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At An Unlikely Story bookstore in Plainville, MA, Gene sits down for a lively conversation with Wimpy Kid author (and bookstore owner) Jeff Kinney.

As a kid, Kinney was a prankster and a devoted reader of his sister’s Judy Blume books. He later discovered fantasy (The Hobbitt, The Lord of the Rings, and the Xanth series), comics (The Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes), and the genius of Carl Barks (Donald Duck comics).

Kinney talks about how his early dream of being a newspaper comic strip writer led to the creation of Greg Heffley and his middle school world. Listen in as Kinney shares some sage advice with young people who want to be cartoonists — and why cartooning is the art of simplification. Learn more about Jeff Kinney and the Wimpy Kid series >