Rob Harrell’s new book “Life of Zarf” hits shelves

Adam@Home cartoonist Rob Harrell has a middle grade novel out called Life of Zarf: The Trouble with Weasels

The description on Amazon:

It?s not easy being Zarf. As a troll, he’s stuck at the bottom of the middle school hierarchy, way below
the prince and knights (populars), ogres and giants (jocks), and even the lowly minstrels (band geeks). Plus, trolls aren’t exactly known for their brain power or cool demeanor. But it gets worse. When the king disappears and Zarf’s archenemy, the prince, ascends the throne, he makes Zarf’s life even more miserable. And so it is that Zarf and his two sidekicks (a neurotic, mutton-obsessed pig and the not-funny son of the court jester) set out to find the missing king as well as their way to middle school heroism. (Okay, the heroism part might be wishful thinking.)

The first book in this brilliant new illustrated series from comics creator Rob Harrell has the perfect mix of real world and fairy tale.

The Reading Room did a Q&A with him.

Life of Zarf: The Trouble with Weasels blends illustrations with prose. If this publishing deal with Dial hadn?t come to fruition, could Zarf have existed as a comic strip or graphic novel, or do you think the prose is essential to the narrative?s success? Or, perhaps the other way around, could the novel exist without the illustrations?

I definitely had this in mind as an illustration/prose hybrid from the beginning. I think it could have worked as a graphic novel, though part of the fun was that I was able to stretch out and really write ? as opposed to writing mostly dialogue, like you do (primarily) in a graphic novel or a comic strip. I think it could also be told as a novel without the illustrations, but I started my career as an artist, and I had way too much fun with some of the drawings to want to give that aspect up.