Thursday, March 29, 2012

Banana Peelin' with Stephen McCranie

I feel so hip having a blog. Despite my rebellious gray hairs and new-found back aches, playing a part in cyberspace makes me feel so, well, young... in touch... savvy. At least that WAS how I felt up until this last week. I just can't out-hip this week's Banana Peelin' author, Stephen McCranie. The poor soul had to deal with my constant questioning on how to download, lift, copy and paste his illustrations from  multiple links emailed to me. Eeek. I was catapulted into feeling super with-it to older than dirt in a matter of hours.

SCORE: Banana Peels  64, Elizabeth  2.

I listened to Stephen McCranie describe his experiences with children's literature on Katie Davis's, Brain Burps About Books podcast a while back. I was incredibly impressed with Stephen's success at such a young age and the creativity he demonstrated in launching his Journal Comic .

I am so drawn to comics and graphic novels as a way to reach young readers, whether they be emergent, reluctant or advanced.  They were important to both my husband and I growing up and I felt they served as a great resource to my students in the high school classroom.

I feel so lucky to share with you today the experiences of the talented, Stephen McCranie.


Waiting is a such a big part of being a writer. The publishing world is akin to waiting in line at a theme park: You rush to get in line, wait forever, and then get on a roller coaster of victory and excitement, only to get off and race over to the next line to begin waiting again.

You wait for an agent to be interested. You wait for a publisher to call. You wait for an editor to give you corrections. You wait for your book to be published. You wait for your book to sell.

I feel like a writer who can practice patience and contentment will have overcome a majority of the struggles a writer faces. But some times it's not so easy.

A while back I was waiting and waiting and waiting, so I decided to draw a series of journal comics to keep working while I waited. Here's one of them:

I think a nice way to wait is to have side projects to keep yourself occupied.

I work on a series of children's comic books called Mal and Chad. When I am waiting for my editor to get back to me, or someone to sign something or do something so I can continue, I work on side projects. My current side project is a blog that uses comics to speak about sustaining creativity, and being a creator. This blog is called Doodle Alley, please check it out!

In whatever struggle you guys are facing, please keep on waiting. It's worth it!


Thank you SO much Stephen for sharing your work here with us.

P.S. I, Elizabeth Stevens Omlor, promise to you, Stephen McCranie to never ask you a technical question ever again, for as long as we both shall live. =)


  1. Very funny. I could relate to that "critical eye"--love how you've depicted it! I'm going to check out Doodle Alley now...

  2. Great comic. You nailed it...waiting is hard!
    Thanks for sharing this interview, Stephen and Elizabeth!

  3. Hilarious! Loved the critical eye . . drawing that is :D A real nemesis though when you can't find the off switch in real life :'(

    Thanks for a fun read, Stephen and Elizabeth :D

  4. Terrific! Great art that soothes writer/illustrator angst!

  5. If I were the tattooing kind, I think I might give some prime body realty to the Critic of Mordor scene you've drawn, Stephen... how does that spotlight also burn like a lazer?

    I loved this so much - and feel so much better as I wait for the Next Response! Thanks for the Fellowship - and Elizabeth, thank you for the Forum!!! :)

    NotAnonymously yours, Melissa Kelley

  6. Thanks for another great post! I really related to the oscillating back & forth from couch to...for me...the computer!

  7. Elizabeth you are so creative and funny! Love your work and definitely can relate to it. Time to check out your Doodle Alley!

  8. LOVE that comic! It is the story of my life! i think I'm going to have to print it out and stick it over my desk to remind myself that even when I suck, I'm not alone :) Thanks for a great interview, Elizabeth and Stephen!

  9. Brilliant. The critical eye of Mordor made me laugh out loud! Another great post here.

  10. Ooh, I want a critical eye so I can poke it with a stick! Thanks for the inspiration and the laughs, you two. :)

  11. Love the comic! I have that overly critical eye too. Off to g check out Doodle Alley!

  12. Well, hello there, Stephen... Be prepared for me to stalk you!! Fantastic job with that little comic up there, fantastic advice, and wow-oh-wow will I be subscribing to your blog!!

    Great job Elizabeth... You are NOT old! At least, you better not be since that would make me ancient!!

  13. Great comic! Ah yes, the waiting and second guessing- I know it well...

  14. Hilarious comic! Can't wait to start following Stephen's blog. I need more laughs like that on a regular basis, especially when I'm ripping my hair out waiting!

  15. Oh my! That comic is awesome. Thanks for sharing Stephen and thanks Elizabeth for wrangling cyber space to bring it to us. :)