Scott McCloud Visits Champlain College

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Graphic novelist Scott McCloud will visit Champlain College for a talk titled “Comics and the Art of Visual Communication”. The talk will take place at 7:30 PM on Monday, February 23rd at the Alumni Auditorium.

McCloud is a well-known cartoonistand is known for several books on the creation of comics. He is also the main author for the Creator’s Bill of Rights and the creator of the 24-Hour comic event. His latest book, The Sculptor, has recently been optioned for film.

This should be a really interesting presentation for all comics fans and artists.

Winter Saturday Morning Cartoon Club


The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction will be hosting a Winter Saturday Morning Cartoon Club tomorrow, February 7th!

Kids + Comics = YOWZA!
Are you at least nine years old? Do you like drawing comics? Do you have a few Saturdays free this spring? If your answers are yes, yes, and yes then come join The Center for Cartoon Studies’ Saturday Morning Cartooning Club! We’ll design characters, create stories, and learn a ton about cartooning!

The day starts at 10:00 AM and costs $25. Sign up here.

The Cartoonist Veteran Project: Cartoonists Picturing Veteran’s Stories

The Center for Cartoon Studies has announced a major project that partners them with another major White River Junction institution, the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center. Later this month, they’ll be working on a major event with veterans and storytelling.

Many veterans pass through this small New England village because it is home to The White River Junction VA Medical Center. White River Junction is also the headquarters of The Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS), a world-renowned cartooning school. Until recently, these two very different institutions never crossed paths.

On Wednesday, February 25 from 6-8pm at The White River Junction VA Medical Center in Building 44, Room 103, cartoonists have invited veterans and their families to learn about cartooning and share their stories with the intention of turning those stories into comics. Students and faculty from The Center for Cartoon Studies will be on hand as well as Brooklyn cartoonist Jess Ruliffson whose award-winning comic Invisible Wounds examines a vet’s experience with PTSD. No R.S.V.P. required.

Brattleboro, VT resident Christie Turner is one veteran who will be there. “I vowed that if I got out of Afghanistan alive I would tell the stories of the young military men and women who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq. I want the mothers and fathers of our soldiers to know what their children did and do in the service of their country. I want the people with no connection to a service person to hear the stories and think about what we as a nation demand of the military services. Comics are one way to share our experiences, ” says Turner.

“White River Junction has a population of only 2500 people, and vets and cartoonists are two groups that help define this village yet rarely cross paths,” says CCS co-founder James Sturm. “I believe vets and cartoonists will find inspiration in one another.”

The Cartoonist Veteran Project is funded in part with support from The National Endowment for the Arts.

This looks like it’ll be an astounding event, and an excellent way to help veterans struggling to reintegrate into society.

Jim Wheelock’s Comics Collection Stolen In Brattleboro, Vermont

A prominent comic book collector and illustrator has recently had his extensive collection stolen from a storage site in Brattleboro. Jim Wheelock lives in Los Angeles, and is known for his graphic novel, Inferno Los Angeles. He was born and raised in Vermont, and attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He currently works in the television and film industry, where he works extensively with storyboards and prop comic books, while publishing in alternative comic books.

According to Bleeding Cool, while the culprit has been caught, many of the comics are still missing:

The culprit, identified to me as William Brown by the Brattleboro Police, was originally arrested for breaking into several units in the building. After the first break-ins, security cameras were installed, and he was videotaped breaking into a storage unit. He was released and has an arraignment scheduled. This was before I was aware of what was missing. In later interview, he confessed to stealing four boxes of comics, and claims he sold them to two dealers for very little money at a flea market in Wilmington, Vermont. He mentioned “Archie” comics specifically, and said he sold two boxes to a man, and two to a woman from New York state. He also said he sold stolen goods at flea markets in Hubbardston and Agawam, MA. He can no longer access the building.

On the website, he has a longer description of what’s missing, and urges people to keep their eyes out for the comics. Hopefully, they’ll be returned in short order!

Jeff Danziger: The Weapon Against Them Is Satire

Cartoonist Jeff Danziger spoke this morning with Vermont Public Radio about the terrorist attacks in Paris against cartoonists.

“Like everyone else, I was shocked that this amount of bloodshed was spilled in a place essentially given over for the most part to humor and satire,” said syndicated political cartoonist Jeff Danziger. His cartoons have appeared in the Times Argus, Rutland Herald and in newspapers around the world. He’s also the author of The Conscience of a Cartoonist.

Danziger called one of the murdered cartoonists, Georges Wolinski, a fixture in the paper. “He was in his 80s and his cartoons were refreshingly youthful,” Danziger said. He said he had met Wolinski and talked to him, but “everybody knew him. He’d put out about 12 or 15 books of work.”

It’s a sobering conversation. Give it a listen here.

Cartoonist Ed Koren Responds on the Charlie Hebdo Massacre

The Vermont Cartoon laureate, Ed Koren, responded recently to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in France in a letter to the New Yorker, as reported by Seven Days:

This week’s terrorist attack on French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo sent shockwaves throughout France and the world. And while any massacre of any humans is horrific and terrifying, this one particularly hit home with cartoonists, satirists and journalists worldwide. The defiant demonstration of solidarity on the streets of Paris, and the electronic reverberations in tens of thousands of “Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) posts, are the only heartening aspects of this sad event.

Source

Ben Cohen Comic Class

Ben Cohen will be teaching a class on comics and illustration this weekend from 11am to 2pm at the Jericho Community Center in Jericho. No experience is needed, with individual and group activities. This class will have a holiday theme, with each student coming out with their own comic.

According to Cohen: “The point is to find community and to find your individual voice with the comics medium.”

