‘Funny and weird': Kenosha bookstore brings all things fantasy, sci-fi, horror to life

‘Funny and weird’: Kenosha bookstore brings all things fantasy, sci-fi, horror to life

KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) — Some kids know early on exactly what they want to do when they grow up.

For others, it’s a longer journey.

Donovan Scherer of Kenosha fondly remembers always doodling in his notebooks as a child, turning his friends and family into all sorts of creatures.

“Sometimes I’d add wings,” Scherer recalled. “Or I’d give them crab legs.”

As a Navy brat in Japan, watching animations like Dragon Ball Z helped shape his style.

“Then when I moved back to the States, it started airing here and I was like, I know all these characters!” Scherer told CBS 58’s Ellie Nakamoto-White. “They’re my old friends.”

And despite the international move, he never stopped creating.

“I drew a bunch of nonsense and sometimes, something good comes out of it and you just take that to the next level,” Scherer said.

But he didn't expect it to turn into one of Kenosha’s best hidden gems — his storefront, Studio Moonfall, which proudly sits on 7th Ave.

“I never set out to be a writer or an illustrator or anything like that,” Scherer said, while standing in front of a chalkboard sign displaying the number 170 — the number of books he’s published.

Studio Moonfall was originally established as a place he could “do at least a little bit of something creative every day.”

As an illustrator, he began with his first sketchbook comic strip series called the Breakfast Doodles.

“It was mostly fun characters and then coming up with stories for them, and then having to figure out why characters are in a certain world and what their circumstance is,” Scherer said. “Then it was drawing up all their weird friends to hang out on their adventures.”

He describes his work as a “mad science” of fantasy, science fiction, and horror.

“I’ll push into darker sort of worlds, but I keep everything pretty lighthearted,” Scherer explained.

One example? Another series, titled Fear and Sunshine, which centers around a young hippie girl in a Frankenstein-type lore.

“It’s not something that’s meant to be scary,” Scherer said. “It’s like, hey, that’s a cool monster. I want to hang out and get nachos with it.”

For Scherer, ideas come a dime a dozen. That’s how he ended up creating one of his most popular series, called the “Zombeans.”

Yes, that means zombie beans, and there’s a nearly endless number of characters ranging from Spider-Bean to Albert Bean-stein.

“Funny and weird I think is what most people say,” Scherer said laughingly.

Inside the store there are books from floor to ceiling, ranging from a used section to the coloring books he creates once a month to local and independent authors.

There’s also a puzzle, toy, and trinket section, as well as a multitude of products for Dungeons and Dragons enthusiasts.

He also regularly brings in featured authors for meet n’ greets in store.

His only employees? A couple of stuffed figures including a green lump called “Boogs” and several rubber aliens he calls his “interns.”

“We gotta do it, otherwise it’d just be boring,” Scherer said. “It’s pretty much everything I do.”

As for the name of his home away from home?

“I think it would be a cool apocalypse to see the moon falling on top of us, so I went with that for my name,” Scherer said. “It’d be a nice calm. I figure it would take a while so we could just relax and be like, well, this is over now so better read some books!”

While the future of the store isn’t concrete, he hopes to gain enough capital to expand and reach more people throughout southeast Wisconsin.

But one thing’s clear— he will never stop creating.

“I’m building the business around the idea of just dabbling in whatever I want to do,” Scherer said. “Even if it goes weird and dark, it’s always still fun.”

You can find Scherer at the Kenosha HarborMarket on Saturdays.

To follow Studio Moonfall on Facebook, click here.

You can also join his Patreon here to get stickers, behind-the-scenes looks, printable coloring pages, and more. 

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