Cleopatra in Space #4 comes out at the end of June and I can’t wait. I asked Mike Maihack some more question while I wait.
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)