Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Okay, business first: I have REOPENED MY ETSY SHOP. I have a limited supply of PRINTS and ORIGINAL ART. If you're interested in such things then please, by all means, follow this link and poke around.

And now on to the fun stuff: 

So I spent the golden closing week of September, and the first couple days of October traveling through the South and the Midwest, visiting schools and bookstores and libraries. It was a little book tour for _Mighty Jack_.  Touring is intense. Sometimes you feel like a traveling salesman, peddling tired stories to people who could care less, other times you feel like you really are sharing something of yourself with real people who are thrilled to see you.

As with all tours, there were highs and lows. There were moments of magic and real kindness, and times of exhaustion. Old friends (and one old high school teacher!) showed up to my events. I even got to travel with my dad for a leg of the journey and stop in, all-too-briefly at my parent's house.

I've done book tours before, but this time I tried to squeeze in some tiny comics to chronicle the journey. These were drawn in spare moments, on airport floors, hotel desks, in planes and coffee shops. 

Here are my On the Road Comics: 

This next one is one of my examples of gesture drawing for students

This next one was drawn ialong with my friend Andy Runton:

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mighty Jack Tour

Hey friends! Here is a list of some of the places I can be found in the coming weeks. Will I see any of you? Let me know!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Double Day: Mighty Jack and Missy PW

Well today kind of snuck up on me. It's the official release day for my new book, MIGHTY JACK. Here's what you need to know about MIGHTY JACK:

1. It's a graphic novel! (Or whatever we call comic books these days). It's a modern kinda-sorta retelling of the Jack and the Beanstalk story featuring a boy named Jack, his little sister Maddy, and a wild homeschooled girl from down the road named Lilly. The three kids plant a whole gardens worth of strange seeds from a local flea market, and the plants that rise up from the seeds are clearly not from this world. Adventures ensue.

2. It's only the first part of a two-book story! I feel it's very important to warn you, my readers, that this book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. Or, at least, it ends on an unresolved dramatic moment. which is, okay, the same thing as a cliffhanger. The second book (which is almost finished!) will be out next year at this time.

3. I had colorist for this book! The beautiful colors in this book were accomplished by Alex Campbell and Hilary Sycamore. They did a beautiful job.

4. You can get this book in bookstores and all over the Internet! Here are a few links: Indigo, Barnes&Noble, Amazon.

5. I will be doing a 10-day tour for this book covering much of the South and the Midwest. I will post more about that soon.

6. Here's a short video of me flipping through the book (the song in the background is Little Boxes, performed by my sister Annie):

Untitled from Ben Hatke on Vimeo.

Is that all the news? NO THAT IS NOT ALL THE NEWS.

As it turns out there is a SECOND BOOK that I was involved in which is also releasing today. That book is Missy Piggle-Wiggle, by Ann M. Martin. It Continues the stories of the original Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series, but instead follows the exploits of Mrs. P-W's young niece, Missy. The book has illustrations by me. They were very fun to create. And Like Mighty Jack you can find it in stores and online.


Monday, May 9, 2016

New Books, Studio Visits, and the Eisners

What a busy year it is! As I write this I am closing in on the last 30 Pages of Mighty Jack Book 2 (that's the best title I've got so far). I spent last week in Sicily visiting a school on the Sigonella Navy Base and when I returned the very first physical copies of Mighty Jack (book 1) were waiting on my desk. They look great! The paperback edition has spot gloss and fancy flaps! Here are a few pictures:

And here it is with Nobody Likes a Goblin:

Both books are available for preorder. Goblin releases on June 7th and Jack releases on September 6th. (I'll throw some permanent links up on the sidebar soon).

And so...

Last year my friends at Mirandum Pictures helped put together a little studio visit video for me. They were so patient with how much I wanted to cram into this video and even went so far as to climb up to a mountaintop for firebreathing. We totally got lost in the woods after dark on the way down. The video finally debuted over at Paste. You can follow that link or watch it here:

Finally on my list of things to mention today: Little Robot has been nominated for an Eisner Award! (Best publication for early readers). Remember, all industry professionals can vote here:


Maybe you will vote for Little Robot? But I will be just as happy if you vote for my friend Liniers' lovely book Written and Drawn by Henrietta.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Where has Ben Been?

