'Napoleon Dynamite' producer and local artist create new children's book series

BRIDGEWATER, S.D. (KSFY) - From the producer of Napoleon Dynamite and the hands of a talented local artist 'Porter the Hoarder and the Ransacked Room' was born.

"I'm really lucky. I get to tell stories for a living. I work in Los Angeles, I live in Deadwood, but it's really exciting to launch Porter the Hoarder here in South Dakota," Sean Covel said.

Covel's film 'Napoleon Dynamite' has been a hit since its release in 2004. He is collaborating with his friend, another talented South Dakotan.

"Porter the Hoarder was something that came about when my daughter Logan was 4 years old. What I didn't know is she was hoarding candy in her room," artist and mom Rebecca Swift said.

Swift and Covel have had this idea for a while, but Porter has finally come to life.

"I think the thing that producing Napoleon Dynamite taught me was that the weirder the character, the more people relate to it," Covel said.

"I have been drawing ever since I was a child. I wasn't very good at it - but practice will get you a long way," Swift said.

She says the character is simple but fun to draw. She says she has spent more than 400 hours drawing for the book.

"It's a look and find book, and it's a counting book, so it really works with a variety of age groups," she said.

On January 31st a lot of elementary students will be getting their hands on a book at a kick-off event in Spearfish, both Covel and Swift will be there.

"We are working with the United Way to give the book to 2,000 first graders in the Black Hills," Swift said.

Two more author speaking events are planned. Friday, Feb. 1 at Rapid City Central High School Theatre and Saturday, Feb. 2 at Books A Million in Rapid City from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Porter isn't ending here though, her future looks pretty bright.

"We will absolutely be releasing more. We have 64 different character concepts and different worlds we want her to travel to," Swift said.

Swift also says there is another announcement coming in the fall, so stay tuned for that.

Check out 'Porter the Hoarder' on Amazon