Center for Cartoon Studies 10-year block party – YouTube

CCS 10th Anniversary PosterImplicit 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.

CCS Vermont Poster

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.

Photo by Chris "Radical" Warren
Ten years of Toonies nearly overwhelm the capacity of CJs.

Congratulations CCS!

Seven Days on CCS’ 10th Anniversary

Apostrophe Press, CCS, Pioneer Class

Casanova X

My god, I’ve been reading this book for 10 years.

Casanova is my favorite comic book series today. It has only published a few issues in the last 10 years (dear god it’s been ten years?!) and it’s been in fits and starts as its creators have become more popular and have left to work on books that are less passion-projects and more actually-paying projects, but I love that they haven’t given up on it.

The second series ending is still one of the greatest reading moments of my life.

The concept is pretty simple: a debonair bad guy gets pulled into an alternate dimension where he’s the ultimate good guy by an even WORSE guy to act as a double agent. He tries to negotiate his new life, stay alive, enjoy stylish adventures that are (very metaphorically) representative of the career of the writer and artists creating it. There’s a ton of twinning and mirroring: Casanova has a twin sister Zephyr. He’s a bad guy playing a good guy. His twin sister returns in the second book and is the main character for a while, time and space and destiny and love all figure in together. Universes end (sometimes just as the first two pages of an issue).

I love it dearly. I hope someday you will, too.

http://fabioandgabriel.blogspot.com/2016/05/casanova-celebrates-10-years.html

 

I Found My Old Car, A New Jacket, It’s All Gonna Be Great!

"...they're not as good as I remember."

There are a lot of questionable elements to seeing old Han Solo, but I appreciate that Abrams and Kasdan put him into the movie right at the end of his journey where he was about to get everything he’d been searching for and realize it all meant nothing to him.

Right after I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I mentioned to a friend that there’s a whole Harvey Pekar story about a dedicated Wookie friend sticking by his aging human friend. The human is at the end of his emotional rope, trying to vainly recollect all the artifacts of his lost youth, transforming the dashing ramshackle setting of rebellious youth into a terrible and carefully orchestrated setting. A decor. A diorama of a thing that no longer exists. It fits in perfectly with the general fan-nerd impulses streaked throughout The Force Awakens.

SPOILERS: Continue reading I Found My Old Car, A New Jacket, It’s All Gonna Be Great!

“Who Controls Your Health Care Data?”

Supreme-Court

Unused cartoon for this article in the New Hampshire bar news about a supreme court case regarding state’s attempts to keep accessing health care data (that insurance providers already collect) in order to provide more data about costs of health care at different locations.

The Supreme Court justices really dragged the speed of getting this image done. There’s just flippin’ NINE of them. And I think you can tell I started in the center with Roberts (who I thought I did a good job in representing comically and not politically), and had some highlights with people like Alito (although he looks like a South Park version of him), Ginsburg, and Kagan, but by the time I get to Thomas I’ve lost interest… and I just can’t be bothered to make Scalia look remotely human.

(Incidentally, did you know New Hampshire has an online tool that tells you what you’re going to be charged at different locations for different medical services?! Yeah! It’s pretty incredible!)