To follow up on the great response to Tuesday's newsletter featuring Seth Neefus, we just knew that we had to continue the trend by getting to know the team behind Abe's Peanut a little better. Co-founder Anna Knoebel was kind enough to answer our questions about the response from young readers, the joys of receiving mail and cowboy stamps.
Seth Neefus, The River Makers' Tales, exclusively through LittleCollector.com
LC: The brilliance of Abe's peanut lies in its simplicity. One writer, one artist, four postcards. How did you come up with the idea?
AK: We actually came up with it for Abe's Penny, our original publication. We wanted to make an art/lit magazine that didn't just add to the noise, but that actually worked to change the way people consume art and literature. Once we had Abe's Penny going it seemed like a no-brainer to make a version for kids. No one loves mail more than a kid.
LC: What kind of response have you been getting from kids and parents given their very different relationship to media? For instance, as a kid I eagerly awaited my monthly subscription to Chickadee magazine, yet my little cousins are frustrated by (non-digital) cameras when you can't see the picture right away.
AK: Mostly we hear from parents that their kids love mail and that they love Abe's Peanut. It works because there's always pleasure in finding something addressed to you from somewhere you can't see -- kids and adults both share that enthusiasm. I think some parents probably ignore the idea all together because it's too analog. We have a huge family and Tess and I are the oldest of 15 cousins. The youngest ones have been online since they could walk . . . but everyone knows the simplest things are sometimes the best.
LC: What comes first, the story or the illustration?
AK: It depends on the collaborators and for us it makes no difference.
LC: What's the best thing you've ever received in the mail? Any fan mail from little readers?
AK: When I first went to college, even though I emailed all the time, I checked the mail like it was my religion, waiting for letters from my family. I love letters, especially when the envelopes are decorated.
LC: Stamps are integral to any postcard. Any favs? What stamps do you use?
AK: We're at the mercy of the Postal Service on that one! When we launched Abe's Penny, the postcard stamps were illustrations of tropical fruit. They switched to polar bears and just recently to herbs with the price increase. When I have to buy first class stamps, I usually go for the great legends like Katherine Hepburn or cowboys.