Ben Hatke is an artist, writer and comics creator. He is the creator of the Zita the Spacegirl graphic novels and a contributor to the Flight Anthologies. Ben learned painting through studying the Italian Masters and by training at the Charles Cecil Studios in Florence.
He lives and works in Front Royal, Virginia with his wife and growing family. He loves swords and whistles and juggling and adventures. Breakfast is his favorite meal of the day.
Author's Comment: It's funny, but I don't think a lot about the age range for Zita. I try not to think about what's "age-appropriate" and instead think of Zita as a real character. I try to keep her honest. Zita is a character all her own and I feel like if I keep her an honest character and a "real" kid then her emotional journey will always be accessible to anyone who might pick up the book.
I think issues of identity are central to growing up and, while dealing with fame isn't something most of us ever have to worry about, I think that being pigeonholed into a role is something we all encounter at some point. Sometimes there's even some validity to the roles that people set for us, maybe more than we know or think. But at the same time a set role never quite "fits" who we really are.
But it's all surprisingly easy to write when you're dealing with a strong character like Zita.