Neil Numberman

Neil Numberman is okay with flies and ladybugs, but he’s deathly afraid of cockroaches. He graduated from the MFA illustration program at the School of Visual Arts and lives in Manhattan.

Neil Numberman

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Creepy Crawly Crime Video

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Neil Numberman

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Q & A

Where did you grow up?

We started out in Dallas, TX, moved up to Philadelphia, PA, and finally to a gorgeous suburban town known as Medford, NJ, on the hunt for the Jersey Devil.


What is your earliest memory of writing/drawing?

I can remember when I was about 4 or 5 I would draw comics about monsters getting squashed and stretched out, and then turning into everyday household furniture, like a lamp or a couch.


What inspired you to write/illustrate your first book?

I read a sample of the Joey Fly script by Aaron Reynolds and knew it was the perfect thing for me. Drawing a bunch of insects, how could I resist?!


Do you use your childhood as inspiration?

Absolutely. I tried to make Joey Fly so that my 8-year-old self would have loved it.


What books from your childhood have most influenced your work? What about adult titles?

The Great Waldo Search by Martin Handford is my favorite book EVAH!

Also, any of the drawing books by Ed Emberly, Eric Carle’s The Very Mixed-Up Chameleon, MAD Magazine, Super Mario Adventures by Tamakichi Sakura and Kentaro Takekuma


What are your hobbies and interests besides reading and books?

Watching football, playing basketball, and cooking!!


Who are a couple of your favorite author/illustrators? What is it about their work that inspires and interests you?

Martin Handford—It goes way beyond searching for Waldo. Take another look…

Ed Emberly—Beautiful character designer, made copying his drawings into a game.

Richard McGuire—I just love the way this guys brain works.

Lisbeth Zwerger—She brings class to children’s books, something I’ll never do.

Peter Bagge—Great storyteller, highly expressive cartoons.


What one or two words of advice would you give for young authors/illustrators?



by the author

Big Hairy Drama (Joey Fly, Private Eye, Book 2)
Joey Fly, Private Eye
Aaron Reynolds; illustrations by Neil Numberman
Henry Holt and Co. BYR Paperbacks

A cold snap has blown into town like an unwanted house pest. But there’s only one guy in the bug city with the power to put crime permanently on ice: Joey Fly,...

Available In:

Creepy Crawly Crime
Joey Fly, Private Eye
Aaron Reynolds; illustrations by Neil Numberman
Square Fish

Have you ever had one of those moments? You know—you’re trying to find a stolen diamond pencil box for your beautiful butterfly customer, your mosquito witness...

Available In: