The Estevan Public Library celebrated TD Canada Children’s Book Week by bringing in writer and artist Joseph Torres, better known as J. Torres, on Wednesday afternoon.
Torres, who is a well-known and award-winning graphic artist and children’s author, has worked with Marvel Comics and DC Comics, and wrote Teen Titans Go, which had a 55-issue run for DC Comics.
And he has created a number of graphic novels and worked on other projects in his career as well.
He was able to share his love of reading for kids at the library and at other venues in the city this week.
This year’s theme for Children’s Book Week is Bring Books to Life, so Torres read from one of his graphic novels, How to Spot a Sasquatch, to bring it to life for children in the community.
“It’s also to get the kids to participate in the reading with me, so they get to act it out like a radio play, but also in the more literal sense, I explain to the kids how comics are made, so how I write the scripts, and how they go from script to art to the finished product, so in that sense, how to bring it to life,” said Torres.
He believes the book, which will be released in a couple of weeks, is a perfect one to read for youths.
“The kids seem to really relate to the kid characters in it, and the kids in the story who want to believe,” said Torres. “They want to believe in the Sasquatch.”
Torres said he enjoys writing for kids and for comics. He has written for all age groups, from pre-schoolers to comics, and finds the middle grade readers are his favourite audience.
“That’s where most of my work ends up,” he said.
He also finds that writing keeps him feeling young, so he has written coming of age stories, or tales of finding Bigfoot or being a superhero.
“I’ve always appreciated storytellers, in any sort of capacity, whether it’s someone reading to you, or if it’s play, a movie, a comic book or a song,” said Torres.
Torres appreciates people who can tell a great story in a social setting, or talk about their lives or trips.
As part of Children’s Book Week, Canadian authors will fan out to different communities across the country to visit to schools, libraries and community centres for readings, story-telling and presentations.
Torres is one of about 30 authors involved this year. They will visit about 175 communities.
“I’m going from school to school and library to library,” said Torres.
He visited Spruce Ridge School and Bienfait Weldon School before his appearance at the library. Then he went to Moosomin and Regina.