Thousands of kids are engineering their own toys and science projects — and learning how they work — thanks to Howtoons. Created by comic artist Nick Dragotta, toy designer Ingrid Dragotta, inventor-polymath Saul Griffith (a MacArthur Fellow and former Make: columnist), and self-described “big kid” Joost Bonsen, Howtoons are instructional comics that show how to make cool projects out of household materials, like the classic Marshmallow Shooter, Paper Plate Speed Demon, Rola Bola Balance Board, and Soda Bottle Submarine (see below).
For 10 years (wow) I’ve had the pleasure of working with these amazing, creative folks. What started as a few panels online and in the pages of Make: has grown to fill two big books of DIY comix, most recently Howtoons: Tools of Mass Construction. The projects are ingenious and Nick’s dynamic artwork makes every strip a visual feast. Plus now there’s a 5-issue arc of full-blown comic books called Howtoons: [Re]Ignition — our heroes Tuck and Celine must save a post-apocalyptic world by building DIY energy projects — now available in a single-volume trade paperback.
Get to know the Howtoons crew in this new promo video, then visit howtoons.com and pick up a few copies. There’s not a kid on Earth who wouldn’t enjoy (and benefit from) a fistful of Howtoons. Here are some of my favorites: