Center for Cartoon Studies [582]

Center for Cartoon Studies [582]

♪ Cause we’re stuck in, stuck in Vermont ♪ ♪ Can’t get out ♪ It’s a little magical getting a bunch of
cartoonists together to help each other work on comics and to help each other
grow as artists and as storytellers. Welcome to Stuck in Vermont brought to
you by Seven Days and sponsored by New England Federal Credit Union. My
name’s Eva Sollberger and today we are in White River Junction at
The Center for Cartoon Studies. That’s right, you can get an MFA
in cartooning here in Vermont. Cartooning! You can do anything when you’re given a blank page and it’s so exciting and
thrilling to get to watch people explore that space and figure out ways to tell narratives in visual ways on a single piece of paper. I’m, like, addicted to the process of putting things
in little boxes. [laughs] And since this week is the Cartoon
Issue of Seven Days, we’re going to talk to some people at the graphic memoir
summer workshop and find out why they love comics. What draws me to comics
is how they’re so accessible. A great way to tell fantastic stories without a lot of money, capital put up front. The nice thing
about comics is that it appeals to readers of every age, they’re available
in every genre. Comics kind of allows you to be, like, the director, the writer, the actor, everything. This is a really special school, it has a special place in
my heart as a person who went here as a student and also as someone who is
coming back as a teacher for these summer workshops. Was this just, like, the side of a pencil here? Cool. And all of our classes
are taught by working artists. I had taken summer courses at CCS and I had just,
like, fallen in love with the community and all of the people here. I was just
like, “Oh, I…I want to be one of you.” So we have students from all over the world
coming here to take classes either in our main master’s program or in our
summer workshop. I learned how quickly I can produce a comic strip. You’re gonna work
from nine till five, you work hard, most of us were working well into the
nights as well. I think I’ve produced more this week than I have, like, the last five months. You bust your butt but you come away
having learned a lot, having experimented a lot. In the last ten years
there’s been a huge surge of graphic novels. I read a lot of comics, both online and
from the library. The Schulz library, the most magical place on campus. People are kind of blown away when they walk in there. Over 40,000 volumes that are all comics or comics related books and we also have
a really large zine collection. We call it our zine garden. I wish I could spend
a couple weeks in town just to read that. This is a graphic memoir workshop. We’ve
got students who are coming in from all different walks of life in comics and
we’ve got just a wide variety of experiences and artistic styles that are
all coming together in one room. I decided to do my project on
endometriosis which was a diagnosis I received last year. So this is about the
process of cleaning my art classroom, my high school art classroom. I wrote a graphic novel as my dissertation,
well as my thesis. This is actually my third
summer here. So I am in the middle of writing a book length graphic memoir. It was about my experience growing up with undiagnosed and misdiagnosed chronic pain. So that when my wife and I have a kid we have a little record of some of
our history. And maybe kid or kids will open this book when they’re ten. Been a cartoonist for most…
for about 15 years, most of my life. My work is mostly
focused on positive queer and trans YA and middle grade comics. They read a
big graphic novel, it’s like 300 pages and then the artist is like, “It took me
four years to do that book and they read it in an hour.” ♪ Eveningland, “Indigo” ♪ White River Junction is a quirky small town. I mean comics take a really long time, you really have to be dedicated to
sitting at your desk, chipping away at something every day until it’s finished.
And if you’re in, like, New York City or Boston, like, you know there’s just so
many things to do besides sitting at your desk. And so we like to call the
winter time here, which lasts for a pretty long time, cartooning season. So yes, Vermont has a cartoonist laureate which is pretty unusual and we’ve had three. James Kochalka, Ed Koren, and Alison Bechdel. There’s lots of cartoonists hidden in the beautiful mountains of Vermont. Workshops go through August and there are still some openings in July and we
will get stuck in Vermont with you again real soon. Follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, sign up for our weekly email alerts. I used to draw comics back
in the 90s, that’s right. I had a zine like all the cool kids and
someday I’m gonna go back to comics. Should I keep drawing or do you want me to face… [Eva] You can, if you want you can keep drawing and talk or you can face me, it’s up to you. How do feel more comfortable? I’ll keep drawing so I don’t realize I’m being filmed. [Eva] There you go, perfect! [Eva] And what draws you to comics? [laughing] Ha, that’s punny. [laughter]

One comment

  1. Had to pass this on to a friend of mine's son who works as a cartoon artist in NY City….maybe he will come up & join this fun group? Thanks Eva! You always have interesting topics to share. LOVE STUCK IN VT!!!

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