Greenwich native digs into memory for Nat Enough’s graphic works

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GREENWICH – Maria Scrivan is a strong believer in synchronicity – like the time the bestselling author’s yoga instructor asked her to visualize herself in sixth grade.

Nestled in the child’s pose, she remembered her classroom. Heck, she remembered her childhood phone number. But she couldn’t remember the name of her sixth-grade teacher, no matter how hard she tried.

After class, she headed to a favorite writing spot on Todd’s Point and – who should come for a walk on the beach.

“Mrs. Lomazzo!” Said Scrivan, who hadn’t seen her former teacher for decades. “That was her name! And she was there! It was amazing. It all came back to me.”

Young readers are the beneficiaries of such serendipity in Scrivan’s life. Her popular graphic novels – “Nat Enough”, “Forget Me Nat” and her latest, “Absolutely Nat” – often rely on the kind of awkward exchanges and experiences she remembers from her own years at Central Middle School. .

“I really think there’s a great amount of healing that we go through as writers,” said Scrivan, who has enjoyed the craft since her days in Ms. Lomazzo’s class. “It helps you process things to write about. And I can’t help but add humor to everything.

“Absolutely Nat” (Graphix, 2021) is the third book in the “Nat Enough” series of graphic novels that follows the trials and triumphs of Natalie, a college student who learns to make friends and survive love at first sight. and at a summer camp with the same aplomb. Written in a refreshing and honest tone paired with Scrivan’s comic book-style designs, the books have been a hit since the first publication when the pandemic began in 2020.

Named one of the Washington Post’s “Most Anticipated Graphic Novels for 2020”, this book is now part of a box set, “Certainly Nat,” slated for sale in October.

“Maria writes funny, Maria draws funny and Maria does it with a ton of heart,” said Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield, one of Scrivan’s all-time favorite comics.

Raised in Greenwich, Scrivan studied fine art at Clark University before starting a career as a graphic designer. She took a self-proclaimed “windy path” to “Half Full,” her syndicated comic that has appeared in the newspapers daily for about eight years.

As her book career takes off, Scrivan said she’s starting to see writing seven comics a week as “almost kind of a day off.”

Although taken from her adventures at Central Middle School – the facade of her fictional Midway Middle School even looks a bit like Central – Scrivan said she hoped her books would deliver a universal and positive message to her young readers.

“They’re about self-esteem and self-acceptance,” she says. “How you surround yourself with people who uplift you and don’t demean you.”

His plan seems to be working. Scrivan said she receives a constant stream of emails and letters from fans, some of whom proudly tell her that her graphic novels are the first they read cover to cover.

A young girl’s letter has pride of place in her writing space.

“Whenever I’m scared or sad I start reading your books,” the fan wrote.


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