Comic Artist Miriam Bonastre Tur Inspires
On September 7, 2023, Synergy School welcomed Spanish comic artist and author Miriam Bonastre Tur. This visit was part of the author’s U.S. tour, promoting the third and final installment of her bestselling graphic novel series, Hooky. Our sincere thanks to Folio Books for making this engagement possible.
As soon as Bonastre Tur arrived at Synergy, a group of student fans gathered, eager to meet her and share their enthusiasm for the world of Hooky.
For the 4th and 5th graders and Sun Room students, Bonastre Tur provided an engaging overview of the series and the creative process behind it. She delved into her inspirations for the story and characters of Hooky including many that our students know and love like the Harry Potter series, the Studio Ghibli animated movie Kiki’s Delivery Service, the Avatar: The Last Airbender series, and various manga especially those about magical girls. The author also described how she first conceived of Hooky while in art school for a contest sponsored by Webtoon. Although she didn’t win the contest, it led to her publishing Hooky as an online comic on Webtoon which then led to publishing the series in print graphic novel format.
The audience was captivated as Bonastre Tur began to sketch her beloved characters. She shared insights into her character design and invited students who had read the books to play a game, guessing each character’s identity based on partial sketches and hints. The students were spot-on, from telling Dani apart from her twin Dorian based on their facial expressions to identifying Princess Monica by her mischievous eyes. The author also shared some quirky insights into how she simplified her character designs — like her decision to fashion Carlo, Dorian’s magical pet, as a “dragon frog” rather than a full dragon, based on the advice of her fellow art student, also named Carlo, who liked frogs and suggested they were easy to draw.
During the Q&A session, students posed a variety of interesting questions, such as which character would you choose to be in real life (Dani, because she can fly on a broom). Other questions ranged from favorite character (the feminine yet adventurous Princess Monica) to drawing speed (three pages a day in outline — no color) to the mash-up of modern vehicles and medieval buildings (the setting is based on her city — Barcelona, Spain). When a student suggested that Bonatre Tur should create a graphic novel about her life, the author expressed hesitancy, worried that a novel of her life would be boring because all she does is draw every day!
Wrapping up her visit, Bonastre Tur signed copies of her books, giving students a chance to chat personally with her about mutual interests, including manga, video games, and anime. We thank the author for sharing her experiences and encouraging students to follow their inspirations and pursue their dream projects.
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