Then the folks at UCLA said, "Could you have your illustrator do it in a comic book style?” Our first reaction was…our illustrator!? I mean, Eve is a great artist, but she’s too busy jumping around yelling cheers. So who did we turn to? Our good friends at SCBWI. We got on the message board and sent out a holler for any illustrator who might be interested in illustrating algebraic equations with comic book characters. “We’re doomed,” we said to ourselves, often and repeatedly.
But we weren’t. By some miracle, that little query found its way to the eyes of one Mr. Bob McLeod. The dude has illustrated for Spider-Man and X-Men and, coincidentally, just published his first children’s book called SuperHero ABC (which also happens to be my four-year-old’s newest favorite book…it’s totally wonderful). Mr. McLeod is a new member of SCBWI and was glad to take on the project.
“Ohmagod, Ohmagod, Ohmagod,” we said often and repeatedly. Once we got over being star struck, we were able to move on to the task of creating a visual and fun way for kids to learn algebra. “So how did that go?” you may be wondering. Here’s my answer:
- Good because Jay is an Idea Man and I am a Reasonable Woman.
- Bad because sometimes Jay’s ideas are not reasonable.
- Good because, since I’m a girl and he’s a guy, we were comfortable saying things like: "That sucks. You can do better than that. What are you thinking!? Shut up. Seriously, shut…up." You just can’t say those things when it’s two women working together. Feelings would get hurt and hair would get pulled. I don’t know how it would work with two men. Not at all, I presume.
- Bad because Jay likes to look over my shoulder when I’m typing. And I hate that!! Sorry for that elbow to the nose, Jay.
- Good because Jay let me have a dog as one of the lead characters. It worked out mainly because Jay came up with a great mathematical name for the dog (Rexagon) but also because we made him interact directly with the reader.
- Good, again, because I think we came up with a great product. I love it, I’m proud of it, and I was so happy to work with you on it, Jay. One down and only 45 more to go, my friend!
(Check this out! It's our first 3-page installment of The Adventures of Half-N-Half and Their Dog Rexagon!)