They don't call the first year "CCS bootcamp" for no reason! What follows is quite a sizeable art dump, for which I apologize. The last few weeks have really gotten away from me - I haven't even managed to cook for myself, for the most part! But the faculty seem to have taken pity this week, and hopefully it'll be a bit easier to get a handle on things ... ride the wave instead of getting crashed around by it.
Last week, my class took a trip up Mt. Ascutney (the mountain we'd previously been sketching from a poet's back yard), so this diary comic is a sequel to the previous one. It's a little less ... deep, but I like the way it kind of inverts the first one: from the sublime to the ridiculous. (I remain amused that I sat that close to a precipice--though there were a few big ledges just below me, I couldn't have fallen far--and then managed to fall off a small rock
You might recall that, some weeks back, I mentioned the facebook project
my class was working on together. Each student had to screenprint a portrait of some kind, and draw a bio for the facing page. Behold, ( my first attempt at screenprinting. )
During the very end of September, CCS played host to the International Comic Arts Forum
, an international academic conference, which was a pretty fascinating experience. (There's a write-up over at the Schulz Library Blog
.) I discovered that I'm definitely still, in some sense, an academic; still inclined to analyze as well as enjoy (and create) stories, and ... somewhat frustrated when a presentation doesn't draw a conclusion from its material. There were some really fascinating talks; the panel on Race and Class was perhaps my favorite, although CCS senior Kate Moody's talk on the so-called "death of print" was particularly scintillating as well.
We also held a sort of miniature, all-CCS convention during the conference, where my classmates and visiting alums set up tables to sell our work to each other and attendees. ( I tabled with four of my classmates. )
I was thrilled to finally have the chance to check out what the second-years have been doing (we have precious little chance to bug them about it these days!), and it makes me wish I could fit minicomic reviews into my schedule, because seriously, my school is full of amazing people and you should read their stuff. Maybe I'll do some in celebration of winter break; I can't promise.
Also, this happened:
Conventions do always involve rather interesting conversations and feedback! It got me thinking a bit about the nature of autobiographical comics ... how if you do them for long enough (even when you're taking distinctly non-serious, episodic approach, as I generally do), the "you" on paper becomes a character just slightly distinct from the person you are in real life. (It also made me think that I need to start taking more care not to draw myself in t-shirts all the time. I'm given to wearing a lot of collared shirts and neckties, and that fedora is becoming sort of a signature accessory.)
Exhausting as ICAF was (as a CCS staff member, I worked for much of those three days, when I wasn't tabling), I was grateful for the homework assignment we had that weekend. My artwork is ... a little intricate? While I've certainly grown faster even in the short time I've been here, my process is time-consuming and meticulous, and often results in very very late nights (which I enjoy, but pay for later). That week, however, we were assigned a short comic on a "journey" theme, using Ed Emberley's Make A World
.( In which I play with stick figures. )
More recently, I managed to more or less drive myself into the ground with our latest project, all due to my still absurdly slow process, a bad stretch of art block (school does not allow for this!), and a little bit of life outside of school (I do kind of want to have one). That project deserves its own post, once I've reworked the cover, but I do have a little bit of non-schoolwork to share as well ...
This past weekend, a very dear friend of mine got married back home in Western Massachusetts, and I was lucky enough to attend. I wanted to make a personal gift for the couple, which isn't something I've ever really done before. Fortunately, we had recently learned a little bookbinding, and they happen to have a highly comickable inside joke! My friend is a devoted fan of The Wrath of Khan
; her wife, on the other hand, is not quite a Star Trek
fan. My friend's wife has famously given many hilariously incorrect recitations of the plot of this movie, which she's sat through numerous times. I drew four comics based on these retellings and bound them into a book; ( this one is probably my favorite. )
It was a beautiful outdoor wedding in the height of New England fall, and everything turned out about as close to perfect as I can really imagine. There was, however, a tense moment; the day before was very rainy, and the area of the lawn where the ceremony was supposed to be held was briefly flooded. (The spot they used instead was gorgeous!) My friend posted some very picturesque images of her feet immersed in water, and I was hit with this nagging inspiration to draw a fantastical bride standing in a pool of water.
It's nice to have a little artistic energy back! (Last week was kind of terrible.) This wound up becoming much more creepy than ethereal in execution, which I blame on the season:
It looks like the cover for something, doesn't it? Hmmm. (Clearly this image has absolutely nothing
to do with any real-life events or people, although I do find myself working marriage into various project ideas right now; it was an inspiring celebration.) I don't have a story right now, but you never know.
I'd better stop bombarding you now, but I'll be back soon with a thoroughly un-fantastical adaptation of one of Aesop's fables, because apparently I'm contrary like that. COMICS.