Happy Saturday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for BARB THE LAST BERZERKER! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so excited to for you to find out more about it!
Barb the Last Berzerker by Dan Abdo, Jason Patterson
Published on September 28, 2021 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade
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Barb is a Berzerker, one of a group of warriors sworn to protect the land of Bailiwick from the scourge of monsters that plagues it. But the fearsome crew seem to have met their match in the nefarious Witch Head. Using power from his magical sword, he tricked the Zerks and took them captive. Only Barb was able to escape—and she took Witch Head’s Shadow Blade with her.
Now it’s up to Barb to free her fellow warriors so they can stop Witch Head from taking over Bailiwick. On the way, she’ll battle vampire goat fiends, snot goblins, and a giant with serious foot odor issues (but don’t mention that to him—he’s very sensitive about it). Luckily, she’s got her best friend, Porkchop the yeti, to help her.
But the power of the Shadow Blade has a mind of its own, and the deeper Barb gets into her quest, the harder it is to keep the blade’s awesome power under control.
What would you do if you spent the day with Barb? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
Dan: What an awesome question! In this scenario we would definitely be a monster. We’d be some sort of two headed ogre who wields a giant battle ax. We meet Barb and Porkchop in some dark and murky forest perhaps in the Northern Wilds. At first we’d be enemies and we’d have an amazing battle, sword, claws and axes clashing amongst the trees! In the melee our satchel would burst open revealing all of our comic pages. Yes, even in bailiwick we’re drawing comics. Barb would pause and read some pages and she really likes them. Then we’d all travel bailiwick together, eating sausages and drinking razzle-brew over open fires and drawing comics and getting in amazing adventures!
Jason: Ha, that’s so awesome Dan! Sometimes I’ll go for a jog and sorta slip into scenes we are working on for the next book. I imagine myself kind of being a side character and just getting to see Barb spring into action! I love that the baddies always underestimate her. They don’t realise how strong she is, that she never gives up! I think kids feel that alot, and as grown ups we forget how strong and wonderful and just plain awesome kids are! Side note: I feel like Dan answered that question and I really didn’t.
If Barb were to hang out with characters from other books, who would they be and why?
Dan: Conan. I feel like Barb and Conan are distant relatives. They both are bad to the bone and they’re both hero’s driven by an intrinsic sense of justice. They both also kick serious butt with large swords.
Jason: She has a real rebel streak that I think would make her a great fit for Huck Finn! I think they would have a blast getting into and out of trouble on the Mississippi River!
If there was one fictional place you could travel to for a day, where would it be and why?
Dan: I would love to live in the star wars universe. I love how space travel isn’t a big deal and pretty much anyone can do it. I really just want to fly an X-Wing. I would tear it up in an X-Wing.
Jason: Right now, partly because I’m reading about it and I’m super tired from our crazy schedule lately, but I would say Elrond’s House in Middle Earth. It’s got great food, super relaxing and killer views of waterfalls! I love waterfalls.
Dan: Oooo. That’s a good answer. I wonder if my X-Wing could make it to Rivendell?
If you buried a time capsule with three items inside, what three items would you choose and why?
Dan: Time capsules are cool because they’re these moments frozen in time. I guess I’d like to include some things that my daughters love right now, that I might otherwise look over. They love these silly toys called pop-its, and they love Stephen Universe, and they love nutella. I’d include those and some photos of them too. Also a recording of their voices. I’d love to capture a moment from their lives now to relive decades in the future. That’s five things.
Jason: Wow, I’m not sure. Is there air inside one of those things? I think I would put Dan in there. He’s been driving me a little nuts lately. I feel like a few years in a time capsule would chill him out. Plus he loves time capsules. He’s always going on about how they’re these moments frozen in time.
Dan: I can’t breathe in here!
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
Dan: This isn’t exactly research, but we wrote this big long back story about how Barb grew up on a mudroot farm. None of it made it into the final book, except for one line where Barb is talking to Porkchop about her home. But it was super useful for us to know Barb’s back story and to understand her motivations.
Jason: We invented an entire language for the Mer Goblins, but never ended up using any of it. It really wasn’t such a big deal though, they only speak one word; “Bluuuurrggh!” Which loosely translates into, I’m going to eat you now.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from Barb the Last Berzerker?
Dan: There’s a scene where Barb and Porkchop are traveling to the Northern Zerk Stronghold and as they’re walking Barb is telling Porkchop about her mom. She’s sharing memories of her mom and we illustrate these moments with pictures and no words. It’s this really quiet moment that shows the love between a kid and her mom. I love pages where the adventure slows down and we get to see real human moments.
Jason: I love that bit too! I would add there’s a moment that Dan drew where Barb is crashing through a giant window with the Shadow Blade! It’s really where Barb takes control of the story and sets out to save Bailiwick. Plus Dan drew it so well, it totally rocks!
Dan + Jason: Thank you so much for these questions! Super fun!
Kait: Thank you for answering them!
Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson are long-time partners, best friends and co-creators of the animated comedy series Rocket Monkeys. Their credits also include developing shows for Disney, Sesame Workshop, Fox, and Nickelodeon, not to mention directing lots and lots of animated commercials!
What do you think about Barb the Last Berzerker? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!