BOOM! Studios is releasing its first-ever picture book — “What Is It?” illustrated by Eisner Award-winner Dustin Nguyen and written by his wife, Nicole Hoang — under the publisher’s kid’s imprint, KaBOOM!
According to Entertainment Weekly, “What Is It?” was originally conceived in 2002 as a comic book that Nguyen made for Hoang as a wedding gift.
When Nguyen showed the comic to BOOM! Studios’ Bryce Carlson years later, the editor knew right away that it had to find its way to print at the publisher. “It’s extremely rare you find such a deeply personal and meaningful story in the creative process and I was convinced that the love and passion that went into the creation of this little illustrated story would pour out and touch people if they had a chance to read it,” Carlson said.
On developing “What Is It?” at BOOM!, Nguyen said, “With the first pass of the story, I just wanted to create something fun and special for Nicole as a surprise for our wedding in 2002. I went off of Nicole’s original hand-drawn, hand-written comic she made when she was about 10 or 11 years old. She drew the story on index cards and tied the pages together with ribbons. It was a half-frantic rush; I made a short run of about 200 copies for our guests, stapled stitched and all. With ‘What Is It?’ publishing through KaBOOM!, I am redrawing this story once again 13 years later with Nicole’s original story.”
“What Is It?” hits shelves later this year.