Archive for the ‘CCS’ Category

Create Comics!

June 25, 2008

This week at CCS we’re running a summer workshop — a 5-day series of intensive classes that will culminate in two student-produced anthologies. This year’s enrollment is nearly twice that of last year’s, and some folks have traveled quite a distance to hunker down and draw in White River Junction. Pencils are blurs of motion, eraser dust coats the floor in drifts, and by the end of the week people will be seeing the world as a series of panels in sequence. It’s great to be in an environment where so many people are so excited about making comics!

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CCS Class of 2008

May 20, 2008

Commencement for the Center for Cartoon Studies class of 2008 was held last Saturday in the old opera house in White River Junction, Vermont. We kicked another crop of misbegotten ideogramographers out the door and celebrated afterwards with root beer and mice made out of chocolate mousse. I would be lying if I said I didn’t shed a tear or two during the ceremony. I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to spend my first year teaching at the college level with this particular gang of artists, whose careers I will follow with much interest in the coming years. Thank you all for the hard work and passion you brought to the drawing table and classroom!

The above image is a great self-group-portrait the students put together as an awesome parting gift to the faculty. Here’s is a key to the characters with links to their comics work:

Pancakes by the Pond

May 6, 2008

Today was the last day of the Thesis Seminar class that I teach at the Center for Cartoon Studies, so we just had everybody out to our place for some brunch in the swamp by the pond. After a week of gray and rainy days, we lucked into blazing sun and clear blue skies. Most of the students were wiped out from pulling all-nighters to finish their thesis projects, but they were all good sports about making the half hour trip. Thanks for coming out, gang!

McBuck for the Win

April 28, 2008

Talented CCS soon-to-be grad Chuck McBuck is the first-ever recipient of the Awesome anthology grant, awarded by the fine fellows at Indie Spinner Rack. Chuck is a great student, diligent cartoonist, and active promoter/producer of indie comics. The $1500 “kick out the door” is well-deserved, even if he chooses to blow it on fresh sticks of dynamite. Keep an eye out for Mr. McBuck in the future!

Charles Vess in the CCS

April 24, 2008

The great cartoonist, illustrator, and sculptor Charles Vess paid a visit to the Center for Cartoon Studies today, to show original art, give an inking demo, and speak as a part of our Visiting Artist lecture series. Mr. Vess is part of a group of artists including Bernie Wrightson, Barry Windsor-Smith, Jeffrey Jones, and Michael Kaluta, who were all heavily influenced by the great book illustrators of the late 19th/early 20th century. He counts Howard Pyle, Arthur Rackham, and Kay Nielsen among his early personal influences.

It was interesting to see the relatively small size of his original comics pages, and to witness firsthand the ease with which his exceedingly fine pen strokes are laid on the page. The most remarkable bit of news to me was that he doesn’t fill in blacks in the usual sense — he just layers hatching on top of hatching on top of hatching!