It’s HERE. My first graphic novel, Bigfoot and Nessie: The Art of Getting Noticed, is out today in hardback and ebook! (I, personally, own both and can vouch that they are in fact great.)
Introducing a hilarious and heartfelt graphic novel in which an unlikely pair of cryptids–one a Bigfoot whose failure to get himself photographed disappoints his family, and the other a Loch Ness Monster, who seems unable to escape the spotlight wherever she goes–meet up and find friendship, creativity, and just the right amount of attention.
Meet Bigfoot and Nessie! Yes, that Bigfoot and Nessie. Only…Well, things are a little complicated right now.
Bigfoot is having trouble fitting in with his family. He can never quite manage to get himself into the picture, much to the disappointment of his mom, dad, and sister, who always want to be in the spotlight. When he meets Nessie, who’s equally desperate to get away from the cameras, he begins to ask himself the ultimate question: What’s the price of fame after all?
Big-hearted and clever, The Art of Getting Noticed by Chelsea M. Campbell and Laura Knetzger invites us to explore our most tender selves through friendship and creativity—and have quite a bit of fun in between!
I wrote this book three years ago. I’d been talking about writing a graphic novel for about a year, but hadn’t actually started anything. Then Terry Jones from Monty Python died. And a thing you have to know about me is that I was VERY OBSESSED with Monty Python in my youth. And by “in my youth” I mostly mean a period of about six months when I was 15. I wanted to know what to do with my life, career wise, and I thought maybe they had the answer. I watched every episode of Monty Python, plus all the movies, and then I read every book I could find either written by or about the members. I knew their birthdays and what colleges they went to and what they majored in. I watched Ripping Yarns. I read all the Fawlty Towers scripts before I ever saw the show. I asked my friends if they thought I could write sketch comedy. (They said no.)
And at that time in my life, I was also drawing a lot. I’d make funny drawings and give them important-sounding titles. (I still have them all. I’ll scan them and show them to you sometime.) Some of these pictures had words with them, some more than others. But it was a lot of visual, absurdist comedy, which is basically my thing.
That was in 1998. Flash forward to early 2020, when Terry Jones died. And it made me remember the kind of comedy that inspired me and that I wanted to be making. So I talked to my agent and was like, “You remember how a year ago I said I was going to write a graphic novel? Well, I still want to, and I’m really going to do it this time.” I pitched some ideas I had, including this one:
Bigfoot and Nessie
Bigfoot longs to be famous like the rest of his family, and Nessie just wants to escape the paparazzi. When the two of them meet, worlds collide and adventures ensue.
She liked it, and I sat down and wrote it in about a week. And even though I’d been wanting to write scripts for 22 years and thought it was probably too late and that if it was really something I cared about or would enjoy that I would have done it by now and must, in fact, be some kind of wannabe imposter who should just stick to what they know, I LOVED it. Writing scripts is like writing novels, except with only the parts I love to write and none of the parts I hate. Everything about it was just so much easier. And I can actually have VISUAL JOKES that just don’t translate to prose.
So that’s how this book came about. Or at least that’s how it started. Over the course of its life, it has become a group project, mainly between me, Laura Knetzger (the amazing illustrator who brought it to life), Rachel Sonis (editor extraordinaire and great all-around person), and Jay Emmanuel (designer). Not only did I discover how much I loved script writing with this book, but also being part of a creative team. It was just such a great experience, unlike other, um, less great experiences I’ve had in this business.
And now it’s finally here and I’m so excited to get to share it with everyone! You can get it here, or pretty much wherever you like to buy books.