Friday, September 28, 2007

Making Good in the Badlands
(& Other Vistas)

More CCS This & That for Friday AM...

The Center for Cartoon Studies has some big doings coming up, primary among them Garry Trudeau visiting on Monday, Oct. 22nd -- more on this public event next week, as I get final details.

But let's take a look at what the first-ever CCS alumni have been up to...

This summer, CCS alumni Elizabeth Chasalow and Jacob Jarvela took the big plunge across the Atlantic and explored Jacob's home country of Sweden and other Scandanavian vistas (Finland, Denmark).
  • Here's Jacob and Elizabeth's core saga blog, packed with photos and more --
  • -- with even more travel-blog material here,
  • and Elizabeth's summer profile here.

  • They returned safe and sound last month, and are presently nestled into the hills of New Hampshire, where I hope to catch up with them face-to-face soon.

  • CCS alumni Ross Wood Studlar has been roughing it in faraway Oregon's Crater Lake National Park since June, and posted these photos this week.

  • Ross notes his gig at the Park has included "...guided boat tours... presentations on geologic, biologic, and cultural aspects of Crater Lake; staff[ing] the visitor center and been asked innumerable times whether the lake freezes in winter; be[ing] a first responder for several medical emergencies... some trail work," and notes that throughout the summer he has "received weird looks from visitors when they learned where I went to school." A proud CCS alumni tradition, established!

  • Fellow CCS alumni Adam Staffaroni has been on a cross-country roadtrip (including a visit to Ross in Oregon!) and posted some of his pix, with blog narration, over at the I Know Joe Kimpel blog --
  • -- also note the latest news on Colleen Frake's excellent comics series Tragic Relief, which you should be ordering ASAP.

    Great to see the pix of everyone on the road, and how the CCS alumni are making it in the big wide world... others are on the move now, and I do mean now. Anyhoot, more info, links and pix soon.

    In the meantime, the new community of CCS seniors have been mucho busy. With SPX approaching, I'll have more info, news and art to bring to your attention in October.

    I'll kick off that effort this morning with
  • CCS senior Morgan Pielli's new comic blog, now featuring Pilgrim O'Neal!

  • Morgan
    is co-editing the western comics anthology Dead Man's Hand, for which I'm completing a new story, "Tenderfoot," about which I'll say more closer to SPX (yep, it'll be debuting there, pardner).


    Among the Class of 2008 who didn't return to CCS for a senior year is the talented and beloved-at-CCS Jaci June, who sent this communique last month about her summer trip down the Mississippi and splinter detours and adventures, which thankfully included a return visit to White River Junction and CCS in August. We miss you, Jaci, but you're on your own great adventure -- happy trails! Posted here (with Jaci's permission) is her most recent update:

    So the Miss Rockaway Flotilla is in Voltron formation and stranded in Alton at a fancy yuppie marina that reminds me of good ol' California. Recently I ran away to St. Louis with my sister and friend Mendon to escape the weiner that sometimes possesses people to act carelessly and treat others like shit. I call this the deep dark weiner in all of us. Sometimes it is more potent than others and at the time too overwhelming for my tastes so I booked it.

    Two days in St. Louis hanging at a collective anarchist house and visiting the anarchist bakery and farm, I bump into my friends Bochay and Jenny. They say "New York Wedding?" And I say "I do." Twenty hours later sans sleep I am in upstate New York in a forest ringing bells at a bride in a blood red dress and a groom in a sultan costume, at night we skinny dip in a pond and take breaks from the sauna to watch the lightning turn the black and white night into full color. The next morning I hitch a ride with some wedding guests who live in Montpelier and ask them to drop me off at White River Junction, Vermont. I went swimming in a postcard picture slough with giant conifers and pines, nursed a baby mouse to death, danced professionally with Josie for my stoner friends, and got a lot of drawing done. My stay in Vermont wasn't all smiles, quite a few gut wrenching frowns accompanied by hot stinging tears were also had. But I guess that was fun too.

    Afterwords I took a 30 hour bus ride back to St. Louis. Surprisingly, I drew a shit load on the bus, read a book on Civil Disobedience, talked to some traveling crusty kids, a couple of old guys who where crude, earnest, and hilarious, and I figured out my life plan for the next couple of decades! So Greyhound didn't treat me too badly, although by the end of it I had technically not slept for 3 days.

    I arrive in St. Louis, MO at 3 in the morning and I am tired and without a place to sleep (the collective house is a good few miles aways). Then I remember the St. Louis City Museum's owner is a friend of the Rockaway project and has given us unlimited access to the property. I call my sister for the code to get inside. I walk a few blocks and eventually find it. If you haven't seen this place there is really no justice to describing it but I will try.

    The museum is a junk playground. It is a huge metal, rebar, concrete, big toy that goes a hundred or more feet into the air. There are airplanes in the sky with long spiral staircases leading up to them. There is a school bus hanging off top corner of the museum. The place is a twisted child's dream.

    So the code doesn't work. And everything I've described is easily accessible and outside of the actual museum. I jump a 2 foot fence. Climb into the wire arches into the heavens climb the spiral staircase to the tallest airplane and lay down to rest. As sleep creeps up so do scritch-scratching sounds of clawed feet. I'm convinced it's rats and so I get into my sleeping bag and cover my face with my straw hat to keep the varmits from clawing my eyes out of my head. The next morning I hear a dozen baby birds chirping and I realize that pigeons are sharing my sleeping quarters. I wake up with a killer view of St. Louis from a fucking broken airplane in the sky. I love my life.

    Call my friends, they pick me up. Jacki and Harrison swing by in a van I tell them everything. I'm so happy to see my sister again. We visit the boats, not feeling it. My friends I was supposed to room with in San Francisco are seeing other people and are no longer close. Someone from CAMP (the collective house) Eric, suggests me moving in with them.

    So now I'm going to be living in St. Louis, working on comics, doing an after school cartooning program, and helping scavenge for the rafts. I'll be visiting California soon to visit my Mom and pick up my things...


    P.S. A panda walks into a restaurant and shoots the waiter. The cops rush into the crime scene, arrest him and then ask why he killed the waiter. Someone answers "look panda bear up in the dictionary. They eat, shoots and leaves."

  • Oops, missed this: yesterday afternoon a telephone interview with Leah Moore & John Reppion was broadcast on London and Web radio station Resonance FM. Alex Fitch and Duncan Nott interviewed Leah Moore (daughter of Alan) and her zombie (and Leah) lovin' husband/writing partner John Reppion about their comic writing; here's the link, hopefully the interview is still online -- check it out.

  • ________________

    More later, have a great Friday, folks.

    Labels: , , , , ,