Implicit in this post, that on August 1st 2016 I will have lived in Vermont for 9 years. How the hell did that happen?!
It’s an astounding thing to see. That this school I joined in its second year has made it to its 10th anniversary! It was a pretty wonderful little anniversary party, and very cool to see a surprising number of the “upperclassmen” (to me, always) from the pioneer class of students who showed up from around the country to see their old alma mater dust off it’s first decade in style.
Meeting cartoonists in a group is a lot of fun, because comics creation is a pretty solitary operation, and the chance to nerd out together really helps. Comics people reflect each other’s enthusiasm for comics back at each other, and somehow the energy amplifies instead of dissipates with each bounce, so by the end of something like the Small Press Expo, everyone is PUMPED to make new comics.
I never had the “I’ve found my tribe” moment at CCS. It was really great, and I met some wonderful people, but it was also a real struggle financially and emotionally, and I’ve never been entirely okay with the discrepancy between experiences – not to denigrate the power the school had for others. I think it’s great that people think of that school as a magical period of their lives that’s preserved like a shining, secret treasure nestled in the hills of Vermont just away from uncaring eyes. I’ll always value the artists I met, the creators I found myself among, the ping pong games played, and the shared experiences, but the transmutation from lead to gold was never completely occurred for me. Which is fine. That’s just my experience. Others have their own.