Graphic novel gets picked up by Penguin, expanded

Published date27 May 2023
AuthorJulie Asher
Publication titleOtago Daily Times: Web Edition Articles (New Zealand)
Sam, known as Book, Ruffell, who now lives in Mosgiel, said he created the first 20 pages of his graphic novel Para Pukeko and the Stupid Time Thingy while live-streaming on the platform Twitch

He streamed most days, usually working on art commissions, but when there was nothing pressing he developed his book idea.

"I knew I wanted to do a story about pukeko. I love them at the [Dunedin] dump, they're the best thing about going there," Mr Ruffell said.

''I had a story about them living at the dump and saving it but then had this other idea about a time machine ..."

Twitch is a live video-streaming platform primarily aimed at gamers, but now includes everything from artists such as Mr Ruffell to musicians and cooking shows.

When he completed the first 20 pages he decided to pitch the book to Penguin, New Zealand's biggest children's book publisher, first.

"I decided to start with the top and work my way down through the rejection letters."

Penguin's automatic response acknowledged his submission and advised a wait of four months before he could expect to hear back from them.

To his astonishment, the following morning, just hours after he sent the manuscript, he had an email saying they were interested in it and wanted to see the rest.

Once over his shock, he realised there was no more — yet —...

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