The building of the Nilo-O-Meter, and the subsequent discovery of the circumference of the Earth, was the most fascinating component of the crocodile temple at Kom Ombo. It’s easy to marginalize the Egyptian culture into a sideshow of mummies and sphinxes, but this, here… what a magnificent example of our curiosity and ingenuity as a civilization, and as a species, over 3,000 years ago. We have come so far, and yet I suspect that we are much the same as ever.
I hope that the chapter of Hieroglyph that I’m working on now can explore this further. I’m having my own creative war right now, but I suspect the solution isn’t too far away.
What a week! Full days spent working on Hieroglyph chapter one, punctuated by freelance work and taxes (yes, we’re still trying to get things squared away with our renter’s rebate– may it be over soon…), and Tim was away in NYC meeting editors and doing informational interviews. Everything is going well, but we find ourselves very busy. Today it’s time to catch up and get a little work done, and clean up our much neglected living room.
Some week highlights:
On Thursday I had the privilege to be the in-house documentary cartoonist for the Vermont Arts Council Annual Meeting at the State House in Montpelier, VT. I drew everyone I could, as fast as I could, and then my drawings were displayed during the reception. I had so much fun!
And yesterday, Saturday, Tim and I drove down to the Eric Carle Museum to visit the “Celebrating Dogs in Picture Books” event, attend Jules Feiffer’s talk, and meet Norton Juster, author of The Phantom Tollbooth and long time friend of Jules’. I was SO excited to meet Norton and take a photo with the two of them. Their book has meant so much to me both as a kid and as an adult, and was a strong inspiration for my interest in picture books and cartooning to begin with. Their only other book together, The Odious Ogre, comes out this Fall. From my sneak preview the book looks just beautiful. I’ll be first in line!
May 3rd, the big day, and everything is done! I feel relieved, satisfied, and ready to get back to my project (instead of just packaging what I’ve done thus far!) Here’s a glimpse of “Katherine’s Playground,” 140-pages fully drawn, designed, hand-sewn, silk-screened (the spine titles), and hand-bound by me. Phew! More cartooning work will be up by next week.
Check out the Center for Cartoon write-up on the Fantagraphics Books blog by editor Eric Reynolds! Thanks for visiting the school Eric! So happy that like my work!
“…I’ve been to a few other schools that offer curriculums in cartooning, and hands-down, the quality of work coming out of CCS was the best I’ve ever seen. Very little work derivative of the dominant genres in comics — namely, manga and superheroes — and instead a focus on personal expression and style with little regard for learning what it takes to be a “commercial” artist. We all did portfolio reviews one afternoon and I was frankly dreading it a bit but found myself thoroughly enjoying it. I saw a *lot* of good student work, but there were several who stood out, including but not limited to Kenny Widjaja, Katherine Roy, Mark Bilokur, Casey Bohn, Jose-Luis Olivares and Nick Patten…” – Eric Reynolds, Fantagraphic Books Blog
Who’s going to MoCCA?!
Things are in high gear here in White River Junction. The artists are drawing, the scanners are scanning, the printers are printing, and no one has slept in days. Not only is Industry Day next week, with the end of the year rapidly closing in, but the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art is holding their annual Comic Festival in New York this coming weekend! This year will be my FIRST as an exhibitor, and I will be tabling in the CCS row at G5, alongside the talents of Tim Stout, Laura Terry, Matt Aucoin, Holly Foltz, and Garry-Paul Bonesteel. I will be selling lots of Caterpillar Tales, my sketchbook from Egypt, new work, a poster, and a TOP SECRET PROJECT WITH STEVE BISSETTE! Don’t miss it! AND don’t forget to check out Caboose! a Center for Cartoon Studies anthology that will be distributed for free (FREEE!!!) all weekend at the show. Above is the cover of Caboose, drawn and colored by alumni Chuck Forsman and this year’s CCS fellow Max de Radiques.
Here’s a preview of MY WORK in Caboose, my latest installment of Caterpillar’s adventures:
Last week my work was hung in the Tucker Box gallery, a local coffee shop in White River Junction that exhibits work by CCS students, alumni, and fellows, along with serving delicious espresso drinks. My comic 25 Cents: A Caterpillar Tale was initially completed as a four page comic for cartooning studio, but was then reformatted and colored by Joe Lambert to be published in Seven Days Vermont Magazine about a year ago. It’s so much fun to see it at a big scale! Next to my work (right) hang the talents of former fellow Chris Wright (center) and second-year student Melissa Mendes (left). Hurray!
Here are a few panels from a section of my Egypt story I’ve been working on this week. I think I’ve finally figured out how to select a few key short stories from the long 180-page first draft to make a “mix tape” of events that will build to equal a complete narrative. Making the components work together while dealing with separate themes has been tough, but I think I’ve made some good progress.
I am sorry for the delay between posts folks; I should be back to two per week really soon. Enjoy!