Why do you make graphic novels?
To get the stories out of my head. Also to share ideas and hopefully inspire new ones.
Why should kids read them?
Because they increase the imagination as well as reading skills, comprehension, vocabulary, puzzle-solving, and life lessons on how to go about saving the world.
What graphic novels do you suggest I and other kids read?
The most recent one I finished was Diesel by Tyson Hesse. It was fantastic. Jeff Smith’s Bone is my absolutely favorite though and a must-read for any kid new to the medium. Fans of Cleopatra in Space may also want to check out Red’s Planet, Zita the Spacegirl
, and/or Amulet
. (Bridget note:
I also recommend Zita and Amulet)
One of my first reviews was Mike Maihack’s Cleopatra in Space series. I love this series and even dress as Cleopatra. It is really hard waiting a year for each new book, but it is worth the wait. Learn a little more about Mike below…
Author name: Mike Maihack
Author website/social media:mikemaihack.com
Tell me a little about yourself: I’m a cartoonist, dad, and graphic novelist who has a fondness for ice cream and cats, though not necessarily combined.
When you were my age, did you like to read? All the time.
What was your favorite story? I seem to recall being really into Roald Dahl and the Bunnicula books around your age. I don’t know if Bunnicula is still around. It was about a vampire rabbit who sucked the juice out of vegetables. Now I’m trying to remember how the author managed to have so many books based on that concept…
I also read a lot of comic strip collections at the time, like Garfield, Calvin & Hobbes, and Far Side.
How do you get your ideas? From reading a lot of books and comics, watching a lot of tv and movies, and going on adventures outside.
Is it hard to write/illustrate a book? Yes, but worth it.
Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated? “The one I’m currently working on” will hopefully always be my answer. In this case it’s true! Really happy with the fourth Cleopatra in Space book that’ll be out next spring. It’s called The Golden Lion.
What author do you really like right now? JK Rowling.
What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? Always share your stories, even you don’t think they are any good.
PS. This is what he really looks like…
Author: Mike Maihack
This is a review for a series called Cleopatra in Space. It is a comic book. The one you see up there is book three. It was just released.
Cleopatra is a girl who gets in the future in space. She is mischievous. Her sidekick is a cat name Khensu. He is very serious.
I like this series because it is funny. I like the stories. I can read them in pieces. I shared it with my grandfather when he is visited. He liked the series too.
I even dress up as Cleopatra. I even entered a cosplay costume as her. I didn’t win but it was my first time.
The fourth book will come out next year.
Bridget’s book review: 13 out of 10 smilies. It gets bonus ones because it is really, really good and I am having a hard time waiting for the next one.