Creators' Blog Guest Posts

Interview with Spotted Dragon from the Poptropica Creators 🎤🐲

Well, well, well, look at whose turn it is for our series with the Pop Creators of PHB team interviews! Li’l old me! As a rather senior player and the second-oldest current PHB author, I’m quite excited to get into this. Let’s go meet Spotted Dragon!

1. How were you first introduced to Poptropica?

I can’t quite remember exactly how I was first introduced to Poptropica, but it was sometime in early elementary school. It was most likely through word of mouth, since the game was super popular at that time. Seemingly everyone was playing it (at least all the cool kids), along with a lot of other early 2000s online games, and I wasn’t one to miss out on the trend! Pretty quickly, Poptropica stood out for me and sort of took over my life for a while. I have fond memories of those early days, when I felt like the king of the classroom because I knew the ins and outs of every island.

2. Who do you think is the most underrated character? Overrated?

This is a toughie! One of my favorites that often goes overlooked is probably Daphne Dreadnaught from the Ghost Story Island mini-quest, Spook Central. I’ve always loved her character design and her interest in ghosts. She seems a bit underrated just because she is overshadowed by some of the bigger-name villains,but definitely deserves some recognition.

In terms of overrated characters, I’ll probably have to go with the agreed-upon Dr. Hare. I love him to death, don’t get me wrong, but it is true that he always has the spotlight. Some other iconic characters might want the chance to shine! And luckily, I don’t think I’m making any enemies by saying that. Although Amelia and Rumpelstiltskin perhaps are gaining that overrated status these days as well.

3. What are your favorite scenes, aesthetically and to play through?

One of my favorite scenes to play through has to be the part of Spy Island where you have to sneak past the B.A.D. guards at the docks. At the time, the chameleon suit blew my mind! The gameplay was super fun and the technology was extra compelling. In fact, I feel that way about a lot of the items from Spy Island, including the grappling bowtie and decoder kit. It’s one of the best experiences in terms of gameplay. But I’m also a big fan of any sort of puzzles or unique items/powers (like flying in Super Power or changing your eye color on Lunar Colony). They always feel like the most memorable details.

Aesthetically, some of my favorite scenes have been the dramatic backgrounds of Monster Carnival Island and the beautiful gardens from Red Dragon Island. I also love the haunting atmosphere of places like Steamworks and the magic of Twisted Thicket. It’s really difficult to pick just one favorite when the environmental art has stunned me so many times!

4. From your perspective, how have you seen the Poptropica Help Blog (PHB) and community change over time?

There’s been a lot of flux in the Poptropica community, which is mainly impacted by what’s currently happening in-game and simply where players are at in their lives. I’ve seen lots of fans come and go, often aging out or just growing apart from Poptropica in general, which is completely understandable. Back at the peak of the game’s popularity, we saw an enormous surge in fan blogs and community activity. Though things have become much slower these days, I’ve still been impressed with the longevity of fan involvement.

The fan base as a whole seems to have gotten much older, at least from my perspective. It demonstrates how older kids and even young adults can still enjoy things that are traditionally targeted at kids. A lot of this may have to do with the factor of nostalgia, but I also just think that things made for kids are inherently fun. Nothing to be ashamed of in enjoying that! You should like the things you like. In turn, I think that a lot of younger kids can, all the same, enjoy more sophisticated, mature modes of storytelling.

Old Man: Take a look at my life, I’m a lot like you.

As for the PHB, along with myself, our change in maturity certainly mirrors our aging. When I first began blogging in 2012, you can tell that my writing and graphics were rather amateurish and, dare I say, super cringey. But part of that was just a reflection of the times, like the “rawr XD” culture many Poptropicans grew up during. I’m impressed with how far the PHB has grown and expanded. The authors, including myself, have become more professional while maintaining that childlike sense of entertainment. The site is bigger than ever, with countless resources and opportunities for fan participation. And I’m proud to have been a part of that growth, no matter where the future may take us next.

Illustration by Spotted Dragon (2018)

5. How has your PHB career surprised you?

That growth I mentioned earlier has definitely been a surprise. When I first started my own blog in 2012, it seemed like my wildest dream and biggest goal to join the PHB team. Being invited was a shock in and of itself, and sticking around this long even more so! I’ve been surprised to see how many opportunities I’ve been lucky to encounter as a result, such as collaborating with Poptropica Creators like this. Getting art drawn of my Poptropican by Ashley Lange was one moment I realized I sort of “made it.” Dare I say I became a bit niche-internet-famous?

