Thursday, April 19, 2007

Big Doings at CCS...

First up, the Center for Cartoon Studies community is celebrating its first newborn:

CCS co-founder and Grand Omnipotent Benevolent Goddess-Being Michelle Ollie and her partner Michelle Roy gave birth this past Tuesday, April 17th, to their son Phineas Henry Roy-Ollie -- born at 5:05am, weighing 5 lbs 8oz. Everyone is healthy, well, but tired. Congrats to Michelle, Michelle and Phineas!

Secondly, CCS senior
  • Sam Gaskin, who has poured this year into the creation of a phenomenal, one-of-a-kind first volume of Pizza Wizard strip
  • just won a Xeric Foundation grant -- allowing him to self-publish Pizza Wizard, hopefully in time for the upcoming MoCCA art festival. Keep an eye out here, and on Sam's site, for future announcements -- congrats, Sam!

    It's been a real treat to see Sam's skills blossom this past year. He began work on a planned thesis project that had its roots in an expansive strip he'd begun during his first year at CCS. However, something -- else presented itself, even as Sam worked on the planned project: a one-pager entitled "Pizza Wizard." During his first critique session as a senior, Sam shared that one-pager along with the considerable work underway on the thesis project, and we all responded with unexpected enthusiasm to this new eruption from Sam's imagination. Pizza Wizard thereafter took over -- when the muse alights, it's best to go where she leads -- and grew into the most ambitious undertaking of Sam's body of work to date. He finished Pizza Wizard's first volume this month, within days of receiving the phone call from home informing him of the Xeric decision.

    Sam is the second CCS student to win a Xeric -- not bad, one per year for the school's first two years in existence. But the prize belongs to the cartoonists/students, not the school, mind you. Still, nice to note. Sam's 'win' last week was well-deserved, as was last year's Xeric award to
  • Alexis Frederick-Frost for his excellent graphic novel La Primavera (2006).

  • Haven't got a copy as yet, or read it yourself? Well, that can be remedied promptly -- via I Know Joe Kimpel (link already provided, above -- and again, below). Alexis is already hard at work on his current graphic novel, and it's even better -- Sam and Alexis are both talents (and very different visions) to watch!

    Leading us to:

    Thirdly (?), the online venue for CCS comics, minicomics and graphic novels is expanding. This just in from senior Adam Staffaroni:

    "We've added a bunch of new people to the I Know Joe Kimpel site, added a blog, and there's a Press Release link on the top of our main page detailing all the good things people have been saying about Gabby [aka Ken Dahl]'s and Alexis' work."

    The sweet quotes are
  • beginning to appear here -- just scroll down the press page during this period of construction on the site -- and spread the word!

  • But that's not all -- like Adam says,
  • the blog is up and running, with its first post in place,

  • and here's the link to the whole "I Know Joe Kimple" site. Check it out, and often! Many changes, updates, and new stuff a-coming soon!

  • Fourth, I'm happy to announce that our beloved CCS intern Gabby aka Ken Dahl has completed, printed, and is about to debut
  • the second issue of Monsters, second volume of his Ignatz-Award-winning minicomic of 2006, will debut this week at APE -- or you can purchase your copy via mail order from this link at I Know Joe Kimple!

  • Congrats, Gabby -- I mean, uh, Ken -- and hope APE proves a festive and celebratory debut venue for your latest creation.

    Monsters #1 deserved the considerable attention and praise it garnered, and humble as Gabby remains, he sure earned that Ignatz Award. The above link will steer you to both issues, highly recommended!

    And last but by no means least, there's the good news that
  • CCS senior Josie Whitmore has just launched her new site, which waits for you here. Check it out, and keep doing so, as Josie will be adding to it regularly.

  • A sure sign of spring: so many new, fertile beginnings...

    Support this generation of young cartoonists -- they're gonna change the world, for the better.

    New England cartoonists, take note: The Trees & Hills Group wants YOU! This just in from T&H co-founder Daniel Barlow:

    Members of
  • the Trees & Hill comics group
  • are proud to announce that we plan to publish a second anthology of work by regional creators early this summer.

    Submission details for the new anthology are located near the bottom of this message.

    In October 2006, the comics group published the 60-page opus, Trees & Hills & Friends anthology, which featured cartoons by over 20 creators from New Hampshire, Vermont and western Massachusetts.

    The mini-comic, which featured work by Stephen R. Bissette, Cat Garza and Marek Bennett, has sold more than 100 copies. This total does not include the copies that we gave to contributors for their work, meaning there may be nearly 200 copies out there in circulation.

    The release of that book capped the first year of operation for Trees & Hills, which was formed by NH cartoonist Colin Tedford and VT writer Dan Barlow following a large turnout to a 24-Hour Comic event just more than a year earlier in Brattleboro, Vt.

    Publishing and distributing the anthology was the first major expansion for the group, which had since been focusing on holding semi-monthly drawing parties, managing a Web site and tabling at local comic book conventions.

    Format: The 2007 anthology – which does not yet have a name – will be 5.5 x 8.5 inches with a one-color cover and black and white interiors. It will be a mini-comic; the same size width and length as the previous anthology.

    Content: There will also be a change in the content we are looking for in this publication. This time around we are looking for all-ages contributions, whereas the first publication was a showcase of the talents of the many members of our group.

    Now, we are hoping for a comic that children, teenagers and adults will all be able to enjoy.

    Details: Every contributor will receive one copy of the book per page published. We're looking for copies of the content; please do not send original art. If you live in Vermont, please send the contributions to and New Hampshire artists can send their work to

    Creators from Massachusetts can choose either Dan or Colin to send their artwork to.

    Photocopies snail mail submissions can be sent to Colin Tedford, PO Box 645, Winchester, NH 03470 or Dan Barlow, 182 Main Street #2, Montpelier, VT 05602.

    The submission deadline is Saturday, May 26.


    Pro-Death President Bush did it: his reorientation of the Supreme Court resulted in the 4-5 vote yesterday that's a victory for anti-abortion, anti-choice activists. This is a major shift in our country, in personal freedoms, and in woman's rights.

    My family has had its own experiences with abortion -- no one's business, suffice to say -- but it was a choice the women involved had to make, did make, and live with, for good or ill. It was their choice to make, though, and thank God this country at the time provided some sane measure of safety and legal means for them to make those choices within.

    That's now threatened, possibly forever, and I've nothing but contempt for this President, this Supreme Court, and this country's decision to go down this road.

    Pro-Death advocates can also ponder this morning's surprise from
  • deeply disturbed Virginia Tech student Cho Seung-Hui, who left his indelible mark on us all this week, spiced with the revelatory surfacing of videos he shot and mailed to NBC -- between the time his killing spree began shortly after 7 AM and resumed and escalated after he mailed these videos to NBC -- bringing horrifying new light to this national tragedy. This link will also take you to various links to the video excerpts that have been released (if you can make it through the Netflix commercials, natch).

  • Complete with references to Jesus Christ, President Bush, Columbine "martyrs like Eric and Dylan" and presenting himself as doing what he did to achieve similar media martyrdom -- "...I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and the defenseless people..." -- Cho's video confessional should provide a fresh, unavoidable national wakeup call and life-and-death debate -- but no. It's all being quickly, handily packaged, promoted, sanitized, trivialized. With every single radio, TV, online and government agency I was in eye or ear shot of yesterday immediately removing any serious discussion of gun control from the table, there's really nothing left to say, is there? Reports that Cho purchased his guns and clips at local pawn shops and Walmart speaks volumes. Go, NRA; you've got the nation in your pocket; that's another 32 notches to take pride in.

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