Contact today for Author Availability.

Looking for fun authors to visit your school? Look no further. Ben Costa and James Parks, creators of the middle-grade, fantasy graphic novel adventure—Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo—are available for Author Visits in Northern and Southern California.

Ben and James have a long history together, having known each other since the 2nd grade! Every author visit is a special one, where Ben and James recount the story of their life-long friendship, the importance of perseverance, and the process by which they plan, write, and draw the fantasy adventures of Rickety Stitch the skeleton bard!

Both Rickety Stitch: The Road to Epoli and Rickety Stitch: The Middle-Route Run are Junior Library Guild Selections.


Contact Today for 2019 Availability!

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Educator Testimonials

Hosting James and Ben is, easily, a highlight of my career as a school librarian. They inspired the students and were loved by the teachers. I am positive they will continue to gain popularity. If you have the opportunity to host the creators of Rickety Stitch do it!
— Shannan Williams, Librarian at Almaden Country Day School
Ben and James came to Stonegate School and they showed some of the artwork and told some of their personal stories. The kids were riveted! The kids connected with Ben and James immediately and the buzz in the room was excitement; excitement for what they were seeing and hearing, and excitement that they, too, can be authors.

Since their visits, we have had numerous groups of students writing books on their own time, kids who would not normally write much even in class.

Ben and James have a powerful story that connects to kids’ desires to do something greater than themselves. We would have them back anytime!
— Kim Alan Sheffield, Principal at Stonegate School

What students are saying!

Rickety Stitch inspired me to start writing my own novels. It also made me want to make my own adventures in life.
— Savannah (Middle School)
I have to read book two! When is book three coming out?! Ahhh!!!
— Logan (Elementary)
Rickety Stitch is alluring, charming, and funny in a way that teaches children to believe in themselves.
James Parks and Ben Costa are very empowering authors who teach kids to find light in dark situations.
— Rachel (Middle School)
The magical story that is Rickety Stitch is adventurous and full of mystery. 10 out of 10!
— Henry (Middle School)
The graphics of Rickety Stitch and the story will keep you entertained for hours. You won’t want to put this books down.
— Maia (Middle School)
I think Rickety Stitch is amazing. I loved the characters! Ben Costa’s artwork is really different and unique. When they showed us their book and told us what it was about it made me want to buy it instantly.
— Nathan (Middle School)
Rickety Stitch is action-packed and full of fun. It has the right amount of humor and guts and I can’t wait for the next installment!
— Anonymous critic that you should totally listen to (Yep, that's how they signed their name HAHA!)

Awards & Honors

  • Junior Library Guild Selection

  • YALSA 2018 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers Nominee

  • Texas Library Association Mavericks Graphic Novels Reading List

  • Cybils Award 2018 Graphic Novels Nominee

Praise & Reviews

Conjuring up an entertaining bard’s tale, this adventure is sure to appeal to anyone who loves high fantasy punctuated with comedy, especially older fans of Jeff Smith’s “Bone.”
— School Library Journal, Starred
Parks and Costa impressively evolve their tale into a compelling epic quest with deeper themes than the initial chapters hint. This trilogy opener is ideal for Nimona fans looking to see tried-and-true fantasy tropes get hilariously upended.
— Publishers Weekly, Starred
Costa and Parks’ script is imaginative and laugh-out-loud funny, unafraid to crack a well-timed, verging-on-naughty joke. Costa’s art is unfalteringly, vibrantly buoyant, with many sight gags that effortlessly turn the profane into something adorably laughable. A cliffhanger ending leaves readers poised for the sequel—they will be clamoring.
— Kirkus Reviews, Starred
The illustrations are dark and foreboding, highlighting the extensive array of dangers that the two find themselves in, while retaining plenty of the sardonic, mature humor of the text. There is lots of intertextual cleverness going on that results in this book being both an homage to and spoof of the traditional fantasy hero’s quest, both in the illustrations and in the narration.
— The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Starred

The Book Series


Book 1: The Road to Epoli

Meet Rickety Stitch...a walking, talking, singing skeleton bard.

He’s the one skeleton in the dungeon who seems to have retained his soul, and he has no idea why.
Rickety's only clue to his former identity, is a song he hears in his dreams, an epic bard’s tale about the Road to Epoli and the land of Eem.


AmazonBarnes & NobleHicklebee'sHudson BooksellersIndieBoundPowell's, and Target.


Book 2: The Middle-Route Run

Determined to find the legendary kingdom of Epoli, Rickety and Goo discover the only way forward is the most dangerous road in the world of Eem—the Middle-Route Run—a zany, mad dash through a gauntlet of bandits, monsters, and fiends.

With heart-pounding action and humor to boot, The Middle-Route Run tells the story of what it takes to truly be a hero.


AmazonBarnes & NobleHicklebee'sHudson BooksellersIndieBoundPowell's, and Target.