|Shaw's "Ruined Cast" to Sundance Lab!|
|Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Dash Shaw||26 Apr 2010 12:33 PM|
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As so often happens with good intentions, I realize I'm quickly running out of steam when it comes to doing a big blog post about my week on the east coast for the MoCCA Festival and a trip to the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT. I came back with more minis and other comics than I have from any trip in years, so the idea of highlighting the highlights has proven to be too daunting.
One thing that strikes me after attending MoCCA, and being given so many decent submissions, and see much of the work on display, is that maybe for the first time I can think of, there really is more good work being created than established publishers like Fanta, D&Q, Top Shelf, etc. can publish. I see so much good work that even ten years ago we probably would have published but just don't have room for these days. It's remarkable.
I had a great time at MoCCA, hanging with my coworkers Mike Baehr, Jacq Cohen and Janice Headley, as well as old comics pals like Jaime Hernandez, Charles Burns, Frank Santoro, Dan Nadel, Todd Hignite and Peggy Burns. It was my first MoCCA in a few years and I thought everything was run very smoothly; the show was unequivocally a success for us, it was possibly the best-ever non-Comic-Con weekend we've ever had at a show, actually. So that was nice. I got some great sketches for my daughter's sketchbook, including contributions from Al Jaffee and Arnold Roth! There's about 87 years separating Mr. Jaffee and my daughter, so that was particularly special for me.
But the real highlight of my trip came after MoCCA, when I took the Dartmouth coach from Manhattan up to sleepy Vermont and this most unlikely Shangri-La:
Myself, critic Douglas Wolk, D&Q Publisher Chris Oliveros, Scholastic Books Creative Director David Saylor, and First Second Books Art Director Colleen AF Venable were all invited to the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT for the school's annual "industry day." The school, founded by James Sturm about four years ago, pretty much owns White River Junction. Students seem to staff everything in town, and signs of comics exist everywhere. It really is a strangely idyllic place for a cartoonist. I felt at home and loved the town and the school. Here's a blurry pic of Douglas Wolk in the awesome Charles M. Schulz comics library, which I wanted to spend the night in:
I don't have the stamina to really write up the highlights from my three days in WRJ, but I couldn't have had a better time. Our hosts -- the aforementioned Mr. Sturm and CCS President and co-founder Michelle Ollie and CCS Secret Weapon Robyn Chapman -- were wonderfully gracious hosts and clearly have created something special in WRJ. 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. Also, I was introduced to the comics of CCS teacher Jon Chad, who is doing excellent work. I also picked up some new work from CCS grads (and still WRJ residents) Joe Lambert and Chuck Forsam, both of whom I can't get enough of.
There were other students I could single out but it's been a week since I got back and if I don't cut this short now I'll never finish it. But thanks to everyone who helped show me a good time in Vermont. It was even worth almost not making it home at all.
Northwesterners unite! Fantagraphics will be heading down I-5 tomorrow to take part in the Pacific Northwest's premiere art comics event, The Stumptown Comics Fest! Staffers Jacq Cohen and Tony Remple -- both former Oregonians -- will be on hand all weekend to answer your questions and sell you some books. We'll have a few new releases on hand as well as signings with Dame Darcy and T. Edward Bak (MOME). Also, our own Jason T. Miles will also be in town for the show, pimping his Northwest-centric zine concern, Profanity Hill. Come check it out!
The Homewood Art Workshops wraps up its 35th anniversary celebration with a slide talk by legendary cartoonist Kim Deitch on Monday, April 26. Deitch's talk, "The Search for Smilin' Ed and Other Tales," will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Room 101 of the F. Ross Jones Building, Mattin Center, on the Homewood campus at 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore.
Deitch's latest book, The Search for Smilin' Ed, will be published by Fantagraphics in June. He will sign advance copies of Smilin' Ed at the Johns Hopkins Barnes & Noble, 3330 St. Paul Street, on Sunday, April 25, from 4 to 6 p.m.
Both events are free and open to the public.
My pal Hernán Migoya sent me this cover to his new novel, Quitame Tus Sucias Manos de Encima (a.k.a. Get Your Hands Off Me), being published in Spain this summer. The book tells the story of an obscure, fictional movie from the '70s written by Rod Serling and Richard Matheson and directed by Tom Gries and sports an original cover by our own Peter Bagge (and, I might add, a title page by yours truly)!
The Strand Book Store, School of Visual Arts, TOON Books, Drawn & Quarterly and Fantagraphics Books are pleased to announce the winners of the Strand Tote Bag Design Contest, which kicked off on March 1 and concluded on March 31, 2010. The winners were chosen by a prestigious panel of judges, including Françoise Mouly (art editor of The New Yorker & Editorial Director of TOON Books), Art Spiegelman (Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist & Strand tote artist), Stephen Heller (Co-Chair MFA Designer as Author Program, SVA), Adrian Tomine (author of the bestselling book, Shortcomings & Strand tote artist) and R. Sikoryak (creator of the book, Masterpiece Comics & Strand tote artist).
Artists from around the world submitted over 800 unique and creative representations of the Strand Book Store, for a chance to win many prizes, including an afternoon with Françoise Mouly and staff at TOON Books, over $1000 worth of books from Drawn & Quarterly, Fantagraphics Books and TOON Books, a complimentary Continuing Education class at SVA, a $300 gift card from DaVinci Artist Supplies, a $100 gift card from Think Coffee and a family membership at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art.
The winning image will be featured on a Strand tote bag, available at the Strand and on strandbooks.com, beginning in June.
The images are still up on the Strand site, if you haven't yet had a chance to see them all, go HERE and click "view submissions" to see all 811 designs.
Second Prize winner is Domitille Collardey, for her image "Rainy & Birds":
Third Prize winner is Tim Goldman, for his image "Strandbot loves books!":
For more information, and to view a slideshow of the Top 20 finalists' designs, go HERE.
This weekend (April 10-11), Mike Baehr, Janice Headley, Gary Groth and myself head out to the Big Apple for the annual MoCCA Arts Festival. I haven't been to MoCCA in a few years, so I'm especially looking forward to the trip. We have a slew of signings all weekend long as well as a remarkably potent lineup of new books debuting at the show, including:
Artichoke Tales by Megan Kelso
And here's our signing schedule for the show (click for a larger, easier-to-read version):
Looking forward to seeing many of you there!
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