I haven't abandoned this old blog. No, not yet!

Here's a quick peek at my desk:

I've been in heavy production mode lately on the second (as-yet-untitled) volume of Mighty Jack. It's another 200+ page graphic novel and, now that it's all written, over the next few months my working hours are all focused turning tiny sketched out pages into finished art. It means turning little gestural sketches like this:

...into finished panels like this:

All of this is an awful lot of drawing in a relatively short time and it doesn't leave much time for Not-So-Great-Pumpkins and other fun side adventures.

The book is due right around the time that spring turns into summer (a few days before my birthday). And a handful of days later my next picture book, Nobody Likes a Goblin, will be released. I'll be talking more about that book as we get closer to June. Trust me, there will be goblins everywhere.

And for those who want to catch me in person, I will be doing some book related travels over the summer. I'll post more about those soonish, but for now the big news is that I'll be a special guest at this year's San Diego Comic Con! I haven't been to SDCC before and I know it's crazy and crowded and a zoo, but I really am very excited.

Will I see you there? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Not-So-Great Pumpkin

Last year, for Inktober, I drew up a little world of Wizards. This year, with so much else going on I made a shorter (and quicker) series of 11 drawings all about a small, sad Halloween spirit called the Not-So-Great Pumpkin.

Here you go:

Monday, October 26, 2015

Talk It Up

Hey friends.

Last week I made mention of an upcoming project that was "unlike anything I've done before." Well that project is launching today -it's a podcast called Galaxy of Super Adventure!

GoSA is an art-of-storytelling podcast that I'm co-hosting with my friends Zack Giallongo and Jerzy Drozd. Some episodes will be more technical (art tools, plotting, working on licensed characters) other episodes will explore more purely fun topics (80's fantasy movies, Role Playing Games).

And with Halloween almost upon us our first episode is all about MONSTERS. Have a listen:

Friday, October 23, 2015

Swording Again

Yikes. I seem to have let this poor blog languish a bit. Kind of a lot has been happening...

I've been juggling several projects, finishing one book (Mighty Jack) and plowing into the next (Mighty Jack 2). I'm home from my West Coast tour and Little Robot is out in the world being read by kids and their adults too. At home we're stacking firewood and doing other chores to get this old farmhouse ready for winter. I'm finishing off a new studio space, which I'm hoping to move into next month. I'm living on dreams and schemes.

And I have another new project coming up that's unlike anything I've done before. I'll be posting something about that right before Halloween. Stay tuned.

I do have one thing I can share here and now, though. Back in May I mentioned that I had helped out in the filming of a sword fight for a book trailer. The trailer is part of a new company called Serial Box that serializes fiction for readers. It's cool. It's how Charles Dickens would have released his stories if he had the internet.

The trailer I was a part of was for a series called Tremontaine. Here it is:

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Mechanical Pilgrim and Robot Travels

As promised, here is a list of my upcoming West Coast Rambles!

Will I see you at any of these events? Let me know! Oh and feel free to download and share the image below!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Day for Robots (and Humans)

Today is the official publication day for my graphic novel Little Robot!

I have to say that, in the time between turning this book in (last October) and this time now when the book is finally drifting out into the hands of readers, I've come to be quite proud of it. Or, at any rate, I can confidently say that some of my happiest book-writing-and-drawing memories are associated with this one.

If you are interested in picking up a copy of Litle Robot I urge you to call your local bookstore (they may or may not carry it) and for internet shoppers here are links to Amazon, Barnes and Noble and the books Goodreads page (which has links to many other stores).

There will be a "blog tour" for Little Robot which will include some interviews and giveaways and things. Here's a link to the list of participating sites:

And later in the month I will be traveling up the West Coast visiting bookstores and libraries and schools in San Fransisco, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver! I will be posting my full schedule for that in just a day or two.

So hooray for robots! And for humans. I leave you with a couple recent bots from my sketchbook: