Adam takes a creative lead in the latest comedy by David Walliams in Astrochimp, a jaw dropping space based comic book adventure for young readers.

 Seat belts deployed, rocket launchers boosted, emergency banana in hand, you are about to embark on an intergalactic adventure with Astrochimp! as David Walliams and Adam Stower unite once again for this hilarious new graphic novel.

Meet Chump an unwitting space adventurer who is whipped from his home at the zoo by NASA scientists who have plans to enlist him as the first chimp to orbit planet earth. Following a mostly successful launch there is a sudden unexpected rocket malfunction… Chump is frozen solid for 50 years. Suddenly awoken from his slumber by a collision with another space craft, our hero finds himself in the midst of a bonkers space-based adventure. Chump encounters a whole host of crazy characters including a rogue mutt named Dimitri, a sassy cat named Bardot and a swarm of fruit flies all of whom have also been blasted into space in the name of science.

Young readers will be unable to put this action-packed adventure down, it’s an absolute page-turner, full of incredible characters, mad machines, goodies, baddies, side splitting humour and just enough bananas.  

We couldn’t be more delighted to see Astrochimp launching into the stratosphere, we interviewed Adam about how Astrochimp became mission and bookshelf ready.

What was your favourite aspect of the creative process for this new project?

My favourite part of every project is the very beginning - designing the characters. And in the case of Astrochimp, this extended to designing the spaceships for each of the characters too, which as a sci-fi fan, was particularly fun!

Which of the characters was most enjoyable to develop?

It’s hard to pick a favourite. Usually it’s the baddies that are the most fun. They were a challenge, being giant fruit flies ….lots of arms and legs! But the hero, Chump is my favourite. His character is very nuanced, he feels like the youngest character, full of  naivety and optimism, but there is more to him than meets the eye - inner strength and courage. It was fun trying to bring out all these qualities in his expression and actions.

Can you explain your research and development process?

 I love telling stories with pictures. I have included passages of comic strips in books before, but this was my first full graphic novel. But I am a big fan of comics and graphic novels. I grew up on TinTin, 2000AD, Lucky Luke and Asterix & Obelix.
I think Astrochimp has more text than the average graphic novel/comic book for this age group, which usually tell the story almost exclusively with speech bubble dialogue, so it was an interesting challenge to design each page to accommodate the text while retaining all the fun of the action.
I approached illustrating Astrochimp as if it were a storyboard for a movie. I love illustrating stories with plenty of action, bringing lots of animation to my drawings and Astrochimp certainly delivers on that!  We wanted it to have the feel of a big screen movie, from the opening titles through to the end.

One particular challenge of Astrochimp was the colour palette. Despite being set in space, I felt it was important to make it colourful, to keep it visually interesting and also appealing to the reader age. I had great fun using artistic license, making space pink and green as well as blue and purple, and including the most colourful black hole I could manage.

Who will enjoy his book?

It is an exciting and hilarious story and I hope that it will appeal to all ages, and inspire reluctant readers to enjoy reading for pleasure. This is David Walliams’ first comic book adventure so I hope people are excited to read it and really enjoy it.

You can view more of Adam's illustrations for the book on this project.

Growing up in Switzerland Adam's interest and passion for comic style storytelling started at a very early age, surrounded by the work of amongst others René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo and their creations Asterix and Obelix, he has continued to admire the comic story telling genre to this day. 

Adam followed his passion and completed an MA in sequential illustration and narrative design in Brighton, this ground roots knowledge alongside his lifelong interest in graphic novels has meant he has enjoyed a lengthy and hugely successful career in narrative illustration.

Astrochimp publishes with HarperCollins on the 23rd May, you can grab a copy HERE.

You can find Adam on Instagram where he shares lots of exclusive content, sneak peeks, animations and drawing tutorials. You can also view his digital portfolio HERE.

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Adam Stower Astro Chimp m2yasc