Carl Paolino takes his first stab at writing
by Andrew Shilling
Nov 20, 2013 | 19623 views | 0 0 comments | 587 587 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Carl Paolino
Carl Paolino
Maspeth native Carl Paolino has spent much of his life behind the scenes of famed television shows and commercials. Now he has a new focus in the world of literature for young adults.

A professor at the School of Visual Arts, Paolino has worked as a puppet designer for shows like MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch in the late 90s, been a part of the art and animation departments for Saturday Night Live, and also played a crucial role in a number of commercials for companies like Victoria's Secret, Nintendo and Burger King.

“I’ve done everything,” Paolino said. “Sometimes it’s a small hand prop, sometimes it’s a full costume.”

After nearly 35 years in the entertainment industry, Paolino has taken his knowledge and love for writing screenplays and storytelling to a new audience.

In his debut novel, “Penny Dreadful and the Poisonberry Fortune,” Paolino tells the tale of a young “goth girl,” who finds herself challenged with a number of magical dilemmas while preparing for her 13th birthday and attending public school for the first time.

“This is a new experience for her, she’s a fish out of water and she doesn’t realize what the outside world is like because she’s been sheltered, and we find out in the book why,” Paolino said.

After a year of work on the 32-chapter graphic novel, or “novel with pictures” as he refers to it, Paolino set up at New York Comic Con last month for the book's formal release.

“This is the first project that I’ve ever created from the beginning that is completely mine, that I’ve never compromised on,” he said.

Paolino explained that he found a new calling in his creative career path, and is currently working on two books, one of which is set to be the sequel to “Penny Dreadful and the Poisonberry Fortune.”

“I always saw myself writing something,” he said, looking back over his past in the art industry. “To me, this is just an extension of the creative process, so it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. If you’re a person who likes to create in the real definition of the word ‘create,’ you’re going to find an outlet.”

Follow the Penny Dreadful series on Paolino's website at (
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