Friday, April 12, 2024
From the Wire

Illustrator Tess Smith-Roberts’ debut book tackles the weird and wild world of modern dating

Get ready to dive into the weird and wild world of modern dating with illustrator Tess Smith-Roberts’ debut book, “Disaster Dates and Lucky Escapes.” After gaining viral success with her dating comics on Instagram, Tess has compiled her amusing and cringe-worthy date stories into a hilarious and relatable graphic novel. Follow the journey of Olive, a regular girl on the hunt for love, as she navigates through the chaos of online dating. Bursting with vibrant illustrations and laugh-out-loud moments, this book is a must-read for anyone who has experienced the trials and tribulations of modern romance. Will Olive find her perfect match? Find out when the book is released on 26 October by Octopus Books.

Illustrator Tess Smith-Roberts debut book tackles the weird and wild world of modern dating

This image is property of www.creativeboom.com.

The Inspiration Behind the Book

Tess Smith-Roberts’ dating comics

Tess Smith-Roberts, an illustrator and author, found inspiration for her debut graphic novel, Disaster Dates and Lucky Escapes, from her own experiences in the dating world. In September 2020, she started drawing dating comics based on her own disastrous dates. These comics quickly gained popularity on Instagram, capturing the attention of many who could relate to her stories of bad dates and dating mishaps.

Encouragement from friends

After sharing her dating comics with friends, they encouraged Tess to turn her stories into a book. They saw the potential for her relatable and entertaining comics to resonate with a wider audience. With the support and encouragement of her friends, Tess decided to embark on the journey of transforming her dating stories into a full-length graphic novel.

Transforming stories into a book

Turning a collection of comics into a comprehensive book was a daunting task for Tess at first. However, instead of diving straight into writing her own stories, she turned to her Instagram followers for their dating stories. Tess was overwhelmed by the response and started collecting various dating tales from strangers on the internet. These stories served as the basis for the comics that would eventually be incorporated into Disaster Dates and Lucky Escapes. The process of transforming these stories into comics became a cathartic and entertaining experience for Tess.

About Disaster Dates and Lucky Escapes

Tess Smith-Roberts’ debut graphic novel

Disaster Dates and Lucky Escapes is Tess Smith-Roberts’ debut graphic novel. It tells the story of Olive, a regular girl and serial dater, who is navigating the challenges of modern dating in the digital age. Olive’s experiences are relatable to many who have encountered their fair share of disastrous dates. Through her unique and colorful illustrations, Tess brings Olive’s story to life, capturing the humor and absurdity of the dating world.

Synopsis of the book

Disaster Dates and Lucky Escapes follows Olive as she goes on a series of disastrous dates in her search for love. From being ghosted to dealing with lovebombers and catfishers, Olive experiences the ups and downs of modern dating. The book explores themes of loneliness, self-discovery, and the universal struggle to find a genuine connection in a world dominated by swipe culture. Despite the challenges, Olive remains hopeful that she will eventually find the one who is everything she’s looking for.

Release date and publisher

Disaster Dates and Lucky Escapes is set to be released on October 26 by Octopus Books. The publisher, known for its diverse range of books, recognized the potential in Tess’s comics and reached out to collaborate on turning them into a full-length graphic novel. This collaboration enabled Tess to bring her unique storytelling style to a wider audience.

Illustrator Tess Smith-Roberts debut book tackles the weird and wild world of modern dating

This image is property of www.creativeboom.com.

Tess Smith-Roberts’ Process

Collecting dating stories from Instagram followers

To expand her collection of dating stories, Tess reached out to her 191,000 followers on Instagram. She asked them to share their own dating experiences, allowing her to gather a wide range of tales to incorporate into her comics. The response was overwhelming, with many eager to share their own disastrous dating stories with her.

Creating comics based on the stories

Once Tess had collected a significant number of dating stories, she began the process of turning them into comics. Using the stories as a rough base, she would create sketches and illustrations that captured the essence of each tale. Her unique style and sense of humor allowed her to bring these stories to life in a relatable and entertaining way.

