on Poptropica itself. We caught up with the illustrator of the graphic novel, Kory Merritt.
Captain Crawfish: How did you get involved in illustrating Mystery of the Map?
Kory Merritt: The Poptropica Creators originally hired me to illustrate the Poptropica comic strip. After a little while they asked me to try some graphic novel page samples, which led to me working on "Mystery of the Map" with author Max "Galactic Hot Dogs" Brallier.
CC: What are the challenges of adapting Poptropica's art style from an online game to a graphic novel? What are the joys?
KM: Poptropica has a very distinct style. I'm actually an art teacher by day and didn't have much freelance experience, so working for Poptropica was the first time I had to draw someone else's characters. It took a little while to get the hang of it - the Poptropica design might seem simple at times, but there are little details that can make or break the characters. Fortunately, the Poptropica Creators were very patient and helped guide me along. I'm pretty happy with the results, for I think the illustrations resemble the standard Poptropican model, but at the same time have a hand-drawn, comic-type feel.
CC: What's your process for illustrating the book?
KM: I'm old-fashioned enough to still use pen and paper for the most part, but for "Mystery of the Map" I also used digital color and made corrections in Photoshop.
CC: Who's your favorite MotM character to draw?
KM: The Vikings! It's fun to draw angry faces.
CC: What other projects have you worked on that Poptropicans might like to know about?
KM: I draw some of my own stories, mostly just for fun. One of them is on FunBrain, and some are on GoComics.com. It seems I will also have my own illustrated book coming out later this year, published by Andrews McMeel.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Kory!
Keep up with the latest in this adventure at the official Mystery of the Map site.