10 Things You Should Know About Big Nate's Creator Lincoln Peirce

Lincoln Peirce, Middle Grade Author and Cartoonist

Photo of Cartoonist and Author Lincoln Peirce
Lincoln Peirce, Creator of Big Nate. Andrews McMeel Publishing

Lincoln Peirce (pronounced "purse") is the author of eight popular Big Nate middle-school books based on a comic strip series with the same name. Peirce is also the creator of a "Big Nate Island" in the virtual world of Poptropica, and Big Nate, The Musical. Having finished the Big Nate series in 2016, Peirce says he intends to write more books for the same audience; he is also involved with the creation of puzzle books and the world's longest comic book created by a team.

Ten Interesting Facts About Lincoln Peirce

  1. Birth: Lincoln Peirce was born on October 23, 1963, in Ames, Iowa.  Yes, his last name really is spelled “Peirce” rather than the usual “Pierce.” It is pronounced “Purse.”​
  2. Childhood: Peirce grew up in Durham, New Hampshire. He first became interested in comic strips when he was seven or eight years old. He produced his first set of comic strips featuring the same character, Super Jimmy, when he was in fourth or fifth grade. Although the character is not based on his brother, the name “Big Nate” in his present comic strips and books is the nickname he called his older brother Jonathan when they were kids.​
  3. Early Inspirations: As a child, Peirce was inspired by the Peanuts comic strips of Charles Schultz. The Phantom Tollbooth and The Great Brain are among the children’s books that had an impact on him.​
  4. Education: Lincoln Peirce was educated at Colby College in Waterville, Maine and earned a graduate degree from Brooklyn College in New York.​
  5. Becoming a Cartoonist: While he spent his first three years after graduation as a high school art teacher, Lincoln Peirce continued to work on developing his comic strip “Neighborhood Comics.” “Neighborhood Comics” became “Big Nate” after an editor at United Media suggested he concentrate on one character. The character he chose was Nate and the comic strip that was accepted for syndication became “Big Nate.”​
  1. Lincoln Peirce Is Friends with Jeff Kinney, Author of Diary of a Wimpy KidWhen Jeff Kinney was a college student and an aspiring cartoonist, he became a fan of the Big Nate comics and wrote a letter to Lincoln Peirce. Kinney shared his own desire to become a cartoonist and asked for advice. Peirce replied and he and Kinney corresponded for several years.
    After Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid book and series became so successful, publishers became interested in more middle-grade books that combined words and comics. Jeff Kinney and Lincoln Peirce reconnected and Kinney opened doors that led to Peirce’s Big Nate becoming a part of the kids’ site Poptropica and his getting a contract to write a series of funny Big Nate novels for HarperCollins. ​
  2. There Are More Than Eight Big Nate Books:  In addition to publishing the Big Nate funny middle-grade novels, HarperCollins has published several books of Peirce’s “Big Nate” newspaper comic strips, as well as Big Nate activity books for kids. Andrews McMeel Publishing has published numerous compilations of Lincoln Peirce’s "Big Nate" newspaper comic strips. Among them are Big Nate: Say Good-bye to Dork City and Big Nate’s Greatest Hits, both published in 2015.​
  1. Lincoln Peirce Draws His Cartoons by Hand: Unlike many other cartoonists who take advantage of technology in creating their work, Lincoln Peirce does almost all of his by hand. He creates all original drawings with ink on bristol board and does all of the lettering by hand for both his comic strip and his books.​
  2. Peirce Loves Writing About Middle School: In numerous interviews, Lincoln Peirce has cited his many memories of middle school. “I just remember middle school incredibly well…I think those are pretty vivid years for a lot of us. It seems as if every day you either experience some triumph or some crushing humiliation...’” ​
  3. Lincoln Peirce Loves Working from Home. Lincoln Peirce and his wife and two children live in Portland, Maine. He delights in being able to work from home and spend time with his family. His "Big Nate" comic strip is syndicated in more than 300 newspapers and can be viewed online at GOCOMICS.