It’s hard to believe, but as of today, the fourth graphic novel adaptation of the Baby-sitters Club series, Claudia and Mean Janine, which was first published in 2008, is in stores in full color! This marks the end of my series that launched my career, and set the stage for me to publish Smile. It has been really fun seeing people discover my older work for the first time!
As a special treat to celebrate book 4’s release, I dug up something very cool from my mom’s storage space: Some old BSC art I drew when I was ten years old! Check this out. Proof positive that I’ve been a BSC fan from the early days. I guess that made me a good candidate to adapt the series into comics almost 20 years later!
If you’re wondering where Stacey is, according to the page of notes I also found, this was drawn during the part of the series where Stacey moved back to New York City for a little while. Mallory and Jessi had just joined the club, too. So this was in continuity!
I’d also like to note that Claudia and Mean Janine ended up being my favorite book out of the four BSC graphic novels I drew. I had the best time drawing the kids running around Stacey’s yard, chasing dogs and freaking out Jenny Prezzioso. The scene where Kristy and Dawn hang out in Dawn’s barn is one of my favorites in the entire series. And being able to depict Claudia’s relationship with Mimi was really touching — I drew a lot of inspiration from my own relationship with my grandmother, who also had a series of strokes in her later years. And of course, Claudia’s relationship with her sister draws a few parallels with my own book, Sisters. I enjoy connecting dots between art and life, and the BSC series is no exception.
Book 4 also has a really cool how-to that we created to show my working method and how I create my graphic novels!
Thanks again to the incredible people who helped make these books possible. David Saylor, David Levithan, Janna Morishima, Sheila Keenan, and Cassandra Pelham held the editorial reins; everyone else at Scholastic; John Green, my fabulous letterer; Braden Lamb, who brought the books to glorious new life in full color; all of my friends who lent a hand of support or assistance during the four years these books were in production.
And of course…Ann M. Martin herself, without whom these books would not exist. I am so happy to say that Ann became a friend over the years we worked together, and I’m always grateful for a chance to talk with her and read her books. She’s been an inspiration to me since I was nine years old, and she continues to inspire me to this day.