Nathan Hale is the author/illustrator of the award-winning historical fiction series Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales — graphic novel versions of sometimes-crazy-but-always-true stories from American history.
In our interview, Nathan talks about his early career as a natural history museum mural painter, his first step into graphic novels (illustrating Rapunzel's Revenge), and the origins of the Hazardous Tales series. He also shares details about his creative process and all of the careful research he does to make sure he gets the history facts right ... if he doesn't, the series' Research Babies and Correction Babies let him know!
Nathan Hale is an award winning children's book illustrator and author with a background in scientific and natural history illustration. He grew up in Sundance Utah, the child of ski instructors. The family didn't have a TV and at night his dad would read fantasy stories out loud to Nathan and his siblings.
Nathan studied illustration at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. His first job was to paint a display at a new dinosaur museum, and that led to a career as a natural history museum display, painting scientific murals for museums around the U.S. He took his first step into graphic novels when he was asked to illustrate Rapunzel's Revenge, a re-telling of the fairy tale by Shannon Hale (no relation).
Nathan was inspired to create his own series, Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales, by his love of history and comics. The first book in the series is One Dead Spy, which tackles the story of the historical Nathan Hale himself, who was an officer and spy for the American rebels during the Revolutionary War. Subsequent books have explored events of the Revolutionary War, the Alamo, exploration of the West, the Underground Railroad, WWI, and WWII.
Nathan is also the author and illustrator of picture books, including The Twelve Bots of Christmas. He illustrated the graphic novel Rapunzel's Revenge and its sequel, Calamity Jack. Nathan also illustrated Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody, The Dinosaurs' Night Before Christmas, and many others.
Nathan lives with his family in Utah, and is an enthusiastic collector of Lego® sets. He divides his time between picture books, natural history/educational illustration, and graphic novels.