Author Archives: mcavallaro

Happy 2018!

Here’s hoping for the best in the coming year for all of us!

Sometime over the past few months the title of the book I’ve been working on was changed to “NICO BRAVO and the HOUND OF HADES.” I’m happy about that since it was the title I imagined all along. Even better, just before Christmas I finished work on it: all 186 pages plus a cover! I can’t show that yet but here’s the updated promotional artwork plus a rough cover design we ended up not using. Hopefully I can show more soon! NICO BRAVO will be released from First Second Books in 2019.

I’m writing a sequel because all I really want to do is more of this! Meanwhile, it’s back to work on the 5-issue IMPOSSIBLE INCORPORATED series with writer J.M. DeMatteis and IDW Publishing. Not posting any of that because the release date is still a long way off. I’ve always loved J.M.’s work, whether his creator-owned stuff like MOONSHADOW, or his Big Two comics like JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL, or his tv/direct-to-DVD work like BATMAN: THE BRAVE & THE BOLD animated series. So far, I’ve gotten scripts for the first two issues of IMPOSSIBLE, and they’re fantastic, of course. Sometimes I can’t believe how lucky I am.

This past November I was invited to the Miami Book Fair. It’s a staggering celebration of all types of books that manages to sweep downtown Miami up into the festivities. I got down there early and spoke to students at a few local schools, and did a presentation at the Book Fair itself. It was great to catch up with friends like George O’Connor, Michel Fiffe, Kat Roberts, Bob Sikoryak, Michael Buckley, Ed Steckley and Joan Hilty. I took in a few panel discussions, including Mimi Pond and Trina Robbins, and another featuring Harold H. Brown, a former Tuskegee Airman!

The auditorium at MBF just before my presentation.

The crowds start to gather.

Mimi Pond, Trina Robbins, and moderator Joan Hilty.

Marsha Bordner and Harold H. Brown discuss their book, “KEEP YOUR AIRSPEED UP: The story of a Tuskegee Airman.”

A shot from the fair.


TCAF 2017

So, I’m going to check out the Toronto Comic Arts Festival this year. Here’s the scoop:

Saturday May 13 and Sunday May 14
Free To Attend – All Ages

Primary Venues:
Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto
The Marriott Bloor Yorkville, 90 Bloor Street East, Toronto
The Masonic Temple, 888 Yonge Street, Toronto
The Pilot Tavern, 22 Cumberland Street, Toronto

On Saturday, May 13th, 12pm, I’ll be signing my new book Decelerate Blue at the First Second Booth (#204 / 205).

On Sunday, May 14th, 2:45pm, I’ll be on the “Pardon My Youth” YA comics panel with Cecil Castellucci, and Kat Leyh, moderated by Eva Volin.

If you’re in the Toronto area, come visit!



Adam Rapp’s script for DECELERATE BLUE required oodles of logos to illustrate the corporate dominance at play in the story. I don’t think I’ve ever made so many logos for a single project, and I’ve never considered it to be a strongpoint in my skill set. I really tried, though, to make each of them interesting and convincing without going down the rabbit hole. Here are a few of them:


2017 MoCCA Arts Festival

NEW! Decelerate Blue print for sale debuts at MoCCA

April 1st – 2nd, 2017, the MoCCA Arts Festival arrives at the Metropolitan West, located on West 46th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues in Manhattan. The festival runs from 11:00AM – 6:00PM, and I’ll either be exhibiting or wandering around taking it all in, and I’ll have this new DECELERATE BLUE print you see above for sale.

Here’s my schedule–come find me!
1 – 4 pm at the National Cartoonists Society booth (C131)
4 – 5 pm Wacom Demonstration at the Wacom Lounge (first floor towards the back wall.)

12:30pm – ? DECELERATE BLUE signing with Adam Rapp at the First Second Books booth (E 157, E 158)
4 – 6 pm at the National Cartoonists Society booth (C131)

The MoCCA Arts Festival is a 2-day multimedia event, Manhattan’s largest independent comics, cartoon and animation festival, drawing over 7,000 attendees each year. With 400 exhibiting artists displaying their work, award-winning honorees speaking about their careers and artistic processes and other featured artists conducting workshops, lectures and film screenings, our Festival mission accelerates the advancement of the Society’s broader mission to serve as Manhattan’s singular cultural institution promoting all genres of illustration through exhibitions, programs and art education.