Jokes aside, I’ve also been surprised by how many connections I’ve made along the way. Slanted Fish and my fellow PHB authors have been supportive, even through all the community drama. And I’ve made friends that I still regularly talk to today, even if they no longer play Poptropica. It’s a really funny story to explain how you might know a veterinary or a law student who live across the country from you, all because of an online kids’ game.

by (Dr.) Ashley Lange, Poptropica Creator (2014)

6. What inspires you?

Maybe it’s a bit on the nose, but the creativity of my fellow community members inspires me the most. As an art student IRL, I’m obsessed with all things creative and artsy, hence why I run the PHB’s Community Creations series. I’m always stunned to see the amazing talent that has come out of such a niche community. The fan art, stories, costumes, etc. are just awesome. If I’m not making art myself, I’m definitely consuming the art of other people. This applies to my life beyond Poptropica too, where I get a lot of inspiration from other games, TV shows, books, and music. Like I said, all things creative!

7. What does the Pop community mean to you?

The Poptropica community as a whole encapsulates that feeling of “the good ol’ days” for me. It means nostalgia, unexpected friendship, and nerdy passion. It’s rare to see a big group of people come together, all from different backgrounds all over the world, and share joy about something seemingly simple. We’ve made something so involved and intricate like the PHB all thanks to some insanely dedicated people. The community is really what has made the game such a profound experience for me, and it’s a feeling that I’m still trying to cling to.

“Poppies” by Spotted Dragon (2016)

8. How have your experiences with the community and Poptropica influenced you IRL?

Most notably, my experiences with the Poptropica community have oddly improved my art and writing skills. Writing on a regular basis has truly bettered my abilities, and it has allowed me the flexibility to change up my writing depending on audience. It’s been wonderful to keep my love of writing fueled by something more fun, in the face of so many tedious school essays too!

My art has also been influenced because of my experience in the community, not only regarding drawing but particularly with graphic design too. If you take a look at the earliest header designs on my long-since-abandoned blog (please don’t), the difference is insane. Over the years, I’ve somehow transformed a pixelated mess into some pretty decent design skills. Without Poptropica, I’m honestly not sure I would have chosen the path I did IRL as an art student. I’m specifically studying digital media, so all that time messing with videos and graphics and web design as a kid seemed to actually pay off.

Poptropica has also weirdly taught me a lot, ya know, it being an educational game after all. Mythology Island characters seriously prepped me for all those Roman stories I had to read in AP Latin (I’m looking at you, Dr. Jupiter). Counterfeit Island has actually allowed me to recognize work in my Art History classes before the course even starts. Time Tangled and Mystery Train have left me just a little more prepared for learning about figures in History class. Who knew a video game could be so useful?

9. Outside of Poptropica and your PHB involvement, what are you passionate about?

If it wasn’t obvious already, outside of the PHB I’m most passionate about art. Creating, creating, creating. Not only is it really fun, but I firmly believe that creators are an essential part of any society. Art is fundamental to human life and has a lot more power than people realize, even in things as simple as fan art.

Moreover, I’m a big advocate of education. School is my main focus right now, and I’m a rather ambitious student, to say the least. I believe that it is important to never stop learning new things and to never stop trying to grow as a person. I love absorbing as much knowledge and experience as possible in the topics I’m interested in. Beyond visual art, some of those topics include psychology and film!


  • Island: This is always the most difficult question for me, and I think it changes on a daily basis, but I’m gonna go with Cryptids Island.
  • Backstory/Lore: I’m a sucker for any Balloon Boy easter eggs in other islands, and all the lore surrounding his journey through the clouds. But I’m also a big fan of Binary Bard’s backstory in Astro-Knights since it feels like such an attentive storyline.
  • Character: Balloon Boy!
  • Villain: Aside from Daphne Dreadnaught, probably either Black Widow (my artsy gal) or Gretchen Grimlock. Love me some evil girlbosses.
  • Costume: Growing up, I was really fond of the Vampire Girl series of costumes in the store.

Thanks Poptropica, for simultaneously helping me grow up and keeping me young. It’s been one crazy ride. Check out my interview on the Creators’ Blog as well. Until next time, let’s keep creating!


Creators' Blog Guest Posts

Interview with Purple Paw from the Poptropica Creators 🎤💜

Hello! Welcome to the next part of our series with the Pop Creators interviewing members of the PHB team. As you may have seen on Poptropica’s blog, this turn goes to Purple Paw. Let’s get started!

Illustration by Gentle Dolphin

1. How were you first introduced to Poptropica?

Surprise surprise, Funbrain! I’d been playing through our long lost friend, the Arcade, and had seen an ad for Pop on the side of the screen. My sister already knew a bit about it, and we set up a shared account. We continued playing together for a few years after that.

