Welcome to the last stop on the Super Schnoz Blog Tour! Super Schnoz and the Gates of Smell is the debut of a superhero created by Gary Urey and Ethan Long. He's mild mannered but with a whiff of heroism. Here is a sniff of the action:
Gary Urey was kind enough to stop by NC Teacher Stuff and answer a few questions:
1. What was your inspiration for Super Schnoz?
I had two inspirations for Schnoz. The first was that I was born into a family of large noses! My
family reunion would be a rhinoplasty surgeon’s dream. Small animals scurry for cover because
our noses block out the sun. Second, I came up with the prototype for Schnoz many years ago
back in high school. The character’s name was Whiff and he was a part of a superhero team.
His power was an amazing sense of smell. The character stayed in the back of my mind and
eventually evolved into Super Schnoz.
2. Who were/are your favorite comic book heroes?
I love all the classics—Spiderman, Superman, Fantastic Four, X-men, Silver Surfer. But my
all-time favorite comic book hero was actually a Saturday morning cartoon hero, Hong Kong
Phooey from the 1970s TV show. Hong Kong Phooey was the secret alter ego of Penrod
Pooch, a bloodhound who worked at a police station as a “mild-mannered” janitor, and then
transformed himself into Hong Kong Phooey by running headfirst into a magic filing cabinet.
The Phooeymobile was able to transform into a plane, boat, space ship, anything Hong Kong
Phooey needed it to be! The late great Scatman Crothers was the voice of Phooey.
3. How much did you enjoy making references to historical figures with prominent noses? Is there anybody you left out that might make an appearance in a future Super Schnoz book?
The nose references were a lot of fun. They were mainly for the grown-ups, as I doubted a nineyear-old would know who Jimmy Durante was and get the James F. Durante Elementary School gag. Knowledge of Cyrano de Bergerac may be a stretch for a kid as well.
I think that Jimmy Durante and Cyrano are the gold standard when it comes to big noses. There
is another reference to a big nose in the book. I named Mrs. Fields, Schnoz’s teacher, after W.C.
Fields, another man with a famous honker.
4. How do you think young readers will relate to Andy Whiffler?
I think all kids feel different at one time or another. They also may feel at times like they stand
out from the crowd and not in a good way. Andy feels different because of his nose and he
certainly stands out in a crowd. Andy also has a bully problem at the beginning of the book
because of his large nose. Although we live in an anti-bullying world today, kids still get bullied
(although probably not as viciously as they were in the past) and it hurts. Hopefully, the book
also relays a message that sometimes our worst enemies can become our best friends.
5. Is there a possible Super Schnoz sidekick in his future? Perhaps one with prominent feet or ears?
I just finished Super Schnoz II. This time Schnoz, the Not-Right Brothers, and Vivian battle
snotty aliens who are intent on taking over the world. If there is a Super Schnoz III, a sidekick
might be fun. I see a kid with a huge index finger so he can pick Schnoz’s nose!
You can find Super Schnoz and the Gates of Smell at Albert Whitman for the hard copy and the ebook at Open Road Media. In the meantime, check out the trailer!