What types of books do you enjoy reading?
Just now I’m reorganizing my room and I’m looking at a lot these books from the '60s or '70s that are about science. And I don’t know why they are interesting to me because they’re obviously outdated, but that’s almost even more interesting to me. It’s fascinating to read what people in the '60s thought about flying saucers….There’s this quality to the photos — the colors and graininess are really different….
If you live in L.A. and you have to drive in a car, you should listen to Radio Lab. I always thought I hated science and then I started listening to Radio Lab and I found out that I actually really love it because they make it about experiences and it relates to you.
I’ll check them out! How did you end up working with Drawn and Quarterly for the publication of your book?
A lot of my favorite books are published by them — so many of the people I admire are on their roster and a lot of books that have been important to me during the worst time of the school year are published by them. A lot of Chris Ware books or Lynda Barry or Leanne Shapton. Chris Ware is friends with Anaheed and he offered to put us in touch with Drawn and Quarterly — and by this time it was about May and we knew we wanted our book out by September. It was decided that we would work together and I could not be happier.
Did you consciously choose to work with an independent publisher?
Because they’re independent and because they’re used to working with these artists who have crazy foldouts and all of these strange features, I think Drawn and Quarterly had a lot of trust and confidence in us. So they didn’t really question it when we were like, “We want to include stickers and a flexi disc!”
“Yearbook Two” comes out next September. What will you be doing differently in the second issue?
We’ll have a lot more time to pull together content that isn’t on the site. For “Yearbook One,” we had a comic strip that hadn’t been published on Rookie, a fold-out crown and a couple other special things like that. But now, we’ll have more time to pull extra stuff together, so you will see more content that hasn’t already been on the site.
What is it like for a 16-year-old to go on a book tour and meet your fans across the country?
When I think about different components of Rookie, there’s the site and there’s the yearbook and now I think of the events. Over the summer, we had this road trip where we had events with our readers in 16 different cities. The events are really special for me because we actually meet these people in real life and they all get to meet each other. Our readers are always commenting and saying, ‘Where are the other Rookie readers where I live?’ Then they finally get to see each other and it’s really kind of special.