In 2008, Geronimo won the Art Department’s Robert Gaffney Memorial Grant, given each year to support student work in the arts at Wagner College. He used the grant to help stage an exhibition of his work the following spring, “All Their Engines,” along with fellow degree candidate Sirena LaBurn. The show consisted of 10 watercolor portraits on paper by LaBurn, nine sheets of comic-book art in pencil by Geronimo, and one oil painting on canvas by each artist.
Three years later, at the beginning of 2012, Staten Island Advance arts editor Michael Fressola profiled Geronimo and his growing exploration of comic book art in “Meet Staten Island’s Comic Book Crusader.”
Later that year, Wagner Magazine editor Laura Barlament helped Geronimo team up with fellow arts grad Colleen Venable ’02 to work up the alumni magazine’s first comic strip, “Ode to the Anchor,” about the history of our much-painted maritime landmark.
Now, Robert Geronimo is venturing into new territory of his own with his first illustrated children’s book, “Little Maia and the Coral City.”
“Little Maia” is a wordless picture book, created in the same vein as David Weisner’s “Flotsam,” Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” and Winsor McKay’s “Little Nemo & the Adventures in Slumberland.” The tale begins as Maia wakes up, scared, during a thunderstorm. The world floods, and her house is swallowed by a giant sea monster. Luckily, she finds the thriving Coral City inside the monster, full of fish-people. She is greeted by Walter, one of the city’s residents, and the pair roam Coral City together. With the help of her new friend, Maia devises a plan to return to her world.
“Robert chose a young girl as his main character, to illustrate the empowerment of girls,” said Bruce Degen, artist and co-creator of the “Magic School Bus” series.
Good luck, Rob!