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QC Author Publishes Second Graphic Novel

Jason Platt

A Davenport man is no stranger to social isolation and working from home even before the pandemic.

Jason Platt has been drawn to illustration and books since he was a child. Now, the self-employed 46-year-old artist, actor, director, and playwright has reached the pinnacle of his profession — his second graphic novel, “Middle School Misadventures - Operation: Hat Heist!,” was published nationally April 21st by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Intended for kids ages 8-12, the full-color illustrated book is the second in his series, the first released a year ago by the same publisher. They feature characters originally from Platt's online comic “Mister & Me,” which he started when his son, Wyeth, whose nickname was Mister, was 5.

In the comic strips, he's perpetually 5 and named Newell — the same boy, now an older protagonist in the middle-school books. The real Wyeth, now a high-school junior, is named after the artist N.C. Wyeth, whose first name was Newell.

Credit Jason Platt
Jason Platt

The books have been a labor of love for Platt, including 18-hour days, seven days a week, for the last nine months finishing the newest one.

“The idea of having Newell be in middle school seemed really inviting, in some ways the different stories could suddenly open up. Because when you're five years old, your world is your family. But when you’re in middle school, your friends take a really high importance to you, and it was really interesting to see that shift. “

“It’s nice and interesting to see Newell become more independent, by just even five years.”

In the new book, Newell's favorite show is "The Captain," and after he gets to meet the star, wearing his Captain hat, the prized possession is stolen from Newell's backpack at school, and he must get it back. 
Platt has an idea for a third book, but it's up to the publisher to proceed.

He's been used to working by himself at home, since totally going freelance in 2015, after doing graphic design for Allsteel in Muscatine. Since the COVID -19 pandemic, Platt's wife Erin has been working from home for the Chamber of Commerce.

"To me, it's completely normal. I know like with Erin, with the transition from working in an office to working at home was challenging, as like much of America, or the world."

His favorite part about the kids books is the feedback he gets.

"One parent wrote me and said, I love - I got my kid your book and I love hearing them laugh in the other room reading it. Those types of comments just mean the world to me."

To learn more, visit middleschoolmisadventures.com.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.
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