The cathartic and entertaining experience

For Tess, creating the comics based on these dating stories became a cathartic and entertaining experience. It provided her with an outlet to express her own frustrations and experiences, as well as to connect with others who had gone through similar situations. The comics served as a source of entertainment and humor for both Tess and her followers, creating a shared sense of understanding and camaraderie.

From Comics to Book

Teasing the possibility of a book

As Tess continued to create and share her dating comics on Instagram, she began teasing the possibility of a book in the captions accompanying her posts. This not only served as a reminder to herself of her larger project but also caught the attention of potential publishers. The interest and positive response from her followers further fueled her determination to turn her comics into a book.

Contacted by publishers

In April 2022, Tess received an unexpected surprise when she was contacted by not just one, but two publishers who were interested in turning her comics into a book. The recognition and validation of her work left her in shock and disbelief. After careful consideration, Tess chose to collaborate with Samhita at Kyle Books, finding a shared vision and enthusiasm for bringing Disaster Dates and Lucky Escapes to life.

Collaboration with Samhita at Kyle Books

Working with Samhita at Kyle Books, Tess embarked on the journey of turning her collection of comics into a full-fledged graphic novel. The collaboration allowed her to refine and expand her storytelling, ensuring that the book captured the essence of her original comics while also offering a cohesive narrative that would resonate with readers. The process of working with a publisher gave Tess the opportunity to bring her vision to a wider audience and elevate her work to a new level.

Illustrator Tess Smith-Roberts debut book tackles the weird and wild world of modern dating

This image is property of www.creativeboom.com.

Olive: The Character

Is the character Olive based on Tess Smith-Roberts?

While there may be some similarities between the character Olive and Tess Smith-Roberts, Olive is not directly based on her. Tess acknowledges that there are coincidental resemblances between the two, as noted by her friends. However, the character of Olive is more of an amalgamation of everyone who has experienced the challenges and pitfalls of modern dating. Olive represents the relatable experiences and emotions that many individuals go through in their quest for love.

The relatability of Olive’s experiences

Although Olive is not a direct reflection of Tess’s own dating journey, her experiences are relatable to many. Olive’s story captures the universal struggle of navigating the highs and lows of dating in the digital age. The character’s relatability lies in her encounters with ghosting, catfishing, and other pitfalls of modern dating that many individuals have experienced firsthand. Olive’s journey serves as a reminder that no one is alone in their dating misadventures.

The Appeal of Dating Stories

The demand for dating-related stories

There is an undeniable demand for stories related to dating, particularly those that capture the humor and absurdity of disastrous dates. Tess’s dating comics became an instant hit due to their relatability and entertainment value. People enjoy reading and sharing dating stories because they find solace in knowing that others have experienced similar struggles and bizarre encounters. It creates a sense of camaraderie and shared experiences within the dating community.

The humor in disastrous dates

Disastrous dates, while often embarrassing or frustrating at the time, can be a source of humor and amusement in hindsight. The absurd situations and odd characters that people encounter on dates make for entertaining and often hilarious stories. Tess’s comics tap into this humor by highlighting the awkward and laughable moments that can occur during the dating process. By finding the humor in these experiences, Tess creates a lighthearted and engaging narrative that resonates with readers.

Creating a sense of shared experiences

One of the reasons dating stories resonate with such a wide audience is the sense of shared experiences they create. Reading about the trials and tribulations of dating can make individuals feel less alone in their own dating journeys. Tess’s comics and now her graphic novel provide a platform for people to connect and bond over their collective experiences. The relatability of these stories fosters a sense of understanding and camaraderie among readers.

Illustrator Tess Smith-Roberts debut book tackles the weird and wild world of modern dating

This image is property of www.creativeboom.com.

