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Monday, January 23, 2012

Lincoln Peirce Visits Pittsburgh

by Marcy Collier

My 9-year-old son loves to read. His latest obsession is with the Big Nate books by author/cartoonist Lincoln Peirce. My son will not leave the house without one of these books in hand. Peirce (pronounced “purse”) appeared as a speaker in the Black, White and Read All Over series yesterday at the Pittsburgh Carnegie Library Lecture hall.

Peirce says he’s been doodling since the third grade. As a child, he was inspired by the works of Charles Shultz. As a kid, Peirce constantly read comic strips, comic books and regular books. He studied the comics and copied them. With practice he got better. As an adult, he says his drawing is still improving. Pierce shared some of his earliest sketches with the audience from his elementary school years.

He told the crowd that to be a good cartoonist, you must practice both your writing and your handwriting. You have to be able to tell a good story to your readers. When he works on a book, the words always come before the pictures.

Peirce began his career as a cartoonist over 20 years ago. His first comic that was published was called “Neighborhood Comix.” His Big Nate character was developed from this series. His syndicated comic strip appears in over 200 newspapers.

The fourth book in the series, “Big Nate Goes for Broke” will be released in March of this year. Peirce has already done the cover art and title of book five, “Big Nate Flips Out.”

As Peirce talked with the audience and took questions from the kids, he doodled sketches on the Elmo. It was cool to see his passion pour through while he sketched and to also watch the excitement on my son’s face and the other kids around us as they listened to Peirce’s stories.

I want to thank Lincoln Peirce for visiting Pittsburgh and for the Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures (Black, White and Read All Over series) for bringing such great authors to my hometown. For more information go to: http://www.pittsburghlectures.org/section.php?pageID=109

And for more information on the Big Nate books, please visit Lincoln Peirce’s website at: http://www.bignatebooks.com/about-the-author

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