Daniel McCloskey, the creator of the new graphic novel Cloud Town, is my son. That’s my full disclosure. So, take what I say with a grain of salt. Daniel is a genius. I write kid’s books for TOON Books, so some might assume Daniel learned to make graphic novels from me. Not so.
I taught illustration for 30 years at Kutztown University. Daniel was never in my class. In fact, he never studied illustration, precisely. But he has always been a storyteller and image maker. When he was 12, Dr. Tom Schantz gave him keys to Kutztown University’s animation studio. Dan made wild stop-motion animations. He studied printmaking at Kutztown University with Evan Summer. Then he studied writing at Pitt and spent a formative semester in Tokyo studying manga at Temple University Japan.
The pages below will give you an idea of what Cloud Town is all about. His publisher, Abrams Comic Arts, calls it a Young Adult title, but old adults have enjoyed it, too.
Bill Boichel of Copacetic Comics, Pittsburgh, summarized Cloud Town‘s plot: “Hold onto your hats and get ready for 220 pages of non-stop, high-school-oriented, manga-inflected, duo-tone comics action! It’s a new school for Cloud Towners, Pen and Olive, and that means new friends, new enemies and new challenges, not the least of which is helping to protect Cloud Town from gigantic monsters that come through “The Rip” (as in, a tear in the fabric of reality, a rending of the space-time continuum) by learning to pilot a giant-size android known as a Care Corps Storm Catcher … all while managing family responsibilities and shredding the town.”
Cloud Town is 224 pages long. More pages than my last 5 books! Dan did everything in Cloud Town: story, pencils, inks, lettering, and coloring. He is a master storyteller and deserves a black belt in onomatopoeia! BOOSH!
Dan lives in Oakland, CA. He sometimes works at Mission Comics in San Francisco. He spent the month of June doing an East-Coast mini-tour. He signed books at Phantom of the Attic in Pittsburgh, the Cecil County Children’s Book Festival in Maryland, Firefly Bookstore in Kutztown. I got to join him on a road trip to the American Library Association Convention in Washington, D.C. We had a blast.
Dan is now back in California. He got to sign a stack of Cloud Town at San Diego ComicCon. Want to know a secret? He is working on a sequel.
“McCloskey’s debut graphic novel is a story of compatibility and divergence as two friends explore and adapt beyond the confines of their relationship and their own self-imposed limitations. . .Weirdly and unexpectedly wonderful.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“McCloskey’s detailed art does a great job of emphasizing the emotional highs and lows of high school and mech combat. The gritty, textured look makes the characters and settings feel real and helps create a seamless transition between reality and the more fantastical elements of this adventure.” ―School Library Journal
Cloud Town is now available at over 150 libraries worldwide and wherever books are sold. Visit www.danielmccloskey.com if you want to get in touch with BeanCan Dan. He is happy to do school and library visits, virtually, or in real life!