TTLG Author/Illustrator Profiles

Jimmy Gownley

Jimmy Gownley

Jimmy Gownley is an American comic book writer/artist best known for his award winning comic book Amelia Rules. He grew up in the small town of Girardville, Pennsylvania and started to write and draw his own comics at an early age. His first published work was Shades of Gray, which he self-published. Two issues (#0 and #1), self-distributed in an edition of about 100 copies, were published in 1988-89 while the artist was still in high school. Twelve additional issues, starting over with #1 (1993) and titled Shades of Gray Comics and Stories, had national distribution in the low thousands of copies, with color covers and black and white interior art. Gownley called his publishing company Lady Luck, Ltd.

In 1998, Gownley published a Shades of Gray graphic novel, titled Fiction, Part One. Included with the graphic novel was a CD of songs, purportedly written and sung by the characters, actually written by Gownley, and performed by a group of hired musicians. Fiction ends on a cliffhanger, but as of 2011 no Part Two has appeared. Instead, Gownley turned to a new set of characters with Amelia Rules.

The first four issues of Shades of Gray were collected in 1995, in a trade paperback titled Days to Remember, and all 12 issues were collected in 2006 in Black and White Life.

Jimmy Gownley has always had a close circle of admirers, but with the publication of Amelia Rules starting in 2001, he began to receive national recognition, with favorable reviews in Library Journal. Four graphic novel collections of Amelia Rules! were released under Gownley's self-publishing label Renaissance Press.

The publishing rights to Amelia Rules! were purchased by Simon & Schuster in 2008. The 8-book deal would re-publish the first four Amelia Rules! books and see the release of four new ones.

In May, 2009, Atheneum, an imprint of Simon and Schuster began re-releasing the first four volumes of Amelia Rules!: The Whole World's Crazy, What Makes You Happy, Superheroes, and When The Past Is A Present. They also released a re-packaged version of the holiday story (found in The Whole World's Crazy), entitled A Very Ninja Christmas.

"Amelia Rules!: The Tweenage Guide To Not Being Unpopular" was released in April 2010. "True Things (Adults Don't Want Kids To Know)" was released in October, 2010..

Gownley travels around the country talking to students, teachers, and librarians about the creative process and the art of cartooning. He has been an Artist-In-Residence at the Museum of Cartoon Art and The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center.