Hooray for Books that night.
Big Nate's Island. That measurable fan base led to Lincoln the writing the books. Lincoln drew some of the characters, starting with Nate. This is the early version of Nate. He evolved over the years.
He explained that reading comics was "real" reading and showed some of the ideas cartoonists had come up with to tell a story in pictures. Like the balloon for speech, the symbols for #@$%!* (you know).