Graphic novelist with Westborough roots to see biggest release yet

558

Mat Heagerty is a graphic novelist originally from Westborough. (Photo/submitted)

WESTBOROUGH – An Idaho-based graphic novelist originally from Westborough will release a new book with his largest production run yet on July 19.

Mat Heagerty’s “Lumberjackula” is being published by Simon & Schuster. It will be available locally at Tatnuck Bookseller. 

“This is just a higher print run than I’m used to and definitely just a different kind of publisher,” Heagerty said in a recent interview. “They have a further reach than what I’ve previously worked with.”

Book follows previous releases

“Lumberjackula” is a story about a boy who comes from a mixed lumberjack-vampire family. His parents want him to go to their former middle schools, which are specifically lumberjack or vampire middle schools. 

The boy is torn because he does not want to disappoint either side of his family, Heagerty said, but does not really want to go to either school because he would rather go to a school for dancers. 

“It’s about him learning to kind of choose his own path and realizing that his family is going to be behind him no matter what,” Heagerty said. 

Heagerty said that a lot of inspiration for the story came from his experiences raising his children, saying that he feels excited when his daughter draws because it is an interest of his.

“I’m most excited when she’s herself, but you kind of can’t help but sometimes push some of the things that you want on your kids,” Heagerty said.

Heagerty had published other graphic novels before, mostly through the publisher Oni Press. 

One of them, “Unplugged and Unpopular,” is about a girl who has her cell phone taken away before an alien invasion begins. The other characters are controlled by their phones and unable to see the invasion, so she teams up with her grandmother and her senior friends to fight the aliens.

Another graphic novel, “Martian Ghost Centaur,” is about a girl who creates a cryptid myth of a Martian ghost centaur to scare off a big tech company that is buying up her town. 

Author enjoyed comics at young age

Heagerty, who now lives in Idaho, said that he became interested in graphic novels because he has dyslexia. Comics, he said, make it much easier to read.

“I’d say early X-Men comics were my first real attempt at reading by myself where I was achieving a lot,” Heagerty said.

He discovered some of his first comics at Stan’s Toy Chest in the area, which closed in the late 1990s.

Mat Heagerty’s graphic novel, Lumberjackula, will hit stores next month. (Photo/Submitted)

Heagerty added that he once made zines and comics for punk bands he was in. After he had a lack of success subsequently self-publishing graphic novels, he re-assessed and decided to try writing for a younger audience. A month later, he found out he would be having a daughter.

“Writing for kids has made so much sense as she’s part of my life to write for her,” Heagerty said.

Lumberjackula in stores soon

Learn more at http://www.matheagerty.com. 

Or pre-order Lumberjackula at https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Lumberjackula/Mat-Heagerty/9781534482579. 

The book will be in stores for July 19.

RELATED CONTENT

Rimkus: Resident pens first novel, longtime mailman retires

Children’s book authors bring joy of reading to those in need

Hudson musician and published author is now creating artwork