While I was the Fellow at the Center for Cartoon Studies, I decided to keep a month-by-month record of the experience. Now that's it's all over, I'll be posting them to Patreon. Enjoy :>
February was a total grind but I made it through to March in one piece. All month long I was working around the clock, finishing up interior colors for No Dogs Allowed, as well as some other freelance projects. I spent a lot of days inside, which was all well and good considering the weather. I couldn’t miss any of the visiting artists this month though, since they were a handful of my favorite people in comics. Plus I was scheduled to finally give my presentation as the Fellow. I crammed as much prep in as I could find time to, and I think it all went pretty well in the end.
My talk mostly focused on the formative influences throughout my life, from newspaper comics to the X-Men to MTV to Joanna Newsom to Joni Mitchell and on to today. I kept to my time as planned, and there were some good questions from Luke and the student body. If anything, it was maybe too much information to unload in a single setting, but it was at least crafted into a coherent narrative. Now that I’ve given that talk, I think I’ll be able to narrow in more on specific things I’m doing with my work. Another day, another dollar to make.
Aside from me, this month Marinaomi, Margot Ferrick, and Ben Passmore came to visit. Hanging out with Mari is always something you remember forever - in this case we befriended our waiter at dinner who showed us the customer placemat artwork that the staff has saved over the years. Margot showed everyone the youtube videos she watches where a Japanese mother makes replica food items out of clay and paper. I have the closest relationship with Ben, so it was really special to spend so much time together (joined him for three meals!) Also, as part of the school’s Wellness Week, Robyn and I KJ’d a karaoke night after Ben’s presentation. I was able to keep it under control pretty well, but I definitely loved being a KJ too much.
Carol Tyler was just here (technically in March) and delivered one of the most impassioned and moving presentations I’ve seen. She ended it with a plea from the older generation to integrate the comics scenes more. It put me off a little bit, mostly because it makes me wonder if her peers realize that our generation tends to feel brushed off by their’s. I’m still thinking about it.
Oh yeah, and Black Panther came out. That’s been a big deal!
I spent the last couple of days of February formatting the colored pages with Cathy since the original scans were all drawn on slightly different sizes. I also got to use the Schultz Library for the first time since I’ve been here, in preparation for being one of the judges for the annual Slate Prize. I had an idea of what I thought were the best books of the year, but having read mostly minis, I wanted to check out some of the graphic novels that everyone was saying were the best all year. Ideally, the CCS student body would have weighed in with their opinion, but the responses I got was a drop in the bucket. Not a big deal, since I’m opinionated enough as it is - I submitted a list of 10 titles each for what I considered the best print and web comics of the year, and with the other judges, we put together lists that I’m proud of, even if they aren’t necessarily exactly what I would want to see. Close enough for a collaborative effort.
Now that my schedule is more or less wide open again, I’m looking forward to getting hella work done and taking more of a part in the day to day of the school. I agreed to do group crits with Sophie’s first year class in April, so there’s that. Today, I went to the Upper Valley Aquatic Center using a free day pass I got from Wellness Week, and it was heavenly. Washed clean, sweated the past month out of me in the sauna, I’m ready for the last months of this Fellowship!