2. Who do you think is the most underrated character? Overrated?

It’s near impossible to talk about overrated characters without mentioning Dr. Hare — 24 Carrot was but the beginning of his career. Personally, I also think Amelia gets a little more attention than she’s worth.

As for most underrated, I’d have to go with Captain Ziggs from Steamworks Island. He’s already gone by the start of the island, but we later learn that he raised the drawbridge to keep the plant monsters at bay before presumably being cornered in his apartment. It’s largely thanks to him the citizens of Steamworks made it to their cryotubes in time. Quite the unsung hero!

3. What are your favorite scenes, aesthetically and to play through?

It’s definitely difficult to choose, but in my eyes nothing beats Binary Bard’s dream from Super Villain Island. That galaxy artwork is spectacular, and the whole concept of the dream itself is so inventive! The Sacred Tree Hollow from Twisted Thicket, with its mystical forest aesthetic, ranks high on the list for me as well.

4. From your perspective, how have you seen the Poptropica Help Blog (PHB) and community change over time?

It’s always shifting and changing alongside Pop itself. People will come and go often according to those changes; the end of Flash in 2020 brought both a resurgence of new fans excited for the future of the game, as well as those who became less active in the community after the loss of the classic islands. It’s amazing to see how long the PHB’s lasted and how many different people have come here over the years, whether they plant roots or just stop by briefly.

5. How has your PHB career surprised you?

I’d say I’m most surprised by the sheer amount of ideas, endeavors, and incredible creations that have graced the PHB, during my time as a staff writer and before! Artwork, fanfic, crossovers, animations, fan islands, even fan-made games—there’s so much creativity in the Pop fandom and the PHB holds a good chunk of it.

I didn’t quite know what to expect when joining the staff team, but it’s been a great experience thus far. The support and interactivity that can come from posting my own ideas is really gratifying. I’m thankful to be a part of it!

6. What inspires you?

As an artist myself, I’ve always been inspired first and foremost by other people’s artwork. I love viewing all the unique styles and methods of creating art and learning about how they’ve evolved throughout history. Getting outside and enjoying nature—whether by hiking, gardening, or finding a nice place to sit and enjoy the view—is a source of peace and inspiration for me as well.

7. What does the Pop community mean to you?

A lot. It’s become a significant part of my life—alongside meeting a fair amount of my good online friends here, the community’s become an outlet through which to channel my creativity and to view other peoples’ creations as well. Poptropica’s highly nostalgic for me, and it’s really nice to know and interact with other people who relate to that.

8. How have your experiences with the community and Poptropica influenced you IRL?

Plenty of writings, ideas, and pieces of art from my earlier childhood and the present have been heavily inspired by Pop. I remember writing stories based on the events of Astro-Knights and Twisted Thicket, and I even attempted to write a whole play revolving around Night Watch (attempted being the keyword there… ahem). Its myriad of characters even helped me overcome my avoidance of drawing people!

Even now, I still find joy and comfort in the many amazing islands of Pop. It remains special to me, and I can say with certainty it’s made a huge impact on my life.

9. Outside of Poptropica and your PHB involvement, what are you passionate about?

My ungodly amount of art and writing projects. Even though I abandon them frequently, I still care about them equally and do my best to continue them whenever life (and my overactive brain) permits.


  • Island: Cryptids
  • Backstory/Lore: Myron Van Buren’s family tree on his cabin wall
  • Character: Princess Elyana
  • Villain: Black Widow
  • Costume: Daphne Dreadnaught’s steampunk design

Thanks, Poptropica, for being such a big source of inspiration for so many! Hope you all enjoyed getting to know me a little more in this Q&A, and if you like, you can check out more of my writing and art here on the PHB. You can also read this interview on the Pop Creators’ Blog. Pop on!


Creators' Blog Guest Posts

Interview with Slanted Fish from the Pop Creators (with New Content!) 🐠

Hey Poptropicans! The Pop Creators have been cooking up some collaborations with us here at the PHB, and over the next few months, we’ll be sharing some interviews with each of the PHB staff.

First up: yours truly, Slanted Fish! The Creators tested the waters of this blog-founding fish with an interview last year you can read here, but for this round we’ve got a splash of new content as well. Let’s dive in!

Read the original interview on the PHB or Creators’ Blog. The following is an excerpt from Poptropica’s refreshed interview featuring the new content.

From your perspective, how have you seen the Poptropica Help Blog (PHB) and community change over time?

