Meet Brett Bean: Part 2 - Dad of Two Boys (who happens to be the creator of Zoo Patrol Squad)
Do you like to read graphic novels yourself? Do you read them to your kids?
I read comics still, probably most nights. I just cuddled with my 7 year old and read Ms. Marvel together. He reads over my shoulder but we’ve read The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Bird and Piggy (is that what its called)
Your kids are almost 2 and almost 7, have they influenced the books at all and how?
Yes most definitely. My oldest started feeding a stray cat in our backyard. After a week it had invited 5 or 6 of her friends and the screeching, the digging up my yard, and pooping in the kids’ sand pit gave me the idea for book 3 where a bunch of cats take over a town. They influence the book by also what they think is funny or silly too. It’s fun to see him react to what I’m drawing. The 2 year old is still a bit young to get into it but I get a lot of good facial expressions for Fennlock from my toddler.
Book 1 Kingdom Caper was made entirely while your youngest son was under 1 years old and book 2 was made during the pandemic. How have you been able to juggle all of this and still be creative and productive?
HA! I have no idea. Thank goodness for deadlines. I have a good team at Penguin to work with so trying not to let them down keeps me pretty sharp. My wife also takes the brunt of the hard parts of parenthood so she makes it possible to stay creative and find that much needed headspace to create from.
Do you see a resemblance to yourself, your wife, or your kids in any of the Zoo Patrol Squad characters?
Fennlock is who I used to be and Penny is who I am now personality wise. But I did make Penny very smart because of my wife. Attention to detail, writing stuff out and being smart I gave Penny because of my wife. I gave Fennlock a hesitant side but always going for it in the end because of my son.
When did you know that you wanted to write stories? Do your kids share your love of storytelling?
Very early. I still have many of my first comics from when I was a kid. I made plenty and made many comics of my own. My mother even helped me design Karate Koalas and then I even made cross overs with Aliens vs. Predator vs Terminators. In high school I created back stories and characters with my best friend. We had villains and plenty of strange heroes like a gremlin bat guy, a gangster named Silver Shamrock, and a giant fire head called Pyro. AW THOSE WERE THE DAYS.