THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH Enlarge | Buy This Photo
Megan Jurek is only 11, but already she is an accomplished cartoonist.
The youngster, a sixth grader at Regina Coeli School in West Toledo, is going national this month with her work. Green Screen Adventures, a children’s cable television series, will run its adaptation of an illustrated story she submitted during the summer.
The episode is to air at 8 a.m. Nov. 24 on the MeTV network, which is available locally on Channel 111 on Buckeye CableSystem, at 992 on Time Warner, 247 on Comcast, and on WTOL’s over-the-air digital channel, 11.2.
Megan won’t be paid, but Megan and her school will get a credit for the story, called “Perky the Pig.” It begins: “Once there lived a pig named Perky. Perky lived in an old farm with his animal friends. His friends were Clucky the Chicken, Spots the Cow, and Fuzzy and Wuzzy, the twin lambs. Perky enjoyed eating, playing in the mud, and talking with his friends.”
Her illustrations and photos from the taping are on the Green Screen Adventures Web site at http://greenscreenadventures.tv/perky-the-pig-2. Her work is on display on her Facebook page, called Megan the Cartoonist, which has almost 700 “likes” from around the world.
Kitty Kan, a maker of disposable cat-litter boxes in Alabama, noticed Megan’s Facebook page and liked her cat cartoon character, named Herb. The firm asked her to draw Herb promoting its product. She did, and Kitty Kan made a donation in her name to animal shelters.
Herb likes water and peanut butter, plays the ukulele, and has an unnamed mouse friend. Herb, Megan readily acknowledges, was inspired by the Garfield comic strip.
“I love Garfield,” she said.
“Her idol is Jim Davis,” Garfield’s creator, said Michele Jurek, Megan’s mother.
Megan loves cats too but can’t own one, her mother said, “because I’m allergic to anything with hair.” And Megan’s inability to own a cat might stoke her creativity when she is drawing and writing her Herb cartoons, Mrs. Jurek said.
Gail Sikevitz, the producer of Green Screen Adventures, said it was Megan’s “exceptional writing and illustrating” that caught her eye.
“We just looked at those drawings, and it was a wonderful story,” Ms. Sikevitz said.
The show, produced in Chicago, gives children a chance “to express themselves, to understand that words have power.” she said. “The show is designed to show them the importance of writing and to write more and do work beyond the classroom.”
Ms. Sikevitz said Perky the Pig would be the lead segment of the 30-minute Nov. 24 show and last about eight minutes. “We want children to be inspired, and when children see that another child did something like this, it sends out a message.”