Meet Remy Lai, creator of Pawcasso!

What initially drew you to comics?
Comics were the first books I read as a child. My parents placed no restrictions on the number and kinds of books my siblings and I read, which I suspect was the least costly and most effective way to keep five kids quiet. I guess we gravitated toward comics because they could be read quickly, in between our play time as well as our fights. And because I’ve loved drawing since I was a kid, I naturally loved the medium.

All of your books have a heartfelt meaning behind them; what is your writing inspiration, and, specifically for Pawcasso, what inspired this story?
My inspiration, the initial ideas for my stories, always stems from a selfish place. I write what I want and don’t set out to write stories with heartfelt meanings. It’s only in the later stages that I consciously revise to bring forth the meanings that my unconscious has written into my earlier drafts.

For Pawcasso, I simply wanted to write a happy book about my happy dog, whose specialty is rolling in poop, and all the ways he brings me joy. And in writing it, it became a story about a basket-toting, grocery-shopping dog whose serendipitous meeting with a lonely girl opens up her heart and her world.

What scene or panel sequence did you most enjoy drawing in Pawcasso?
I loved drawing the scenes of Pawcasso rolling in poop. They are so joyful, just like how my dog is in pure unadulterated bliss whenever he finds and rolls in a pile of extra stinky poop.

About the Book

Every Saturday, Pawcasso trots into town with a basket, a shopping list, and cash in paw to buy groceries for his family. One day, he passes eleven-year-old Jo, peering out the window of her house, bored and lonely. Astonished by the sight of an adorable basket-toting dog on his own, Jo follows Pawcasso, and when she’s seen alongside him by a group of kids from her school, they mistake her for Pawcasso’s owner.

Excited to make new friends, Jo reluctantly hides the truth and agrees to let “her” dog model for an art class the kids attend. What could go wrong? But what starts as a Chihuahua-sized lie quickly grows Great Dane-sized when animal control receives complaints about a dog roaming the streets off-