The National Cartoonists Society is the world’s largest and most prestigious organization of professional cartoonists. It was born in 1946 when groups of cartoonists got together to entertain the troops. They found that they enjoyed each other’s company and decided to get together on a regular basis. Today, the NCS membership roster includes over 500 of the world’s major cartoonists, working in many branches of the profession, including newspaper comic strips and panels, comic books and more.

Wacom provides tools and instruments that let people express their creativity as fluently in the digital world as they would with ink on paper, paint on canvas, light in a darkroom or editing suite. Wacom’s enthusiasm for creativity overflows from the professional sphere to provide the tools and inspiration for anyone on their creativity journey, whether just starting out or well on the way. Wacom invites users to celebrate and explore the human spirit of creativity and what that can achieve in the world around them.




DECELERATE BLUE (First Second Books, 208p. $17.99. ISBN 9781596431096), my new graphic novel with author Adam Rapp, is now available for in-store and online purchase! We’ve got some reviews and interviews!


Kirkus Reviews: “This is a strikingly illustrated book set in a potentially massive world, and readers will hope this isn’t the only story to come from it.”

Publishers Weekly: “It’s a world of absolutes, strikingly reflected in Cavallaro’s jittery, angular illustrations, which largely forgo shading in favor of stark black-and-white scenes; color is used only twice, powerfully heightening the emotions in each scene. Rapp’s rapid-fire dialogue eerily evokes a society hurtling down a troubling road and raises haunting questions about sacrifices made in the name of safety, productivity, and progress.”

School Library Journal, starred review: “Fans of George Orwell’s 1984 and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 will find much to ponder in this notable graphic novel.”

Unbound Worlds: “Feeling overwhelmed by the news? Exhausted by social media? I’d like to prescribe Decelerate Blue, a dystopian science-fiction graphic novel written by Adam Rapp and artist Mike Cavallaro. I finished it in one sitting, like a starving man devouring a sumptuous meal. I needed it. I bet you do, too.”

Gay League: “Decelerate Blue was an engaging and thought provoking read for me. Those requiring happy endings will be disappointed and miss what I believe to be Rapp’s point: One’s ideals and truths are worth fighting for and living regardless the price.”

Project Muse: “Edgy author Rapp pairs up with talented illustrator Mike Cavallaro in this beautiful and powerful graphic novel about a teen who chooses to say “No.” It’s a rare graphic novel that dives into romance and dystopia…”

Very happy for this to finally come out!


Parade (with fireworks)

[Roughly translated: “Maropati, In Memorium, Vincenzo Cavallaro, Vincenzo Cordiano, Fallen on January 6th, 1923 in the defense of popular and Socialist administration against Fascism.”

94 years ago today, my grandfather and great-uncle, Paolo and Vincenzo Cavallaro, respectively, and their cousin Vincenzo Cordiano, were involved in a shootout on the streets of Maropati, in Reggio di Calabria, Italy. It was during the Feast of the Epiphany in 1923, the year Mussolini’s Fascists became an official political party, emboldening thugs and “deadenders” throughout a country that was still suffering from the effects of World War 1. 
My grandfather’s family, along with much of the countryside, were Socialist Party supporters, while their adversaries had pledged themselves to the new Fascist Party. The mood in the country was tense, and seemingly, it didn’t take much to ignite passions.
I used this family story as the basis for my 2009 graphic novel, PARADE (WITH FIREWORKS), published by Image Comics. PARADE earned me a Will Eisner Comics Industry Award-nomination for “Best Limited Series”, and it still stands as one of the books I’m most proud of: not only for my own accomplishment, but for the bravery of my ancestors in the face of emerging tyranny.

Here’s a video about PARADE created (what feels like a million years ago) by Bradley Hatfield. The “two issue” format referred to at the end of the interview was how the story first appeared in print, but I later remastered and expanded it while creating the trade paperback version.


Carrie Fisher

I was 8 years old in 1977, and I still vividly remember seeing Star Wars with my mom. It changed my life. I was already a fan of Adam West’s BATMAN, George Reeves’ SUPERMAN, THE LONE RANGER, STAR TREK, LOST IN SPACE. So, perhaps a future in comics and animation was inevitable. But STAR WARS nearly obliterated all those others in my imagination and gave me heroes unlike the rest, not the least of which was Carrie Fisher’s PRINCESS LEIA “I don’t need rescuing” ORGANA. Thanks, and farewell.