A graphic novel I’m reading

I’ve been a big fan of David Small’s books for many years. The last few weeks I have contemplated doing a graphic novel for a story I’ve been writing, and I discovered this book by David. As always, his work is inspiring me to push myself to bigger heights. Home After Dark is a massive work, a difficult story to tell, and told brilliantly in black and white, cinamatic visuals, sparce at times, other times with beautiful wide-screen imagery.

My schedule, working full-time in animation, as well as teaching at ArtCenter in Pasadena, does not allow much free time, so this is a big undertaking. But David Small’s work is so inspiring that I want to see what I can do in this medium.

Sam outsmarts the guards

A silly bit- Sam is desguised by a donkey head as he searches for the Moolakamoo. The keen-eyed guards investigate him and, convinced he’s safe, let him go.

This is a call back to a previous episode where Sam, in partnership with his mom and wearing a full donkey outfit, breaks into the same building and encounters the same guards. So here, instead of high-fiving his mom after fooling the guards, he claps his hands through the donkey mouth.

Lots of silliness!

I worked over the original animator’s drawings, retiming and finessing the animation. Since the guards look and act identically, I animated only the screen-right guard walking off, with instructions to the people following up to use the same animation for the screen-left guard walking off.

It was fun playing the guards’ stupidity straight, nodding matter-of factly to each other.

Mate & Rix five star reviews!

Todd Clarke

5.0 out of 5 stars Words + Visuals + Simplicity = Amazing!

Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2022

Verified Purchase

There’s loads of great books out there for kids. But not like this one. It inspires imagination, captures attention and keeps interest… while teaching math! Every 6 -8 year old kid needs this book.


5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for Students!

Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2022

This is a must have for any classroom! The book has beautiful illustrations and shows students a math concept in an engaging storyline. Would recommend for any teacher! The back of the book also walks students through the math strategy. Buy now!

rosalind davis

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant colourful Book

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 15, 2022

Verified Purchase

I loved the characters in the book and storyline great way to teach young children how to add up
and the illustrations are brilliant.

Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun addition skills

Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2022

This children’s book has fun and energetic illustrations about multi digit addition. The kangaroo and hedgehog confront a challenge and need to problem solve. They work as a team and fill in groups of ten pennies. The story is an effective journey of building addition numbers sense.

Stephanie Coronado

5.0 out of 5 stars I can’t wait to read this my students!

Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2022

What a wonderful book to help with math concepts! Mate and Rix are adorable and the illustrations are perfect! I can’t wait to read this my students!


5.0 out of 5 stars Loving it

Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2022

Using literature to teach math prepares students for this technology driven world and this book does just that! Super cute adventure that draws you into the math.

W. Halsell

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book!!

Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2022

This adorable children’s book uses the story of two friends to solve a math equation. Bring the cross-curricular book into your classroom to not only teach math but also ignite the imaginations of young learners through story remind!

yoshimi iyadomi

5.0 out of 5 stars Great for kids!!!

Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2022

Entertaining and educational all in one. Every kid learning double digits must have!

Meleah Hoskins

5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging math asset!

Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2022

Math can be a difficult subject for many students. This books is an amazing and engaging asset to teachers and families. It makes a topic, like regrouping, relatable and easier to understand.

Brandy Wright

5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Book!

Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2022

This is an amazing Children’s book! The illustrations are colorful, beautiful, and text is easy to read. I love the way that math is a core concept is in bedded into this amazing, engaging book!


5.0 out of 5 stars A must get!

Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2022

The illustrations are beautifully done to match the fantastic story! I would definitely recommend this book for younger readers!!

A sad moment

A difficult shot. I animated this shot. rotating the characters in place.

Once the animation and clean up was finished, the background panned behind the characters, giving the impression of the camera moving around EB and Looka.

This required very tight drawings for the final cleaned-up drawing pass..