Davenport illustrator wins big graphic-novel contract | Local

A longtime dream has come true for Jason Platt, a Davenport-based illustrator, actor and playwright.

His first two graphic novels, based on his 9-year-old comic series “Mister & Me,” will be published in 2019 and 2020 by Little, Brown and Company, one of the country’s oldest publishing houses.

Aimed at middle-grade children, the new series “Mister’s Misadventures in Middle School” will launch with Newell trying to avoid summer school by participating in a talent show — despite having no idea what his talent is.

Publishers Weekly said this week that first publication is planned for spring 2019, and Jill Corcoran and Jodell Sadler at Jill Corcoran Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.

“We have a two-book deal, which is awesome and incredible,” Mr. Platt said. “We’re all so ecstatic.”

“It’s been really great to work with both of them,” he said of his agents. “I had to give them enough of a manuscript to look at; we shopped the manuscript around. Like everything else, you have to have a thick skin in any type of arts — whether music, singing dancing, acting — you’re putting yourself out there in a very vulnerable position, and be prepared for doors to not open.”

Mr. Platt started “Mister & Me” (about a single dad and his son) when he was divorced and his son, Wyeth, was 5 and nicknamed “Mister.” In the comic, he’s perpetually 5. The real Wyeth (now a high-school freshman) is named after the artist N.C. Wyeth, whose first name was Newell. 

He has self-published two collections of his previous “Mister & Me” strips and in 2015 drafted his 144-page illustrated novel with Newell in middle school. An art director at Scholastic (publisher of the Harry Potter series) was interested and suggested Mr. Platt change it into a full graphic novel, which focuses more on the art.

“It was basically taking a…

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