Brian Yanish is the incredible creator behind the all-new SHARK AND BOT series! These graphic novels, perfect for ages 4 and up, follow Shark and Bot–two very unlikely friends who form an epic friendship!
What inspired the awesome series Shark & Bot?
Shark and Bot is really an homage to my love of newspaper comic strips and watching Looney Tunes growing up, filtered through my experience working with the Muppets and my quirky sense of storytelling. Take two very different characters with vulnerabilities and see how they relate, bond, grow as loyal friends and tackle real world kid experiences. Then add a bunch of weird, silly humor.
The latest chapter in this series is all about summer camp. Why was this the perfect setting?
Well, who doesn’t love summer and camp? Well, Shark and Bot initially don’t love summer camp but they learn to love it. I had a few summer camp experiences away from home that we’re full of ideas–getting homesick, making friends with new people, getting scared of ghost stories and being out in nature. Once we get to know the characters in Book 1, sending them off on an adventure is the best way to see how they react in a new setting. New setting = new jokes.
Shark and Bot comes with more than just a story– there are fun facts and dances. Why did you add these elements to the story?
As a young reader, I was a big fan of all the extra stuff in the back of books. And if I really liked the characters, I wanted to know as much as possible about them! So creating actual dances, learning new facts or drawing the characters lets readers be more connected to Shark and Bot and Batty. Besides, have you read all that AMAZING facts about wombats? I couldn’t make that up. They’re very strange but very true.
What makes the friendship between Shark and Bot so special?
The special part is the fact they seem like such an unlikely pair. I love that about them! It allows them to learn new things about each other and how they each view the world differently. But at heart their friendship is very much like the friendships we have with our very close friends–we love some of the same things, find the same things funny, bond over fears and worries and as we grow, we’ll do anything to support them.
Can you hint to us about their next adventure?
Well, the one place we really haven’t seen Shark and Bot yet is in school. So look out for a school-based adventure with a really interesting “maker project.” Oh and there may be a few doughnuts as well, but not the ones you think!
You can grab your own Shark and Bot books here!