|Is|| Cartoonist |
|From||United States of America|
|Type|| Arts |
|Birth||23 October 1963, Iowa, USA|
Lincoln Peirce (born October 23, 1963) (pronounced “purse”) is an American cartoonist, best known as the creator of the successful Big Nate comic strip and as the author/illustrator of a series of Big Nate novels for young readers. He has also written a number of animated shorts that have appeared on Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon, and is the creator of an upcoming Big Nate animated series.
Peirce was born on October 23, 1963 in the city of Ames, Iowa. His family moved East in 1964, and Peirce grew up in Durham, New Hampshire. He developed a fascination with comic strips at a young age and often cites Charles Schulz’s Peanuts as his greatest inspiration. At Colby College in Waterville, Maine, he studied art & art history. During his four years at Colby he produced a weekly comic strip called Third Floor, featuring an ensemble cast of student and faculty characters. From 1985 to 1987 he studied at Brooklyn College in New York, where he earned an MFA in studio art. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine, and then worked for three years at Xavier High School in New York City, where he was the art teacher and baseball coach.
Peirce is the creator of the comic strip Big Nate. The strip debuted in 1991 in 135 newspapers, and currently has a client list of over 400 newspapers worldwide. Big Nate is also available online at gocomics.com, where in 2019 it was the site’s second most-viewed feature, ranking behind only Calvin & Hobbes. The popular children’s website poptropica.com has included Big Nate since 2009. In 2010, Peirce wrote the first of eight Big Nate novels for young readers. Published by HarperCollins, each book in the series was a New York Times bestseller. In 2011, Andrews McMeel Publishing began a series of Big Nate compilations. The series consists of 22 books to date and every one of them has been on the New York Times bestseller list. Under the AMP! Comics for Kids imprint, twenty collections have been released. Epic Big Nate, a coffee table book celebrating the strip’s first 25 years, was published in 2016. Big Nate books appear in 33 different languages and have sold over 20 million copies.
Peirce has also written for television, contributing to Cartoon Network’s shorts program and Nickelodeon’s Random Cartoons. He created two Uncle Gus stories (“For The Love of Monkeys” and “Not So Fast”) for Cartoon Network, and later wrote a series of 2-minute shorts called The Brothers Pistov for the short-lived series Sunday Pants. At Nickelodeon, Peirce wrote and storyboarded “Super John Doe Junior,” about the son of a beloved crimefighter who has inherited none of his father’s super powers.
On February 19, 2020, Nickelodeon announced plans for a 26-episode Big Nate animated series.
Big Nate debuted in newspapers on January 7, 1991. The strip’s main character is Nate Wright, an irrepressible sixth grader with a native and inflated sense of his own greatness. Peirce has said that Big Nate, which featured only six characters when it started, originated as a “domestic humor” strip, and that he intended to focus on Nate’s family life. Soon, however, Peirce realized that “the gags I enjoyed writing most were the school jokes. Nate’s life in middle school was where all the funny stuff was happening.” Nate’s school, P.S. 38, became the narrative center of the strip, and Peirce has added dozens of characters to the cast of classmates and teachers during the strip’s run. Among the recurring characters are:
- Francis and Teddy, Nate’s closest friends
- Gina, an annoying teacher’s pet
- Chad, a lovable and guileless sidekick
- Dee Dee, president of the Drama Club
- Mrs. Godfrey, Nate’s social studies teacher and nemesis
- Mr. Rosa, a kind-hearted but overworked art teacher
Peirce describes Big Nate as a “modest success” for its first 19 years of existence. The beginning of the novel series introduced Big Nate to a generation of young readers and enhanced the comic strip’s profile. The novels include:
- Big Nate: In a Class by Himself (2010)
- Big Nate Strikes Again (2010)
- Big Nate On a Roll (2011)
- Big Nate Goes for Broke (2012)
- Big Nate Flips Out (2013)
- Big Nate In the Zone (2014)
- Big Nate Lives It Up (2015)
- Big Nate Blasts Off (2016)
Big Nate: the Musical
In May 2013 Big Nate: the Musical had its world premiere at Adventure Theatre MTC in Glen Echo, Maryland. The music was written by Christopher Youstra, with lyrics by Christopher Youstra and Jason Loewith.
Max and the Midknights
After completing the Big Nate novel series in 2016, Peirce began work on Max & the Midknights, a comedic adventure story set in the Middle Ages. It is the first in a projected three-book series published by Crown Books for Young Readers. Max & the Midknights was published on January 8, 2019, and went on to spend sixteen weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list, peaking at #2. The second book in the series, Max & the Midknights: Battle of the Bodkins will be released in December 2020.