10 Fun Facts About Sanity & Tallulah with Author Molly Brooks
Best friends. Outer space. Science experiments. Three-headed kittens. Hop aboard the Wilnick Space Station and get ready for an out of this world adventure in Sanity & Tallulah! Best friends Sanity and Tallulah live on a space station deep out in the galaxy, far away from Earth. When Sanity accidentally creates a three-headed kitten, and things get a little out of hand. Princess, Sparkle, Destroyer of Worlds starts causing trouble, causing the girls to search high and low to find her and save their home. This is the first book in the Sanity & Tallulah series, and we have to say – we’re looking forward to all their future antics and misadventures.
The story is a super fun romp that will have you laughing out loud as you read through every panel. It’s also filled with so much heart! Sanity and Tallulah’s friendship is super positive and supportive, and you’ll absolutely love adventuring and problem solving along with them. Plus, this sci-fi graphic novel is filled with real scientific language and concepts, which we love!
Author Molly Brooks is taking readers beyond the panel of Sanity & Tallulah by sharing an in-depth look at how she brought the story to life! If you love sci-fi adventures, be sure to read on as Molly dishes on the inspiration behind the story, the character’s fashion choices, and how she uses 3D models to help bring the scenes and settings to life!
Author Molly Brooks Shares 10 Fun Facts about Sanity & Tallulah:
The idea for Sanity & Tallulah first came about a few years ago when my friend Andrea Tsurumi and I wanted to do a collaborative zine for SPX, an upcoming indie comics festival. We decided we’d each do a short comic on the same theme, and put them together in a little stapled booklet, like a double feature. Andrea chose the theme “science fiction teen girl detectives” as something that fit both our interests. My story was about two friends wandering off into a forbidden asteroid field and finding a robot-haunted shipwreck. Over the process of writing and drawing that comic, I figured out the characters of Sanity & Tallulah and the basics of their reality.
Because it started as a small project just for fun, Sanity & Tallulah is a mishmash of all the things I like best: buddy cop banter, smart people macguyvering solutions to problems on the fly, space as a rugged frontier to survive in, mad science as a wacky plot device, and deep friendships/family bonds rooted in trust and respect. And, in this particular book, kittens!
Dr. Vega, whose love language is engineering solutions, is constantly redesigning and making improvements to Hank’s prosthetic leg.
None of the characters in the books are based on specific people I know, but the dynamics between them are based on relationships in my life: teachers I’ve admired and felt respected by, friends with whom I felt comfortable enough to tease, parents with busy lives who still made me a priority. I wanted Wilnick to feel like a place where people are working as a team to get by in an unforgiving situation, and value each other for what they contribute to the whole.
Wilnick SS started life as a science research station, was briefly used as a military fort during the war, and finally repurposed as civilian habitat after things settled down somewhat. Its design is based on a spinning wheel. I based a lot of the technology in Sanity & Tallulah’s reality on everyday tools because I like the sense of designed purpose they have. The smuggler ship is a hand-vacuum. In the first Sanity & Tallulah short story, their shuttle is a gumball machine, and the wrecked warship they find is a workshop clamp.
To get a feel for the environments in the book, I build digital 3D models of every setting.
Everyone on Wilnick wears sweaters and knitted leg/arm warmers because space is cold, and it’s important to be cozy. Hank made all the sweaters Tallulah wears in the book during his downtime on long-haul cargo trips.
Sanity’s mom and sister will show up in future books!
I did everything digitally, EXCEPT the linework – that’s real-life ink that I scanned back into color!
I have a habit of working in very limited color palettes because I used to do a lot of letterpress printing, where each separate color has to be printed one at a time, and the ink rollers had to be carefully and completely cleaned between each one, which was a huge pain. Now, even when I’m not limited that way, I find the artificial constraint useful as a design tool. Also, I really like pink!
Sanity & Tallulah is out now from Disney Publishing! Pick it up the next time you hit up your favorite bookstore or local library.
Looking for more science inspired reads to fuel your passions? We think you’ll love The Seismic Seven by Katie Slivensky.