The Journey of Creating the Graphic Novel

Working on the book while traveling

Tess faced the unique challenge of working on Disaster Dates and Lucky Escapes while traveling. She had planned to take a break from work for six months but couldn’t resist the opportunity to turn her comics into a book. Before leaving, she managed to draft the story and create a rough copy of the book in just six weeks. While on the move, Tess continued the editing and coloring process, working on trains, buses, planes, and cafes. The dedicated focus she found during her flights allowed her to be extremely productive throughout the creative process.

The planning and writing process

Unlike her comics, which were largely based on other people’s stories, the graphic novel required Tess to develop a cohesive narrative. She spent significant time planning and writing the book, ensuring that it had a clear structure and engaging storyline. This involved careful consideration of the overall arc for Olive’s character and the various encounters she would face. Tess found the process of planning and writing a book to be a new and exciting challenge, ultimately proving that she had the ability to create a published work.

Combining personal narratives with stories from others

Disaster Dates and Lucky Escapes combines both personal narratives and stories from Tess’s Instagram followers. While her own experiences served as the initial inspiration for the comics, Tess recognized the value in incorporating the stories of others. This decision enriched the book by adding a diverse range of perspectives and dating experiences. By combining personal narratives with stories from her followers, Tess created a comprehensive and relatable graphic novel that captures the collective experiences of the dating world.

Tess Smith-Roberts’ Personal Life

The potential parallels between Olive’s story and Tess’s

While Olive’s story in Disaster Dates and Lucky Escapes shares some similarities with Tess’s own dating experiences, it is not a direct reflection of her personal life. Tess acknowledges that there may be coincidental resemblances between the two, including physical similarities noted by her friends. However, Olive’s character represents a collective experience rather than a direct representation of Tess’s own journey.

Tess’s own relationship status

As the author and illustrator of Disaster Dates and Lucky Escapes, Tess is happily in a relationship of her own. While she may have drawn inspiration from her own dating life and the experiences of others, Tess’s personal relationship status does not mirror that of Olive. However, her understanding of the challenges and absurdities of modern dating shines through in the relatable and humorous narratives she has created.

The mystery of weirdos in the dating scene

Throughout her experiences in the dating scene, both personally and through the stories shared with her, Tess has encountered her fair share of “weirdos.” While she may not have a definitive answer as to why there seem to be so many strange individuals in the dating world, Tess finds it amusing to hear and share these bizarre stories. The existence of these odd characters adds another layer of entertainment and humor to Disaster Dates and Lucky Escapes, allowing readers to laugh along with Olive and others who have encountered their fair share of weirdos.

Illustrator Tess Smith-Roberts debut book tackles the weird and wild world of modern dating

This image is property of www.creativeboom.com.

Availability of Disaster Dates and Lucky Escapes

Release date and publisher information

Disaster Dates and Lucky Escapes is set to be released on October 26. The graphic novel is published by Octopus Books, a reputable publishing company known for its diverse range of books. Tess’s collaboration with Octopus Books has allowed her to bring her unique storytelling style and relatable dating comics to a wider audience.

Where to purchase the book

Disaster Dates and Lucky Escapes can be purchased from Octopus Books. The book will be available for purchase through various retailers, both online and in physical bookstores. Readers will have the opportunity to delve into Olive’s dating adventures and experience the relatable and entertaining world of modern dating through Tess Smith-Roberts’ vibrant illustrations and witty storytelling.

In conclusion, Disaster Dates and Lucky Escapes is Tess Smith-Roberts’ debut graphic novel that takes readers on a humorous and relatable journey through the modern dating world. Inspired by her own dating experiences and those shared by her Instagram followers, Tess crafted a collection of comics that resonated with a wide audience. With the support of friends and the interest of publishers, she transformed these comics into a full-length graphic novel. Disaster Dates and Lucky Escapes captures the challenges, humor, and shared experiences of dating in the digital age, providing readers with a cathartic and entertaining escape.

Source: https://www.creativeboom.com/features/tess-smith-roberts-disaster-dates/