The Cartoons that Came to Life is a fun, unpredictable middle grade illustrated comic series.
Finn Morris is always daydreaming and doodling. He much prefers to be in his own cartoon fantasy world than focusing on school. But when one of his drawings looks strangely similar to the school bully, things start to go very wrong!
His sketchbook is ruined and Finn doesn’t know what to do. Then he gets the biggest shock of his life – Arley and Tapper, his outrageous characters, jump right off the page and into his life. Ridonkulously fun hijinks follow. Finn is faced with hilarious adventures and no one to help – who would believe him anyway! He needs to get these troublesome characters back to Toon World before they get found out!
The Cartoons the Came to Life has all the ingredients of a super fun page-turner. Young readers will want to read on and on to discover what happens to Finn and these crazy characters!
What would you do if your cartoon creations came to life?
I’m thrilled to welcome Tom Ellen with a special guest post – The Idea Behind the Book
When I was ten years old, I wanted nothing more than to be a cartoonist.
After poring over my weekly copy of The Beano, I would spend hours drawing comic strips and creating silly characters. My brother and I soon started an extremely slapdash home-made magazine called Slice of Life, for which I came up with two characters I was particularly fond of – Arley and Tapper. If I’m being honest, they were not hugely original creations: their looks were heavily borrowed from The Simpsons (Arley resembled Bart with Lisa’s haircut), and their personalities were lifted wholesale from various, more successful cartoon double acts (Ren & Stimpy, Beavis & Butthead). But I loved drawing them and I always had wild, impossibly naive aspirations that their adventures might one day be enjoyed by a wider audience than just my brother and me.
As I grew up, however, my dreams of becoming a famous cartoonist were sadly hampered by the minor obstacle that I was absolutely AWFUL at drawing. So, with a heavy heart, I stashed my Arley and Tapper comic strips away in the attic. And that’s where they remained, until a couple of years ago when I had an idea for a book about a young wannabe cartoonist whose characters magically come to life. I had the protagonist – a 10-year-old boy called Finn – and the basic outline of a plot. I just needed to invent two madcap characters for Finn to draw.
And then I remembered Arley and Tapper…
Out came my twenty-five-year old comic strips, and after Arley and Tapper had been re-designed (i.e. de-Simpsons-ified) and given spruced up personalities, I slotted them straight into The Cartoons That Came to Life!
In the book, their Artist – Finn – is very much based on me as a youngster: a bit shy and wholly comics-obsessed. When bullies rip up his sketchbook, he makes the decision to stop drawing Arley and Tapper once and for all. And that same night, the duo comes to life in his bedroom. Finn must find a way to keep them hidden from all manner of bullies and baddies, and get them back home to Toon World before it’s too late. The book is packed with humour, adventure, friendship and brilliant illustrations and comic strips courtesy of the extremely ace Phil Corbett. I am super proud of it and I really hope young readers will enjoy it. More than anything, though, the ten-year-old me is jumping for joy that Arley and Tapper have finally found their way out into the wider world!
Thank you to Chicken House & Laura Smythe PR for this laugh-out-loud adventure!
TOM ELLEN is the co-author of Lobsters, Never Evers and Freshers, as well as his debut adult novel All About Us. Tom lives in Paris and also works as a journalist, writing for publications such as Viz Comic, Empire, Glamour and NME, alongside writing comedy material for TV and radio. The Cartoons That Came to Life is his first middle-grade novel. Follow him on twitter: @tomellen7
PHIL CORBETT is a professional storyteller. He was the last person to write and illustrate the adventures of one of the oldest comic characters in the world, Korky the Cat, from the UK comic magazine The Dandy. He’s previously worked in the gaming and toy industry with clients such as Cartoon Network, Disney, Nickelodeon, Nintendo, and PlayStation. THE CARTOONS THAT CAME TO LIFE is illustrated throughout by Phil Corbett and his debut graphic novel, Kitty Quest, will also be published this year (Simon and Schuster). You can see more of his work at www.philcorbett.com. Follow him on twitter: @philcorbett and instagram: @squidlingking
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