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It’s about time! Local cartoonist launches tale of extra-dimensional exhibition hall

Right on time: Graphic novelist Matt Loux shows off his new book “The Time Museum” in his home studio in Ditmas Park.
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He’s been making good Time!

A Kensington cartoonist will show off his new graphic novel about time travel — and give kids a peek at his creative process — at the Spring Into Stories Children’s Author and Illustrator Festival at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central branch on May 6. The creator of 250-page comic book “The Time Museum” says that, although his work is marketed to teens, his creation process just involves writing about what he thinks is cool.

“I really just write stories that I want to tell. I write the funny stories I’d like to read,” said author and artist Matthew Loux.

Catapulting through the decades is a topic that has always piqued Loux’s interest, and his book follows a teenage girl from Brooklyn who discovers a museum that uses time travel to assemble its exhibits. The modern-day protagonist must compete for an internship against five kids from different time periods, from the far future to the prehistoric past.

Loux spent five years working on “The Time Museum,” but before he started sketching, he visited several museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Natural History Museum to research the exhibits, architecture, and layout of the display halls so he could accurately portray his title subject.

“I did a lot of background research,” he said. “If you’re going to claim it’s the ultimate museum, you’ve got to make it look like it is.”

The result is a book filled with background drawings of pillars, nooks and crannies, exotic exhibits, robot kitties, and characters that stay true to their historical time periods.

Loux is currently halfway through the sequel to “The Time Museum,” but he took some time last year to pick up a watercolor brush and develop an entire fantasy comic called “Smith Quest.” He says that going back to painting, which he studied in college, was a challenge to his usual methods of using a pen, ink, and digital touch-up.

“I’m very particular about cleaning up the mistakes I make digitally, but when you’re painting you’ve got to let some of that go,” he said. “There’s definitely going to be more painting in the future for some other projects.”

At the festival on May 6, Loux will be joined by nine other creators, including fellow Brooklyn cartoonists Sara Varon, whose book “President Squid” is about a sea-creature running for the White House, and John Green, offering an advance look at his new project “Hippopotam­ister,” being released on May 10.

During the event, Loux will be quick on the draw, breaking out his pen and paper for an interactive session where he asks the audience what to sketch. The “Time Museum” creator is pumped to show youngsters that they can make a life out of their art, he said.

“I’m really looking forward to talking about art and how it’s something that is possible to do as a career,” said Loux. “I feel like when I was that age it was a very abstract idea to think you can do it as a career, but one of the greatest things is being able to see a talk or a drawing display from an artist and you see other people can do that stuff.”

Children’s Author and Illustrator Festival at Central Library (10 Grand Army Plaza at Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Heights, www.bklynlibrary.org). May 6, 1–4 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 5:59 pm, July 9, 2018
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