Tuition for the class is $30 at the door. Stay tuned: more classes will be coming over the course of the winter! More details!

Storytelling at a Comic-Con

We tried a comic-con experiment this last weekend.

I say we, because while it started out as my crazy idea, I managed to convince several people to join in, most notably my writing partner and co-author, Annalisa Parent. Here’s the idea: let’s a write a custom story for a specific comic-con, the North East Comic Con in Wilmington, MA. More than that, let’s play it out as a live, interactive story at the con, costumes and all, and see how people react.

The story was about super heroes as told from the perspective of a sidekick, well, a woman that works for an agency that outsources sidekick services to super heroes. The agency is called No.2 Inc. Kate Taylor, the “protagonist assistant,” was sent to retrieve a laptop containing sensitive data that was then stolen and later reappeared at the con. When she arrived to reclaim it, she discovered the situation was far more complex than she assumed and she needed more information to get her laptop back without getting caught.

In order to get that info, she enslists the help of conference attendees with smartphones via Twitter. Here’s the interactive part of the story. Attendees are encouraged to take pictures, meet with vendors, and pass all the information back to Kate before the con ends.

We also had an antagonist, the mysterious Carle Group, voiced (Tweeted) expertly by Jon van Luling, interferring, harassing, and generally trolling Kate while she attempted to pull off her reverse heist.

Then, for those who wanted to know more about the story and Kate, we wrote an ebook version of the mission with all the behind the scenes details. By the way, you can find where to get the ebook and pictures from the con at http://apologue.co/no2inc

So was it successful? Depends on what you mean by success.

People loved the idea. From vendors, to actors, to attendees, I was told over and over this was the coolest idea to hit a con in a long time. But there were a number of problems that prevented us from making a truly cool experience.

The first, and biggest, was that the network was absolutely awful at the con. Moreover, the promised public WiFi didn’t exist, which made it difficult to run this thing, let alone participate.

The second problem was that not everyone was using, or even liked using, Twitter. But then, no one could agree on their favorite social media platform either. That was a definite facepalm moment for me. You know that moment when an assumption catches up to you and boots you in the butt? This was mine. We rallied quickly and added Instagram and Facebook to the mix but by then half the con had gone by.

The third problem was what really got me. This is one of those problems that I didn’t really anticipate because it never occurred to me until I was standing on the con floor. Turnover. For those who enjoy the chaotic math surrounding crowd dynamics, this was fascinating. I don’t like that math. I just found it frustrating.

Turnover: meaning, how soon before someone gets their fill of the con and leaves. The answer is not simple. For example, if a con is small, you don’t spend as much time there. Also, if a con doesn’t have a lot happening other than vendor tables, you don’t spend much time there. If a con is small but there’s a ton of people there, you spend more time there because there’s more to see: namely cosplayers and friends. If a con is small and there’s too many people there, you get overwhelmed and get something to eat while things die down a bit.

The bigger a con gets, the messier the mechanics. Who are the celebrities attending? How many panel discussions are happening? Are there any sneak previews of upcoming projects? Here’s the thing I find funny about this. Messier is generally better. At the popular cons, when the numbers get larger, the turnover stabilizes. People may be leaving at the same rate, for any number of specific reasons, but you have enough other people replacing them, that the population doesn’t spike as often.

Complicated, right? How this affected me was that if people stayed longer, I had more people involved in the story. If the crowd was thin, less people. If you had a day like I did on Sunday, where there little attendance except for two decent spikes, it’s hell to keep story momentum moving. In the beginning, people leave faster. In the middle, people want the whole story to play out immediately, until it gets too crowded, and then they leave.

What I can say is that I know a lot whole lot more about how to write an interactive story for a con than I did before attending this con. Will Kate have more missions? Absolutely. She one of the more interesting characters I’ve written. I’m not giving up on her yet. And the whole interactive part? We’ll work it out. Because, as I said, people really really liked it.

I hope you like it too. As I mentioned you can find more about this story at http://apologue.co (the “imprint” I created for this project). Go there and start clicking on things.

Cartozia Tales Sale!

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We’ve been huge fans of the Cartozia Tales anthology series. Now, they’re running a sale for the holidays. This is one comic that’s well worth picking up:

In the interest of making it easier for folks to give & receive Cartozia Tales here at the end of the year, I’ve set up sale prices on new subscriptions — whether you’re getting the little bonus books or not. (The sale includes nine- and eight-issue partial subscriptions for people who already have our first issue or two.)

I’ve got some nice little gift-card slips I can include if you’re ordering for someone other than yourself, and I’ll use one if it looks like you’re ordering a gift.

And here’s something else: the first thirty subscriptions ordered during this holiday season will get a nice additional bonus: either our “Greetings from Cartozia” sixteen-postcard set, or a “non-canon” Cartozia story that is published on ten sendable postcards. (The second option is a comic by Isaac Cates and Mike Wenthe that’s part of the secret background of Cartozia Tales.) I’ll enclose these extras as supply allows, but if you want to state a preference, please do.

 

Details here.

Midterm Senior Thesis Posters Exhibit

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The Center for Cartoon Studies has placed their student’s senior thesis projects up for display in a series of posters at their Colodny Building Gallery in White River Junction. Stop by today to check out what the students are working on!

Midterm Thesis Project Posters are on exhibit at The Center for Cartoon Studies in the Colodny Building Gallery, at 94 South Main Street in downtown White River Junction. The posters provide a Midterm synopsis of student projects, featuring artwork and details on the intended final project.

On display during White River Junction’s First Friday, December 5, 5-7pm.

Take a look on Instagram for some peaks at what’s on display.