The creator of ‘The Surfside Girls’ graphic novels focuses on the science of the ocean in her new nonfiction graphic novel from Top Shelf.
Kim Dwinell made a splash with her comics debut, The Surfside Girls, and its sequel. The two fictional mystery books were about a pair of friends, Sam and Jade, who explored the natural world and the historical past of their fictional seaside town.
Dwinell’s new book is The Science of Surfing: A Surfside Girls Guide to the Ocean, which is a nonfiction book, but it feels very much like her other books. Some of this is simply because the book is narrated by the two main characters of the series, but it goes beyond the style of the book. Dwinell has from the beginning been interested in building a fictional world that is a character in its own right, but in finding ways to present a very tactile world to readers.
This new book is a nonfiction book that is just as masterfully told as her comics debut was. The book is out this month, and we spoke recently about how science is more than math, finding joy in nature and crafting a field guide to the Southern California coast for surfers.
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Sam and Jade solve mysteries once again in a new volume from Kim Dwinell.
Top Shelf has announced a sequel to one of last year’s “perfect summer reads,” as our own Brigid Alverson called it. Surfside Girls (Book Two): The Mystery at the Old Rancho, finds best friends Sam and Jade tackling a two-hundred-year-old mystery to help one of the local ghosts.
“I’ve had so much fun this last year watching readers of all ages discover Sam and Jade’s world,” says author Kim Dwinell. “I packed Surfside Girls with Southern California sunshine, and I hope everyone enjoys spending time with it as much as I do. I’m absolutely stoked to show you what the girls get up to in Book Two!”
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The animator discusses her first graphic novel, surfing, the ocean and more.
Kim Dwinell has been teaching and working in animation for years, but this years she’s written and drawn her first graphic novel, Surfside Girls, Book One: The Secret of Danger Point. The book, which is out now from Top Shelf, is a beautifully painted young adult mystery/adventure story. Two 12-year-olds, Samantha and Jade, live in the sleepy beach town of Surfside and become involved in s series of strange occurrences that include the titular Danger Point, ghosts, the town’s history, and a group of boys who find what they think is a baby pterodactyl.
There’s a timeless quality to the adventure, but Dwinell is also threading other more complicated stories in the background, stories of the town, of the history of California, and the result is a book that manages to capture some of that spirit and energy found in Scooby Doo and a lot of other old mystery stories that so many of us fell in love with as kids, and establishing a rich setting. This is Dwinell’s debut book, but the way she uses design and layout throughout show just how much she understands about how comics work. Summer is over, but I reached out to Dwinell to talk about the book, her background in animation, and the ocean.
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