The biggest change I’ve noticed personally is that the kids have gotten older, both in the PHB community and the fandom at large. Though Poptropica has always been aimed at kids, it’s fascinating to see how teens and young adults (myself included) still participate in the fandom, often returning from childhood nostalgia and sticking around for the community and inspired storytelling (perhaps even creating some of their own). Of course, young kids are still around. From my perspective, even children are capable of enjoying Poptropica’s more sophisticated stories, particularly those from the classic islands.

As for the PHB itself, it’s definitely grown in professionalism over time. When it first started, we were a group of mostly 10–12-year-olds just starting to learn how to run a blog together, with all that entails. We’d create cringey graphics, ramble on in our posts with inside jokes told in all caps, and occasionally have drama spilling over in the comments. Not that we manage to completely avoid that now, but we’ve come a long way since the start and our style has definitely matured a bit. Nowadays the blog is proud to present content that is more consistent, organized, informative, balanced, and still with a touch of fun!

PHB team pic by (Dr.) Ashley Lange, Poptropica Creator (2014)

6. What inspires you?

Inspiration can come from anywhere: an interesting article, artifact, artwork… and it’s important to find some good ones, as that shapes our thought patterns and, eventually, the kind of person we become! As author Annie Dillard wrote, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Besides traveling the islands of Poptropica, I enjoy looking at real-life nature, listening to music and podcasts, and learning the stories of people past and present, as ways to be refreshed and inspired.

Journey: The wheel in the sky keeps on turning.

Outside of Poptropica and your PHB involvement, what are you passionate about?

Perhaps it’s cliche, but I’m an advocate for making the world a better place, which can look a million different ways, including social justice, environmental sustainability, and everything in between.

Touching back on my work with the PHB, and outside of it, I’m also passionate about language. I love conveying ideas through writing, discovering just the right words to use, and appreciating a good pun or poetic line. English is my first language, but Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese are part of my life, too. Being curious about languages opens up new worlds!

Fish Face: These ocean-dwellers are getting animated.

Big thanks to the Pop Creators for having me on the official blog and for their efforts connecting Poptropicans with fun content — and more to come. Catch my full interview with Poptropica on their official blog! 💙


Creators, Social Media, Uncategorized

Seeking Your Questions for a Pop Interview with Former Storytelling Creator ✏️🎤

Henlo, Poptropicans! I’m happy to announce a special upcoming PHB post: an interview with former Pop Creator, Mitch Krpata!

While the PHB has covered and even hosted interviews with this senior story developer in the past, this time we’re reconnecting with ol’ Captain Crawfish to talk about the development process for Poptropica. And you’re invited to join!

In the comments of this post, bring your unanswered questions regarding the stories and characters of past islands, pertaining to content made before 2018 (when Mitch departed the team). This interview will not cover the current state of the game, and Mitch cannot speak for the current team. That being said, ask away!

Mitch Krpata wrote three of the four Poptropica graphic novels, among others.

Before I close off, here are Poptropica’s latest Instagram stories, including an animation of Monkey Wrench Island some rockin’ Zomberries by the PHB’s Lucky Joker (LJ)! (…ok I’ll take my leave now.)

Make sure to check out these artists, and don’t forget to submit your questions in the comments of this post! I’ll see you soon for the next Villain Saga episode and the completed interview!

Castori honorem ~ Maryann/Smart Bubbles

Guest Posts, YouTubers

Battle Morale: an interview with Pop movie producer Invisible Ring 🌠🎥

Hey Poptropicans, if you’ve been hoping against hope for the way the game’s been going, this might just be the pick-me-up for you.

Battle Morale is a feature-length Poptropica fan movie by Invisible Ring and released only last month. You can watch the full film below. Plus, scroll down for a PHB-exclusive interview with the perky producer!

Battle Morale tells the story of an optimistic Poptropican — Ring starring as herself — seeking hope and truth in a dark and pessimistic world. Along the way, she goes on a mission to retrieve pirate treasure, confronts a former Pop Creator on the world’s troubles, and dives into the deep rivalry between Amelia and the Baron. We won’t spoil everything here, but invite you to join the journey in the video above!

And now, let’s welcome our special guest to chat with us about her inspirations and process of pulling off this project: the kindred kid and the Poptropican of passion, Invisible Ring!

Ring: Hee hee hee… I like those alliterations! …So what’s up? 

Fishy: Invisible Ring, we are nothing short of amazed at your new movie, and we want to hear more. Our first question is, how did you do it? How did your story come together and what was the process like?

Continue reading “Battle Morale: an interview with Pop movie producer Invisible Ring 🌠🎥”