Mothman Learns the ABC’s is a new children’s book full of snappy, colorful images featuring friendly, fun, and meaningful content. And cryptids! But you don’t have to be a cryptid fan, or a child for that matter, to enjoy this book.
I know my ABCs pretty well, but I enjoyed studying each picture for the nuances. I looove the page where the Flatwoods monster–Mothman’s neighbor, in case you didn’t know–is singing a famous West Virginia song around a campfire. The letter G is not for genuine but that is the look on the Flatwood’s Monsters face. So creative!
Back Cover Copy for Mothman Learns the ABCs
Join Mothman and friends as they adventure across West Virginia to learn their ABCs! From flying in an airplane to visiting the local zoo, Mothman will learn about everything the Mountain State has to offer on the quest for knowledge in this children’s story!
About the Authors
Michael Schang was born in Jamestown, New York but now resides in beautiful West Virginia. When he’s not writing children’s books, Michael spends his time at a bakery making pepperoni rolls for his fellow Mountaineers. He enjoys learning about cryptids and spending time with his family.
Danner Seyffer-Sprague is a n artist from Columbus, Ohio with an interest in the creepy, the crawly, and everything in between. Having been a ghost hunter from a young age and an avid enthusiast of exploring the outdoors, he founded ConjureDust Designs to bring his love of all things spooky to the public.
I love getting to know other artists, where they come from, what motivates them. Having worked with my daughter/illustrator on The Legend of Bigfoot and Sky Monsters, I was especially interested in this cryptid-loving, author-illustrator team. Hope you enjoy these informational nuggets that give us a little insight behind a couple people who enjoy bringing joy and knowledge to all children. Michael and Danner, thank you for sharing!
Q for Michael: What inspired you to write a children’s book?
A: I have worked with children my whole life which means I’ve read MANY children’s books. The thought of a child learning from my book is what inspired me to write.
Q for Danner: Your IG profile states you are a digital artist who primarily works with 3D modeling software and 3D printed sculpture. What is your favorite artistic medium?
A: While my more “professional” art is primarily digital (animation, rendering, etc) my favorite physical medium is PLA filament or resin, depending on the project. I will often 3D model and print the base of the project and work from there with various clays, putties, and paints to finish the sculpture and add finer details, whether it be for fine art or cosplay.
Q for Michael: Who came up with the idea for Mothman Learns the ABCs? Did you brainstorm the designs together or how did the content come about?
A: I came up with the idea for the book. We both brainstormed how the images came out. Danner really made my ideas and words come to life on the pages!
Q for Danner: Most of your designs at Conjure Dust Designs are simplistic in nature.
- A. Who or what inspired this style of artwork?
- B. Do you target to a specific audience?
- Answer A: A ton of inspiration for my art style came from old, vector based animation and games like Homestar Runner and Castle Crashers. I’ve always loved the the simplistic, vivid style that so many flash animators were known for. However, an integral part of my art is the lack of line work because it allows me to really put more care and attention into balancing color values and contrasts.
- Answer B. I wouldn’t say I cater to one particular group, but now that I’m giving it some real thought, I suppose my target audience falls into a strange mix of people who have a passion for the outdoors and people who enjoyed the golden age of Hot Topic. I have a strong presence in the LGBT+ community, so at the end of the day, I want my art to be geared toward anyone who just wants to be themselves.
Q for Michael: How did you and Danner join forces?
A: Danner and I met at the Mothman Festival in 2019 Point Pleasant, West Virginia at the table I was running for my podcast which is called Mothboys. We had followed each other on social media and he came to our table and introduced himself. If I remember correctly we got to hang out all day. It was a blast!
Q for Danner (because I’m pretty sure we know Michael’s answer already): What is your favorite cryptid and why?
A: I’ve gotta say the Mothman is my favorite traditional cryptid. The entire 11-month chronicle of his presence in Point Pleasant just fascinates me to no end. However, if they technically count, my favorite general paranormal critters are grays. I’ve just always had such a passion for Ufology and tales of flying saucers will always hold a special place in my heart.
Q for Michael and Danner: What is your favorite book, video game, or movie?
- A for Michael: My favorite movie is 2001: A Space Odyssey, my favorite book is Watership Down by Richard Adams, and my favorite video game is Super Mario 64.
- A for Danner: Favorite book: The Owner trilogy by Neal Asher. A space drama set in a dystopian future. Favorite video game: For nostalgia’s sake, it’s a toss up between Fallout: New Vegas and Team Fortress 2. Favorite movie: The Grand Budapest Hotel. I love all of Wes Anderson’s films, but the color palette of that particular one really speaks to me.
Q for Michael and Danner: What do you do for fun?
- A for Michael: I like to visit spots where Cryptids have been seen and play Mario Kart with my fiancée Bonnie.
- A for Danner: On a nice day, my favorite hobbies are either long hikes, camping, or exploring abandoned locations. Bonus points if they have their own ghost stories! When the weather’s not so fair, I enjoy working on art projects or playing video games about exploring the outdoors.
Q for Michael: Where did your fascination for Mothman originate?
A: My fascination began with the movie The Mothman Prophecies with Richard Gere. It was so interesting to me. My Mom is my greatest influence. She got me into all the weird stuff including ghosts, aliens, and Bigfoot from a young age.
Q for Danner: Do you have plans to illustrate more children’s books?
I absolutely plan on illustrating more children’s books. Seeing the amount of joy Mothman Learns the ABCs has brought people around the world just melts my heart. If I can keep making people smile with my illustrations, then I think I can confidently say I’ve done something good with my life.
Michael and Danner, thank you so much for sharing. What kind and creative people you are! Keep up the great work, and I hope I get to meet you at The Mothman Festival this year! You can find out more about Danner and Michael on Instagram.
To buy your copy of Mothman Learns the ABCs, click here or on the book image above. For fun stickers, pins, and other cryptid goodies, check out Danner’s etsy store Conjure Dust Designs. And if you enjoy podcasts, you can find Michael on the Mothboys Podcast.
If you liked this blog, you might enjoy our interview with Lija Fisher as we discuss her middle grade Cryptid Catcher duology. And also be sure to check out the fun children’s book: Walking With Bigfoot by Sharen and Mark Mellicker.
Thank you for reading. Have a great day and remember, “What we learn with pleasure, we never forget.” –Alfred Mercier, American poet and physician.