Following last year’s devastating Tea Fire, Santa Barbara cartoonist Molly “Mollycules” Hahn was one of many artists to find inspiration in the ashes. A longtime illustrator and writer of her own comics and ‘zines, Hahn came up with the idea for her first children’s book, Under the Sneep Tree: The Wamboozling of a Village, as a way of giving back to a community that she saw come together during some truly tough times.
The story that resulted is a sweet and thoughtful tale about a group of monsters called Wamboozles, whose village is destroyed by wildfire. Desperate for food, one displaced monster stumbles upon a grove of fruit-producing Sneep Trees in a little girl’s backyard. The two develop a friendship that eventually unites Wamboozles and humans to the best of ends. Visually, Under the Sneep Tree is awash with bright, popping colors, soothing pastel backdrops, and Hahn’s signature, freshly sketched aesthetic. In addition, the flaming Wamboozle village, saturated sunsets, and foggy backdrops are sure to hit home with S.B. readers.
“A lot of [the book] has definitely been inspired by the nature here,” explained Hahn. “I wanted to write a kids’ book for many years, but I also wanted to create a story that would give back to the community here.”
Since wrapping up production on Under the Sneep Tree in July, Hahn has taken the book everywhere from San Diego’s yearly Comic-Con International to San Fran’s more independently minded Alternative Press Expo-and found plenty of new fans along the way. “I got a lot of traffic from children,” recalled Hahn of the experience, “and I was totally awestruck by their response.”
This Sunday, November 15 from noon to 3 p.m., Hahn brings Under the Sneep Tree home for an official unveiling, reading, and signing party at Yoga Soup (28 Parker Wy.). Along with the book, Hahn will also have her latest sketch collection for sale, aptly titled Sketches of the Day. To order a copy, check out her daily drawings, or reserve a book for the signing, visit mollycules.com. Ten percent of the proceeds from sales will be donated to the Children’s Hospice & Palliative Care Coalition.