Boomerang Summer

Sat 6/23/2012

Well, Claire and I made it safely across these United States. For all the details about our trip, check out Claire's great blog entry, which includes photos of the trip and links to all the state parks we camped at along the way.

Since arriving in Oakland, we have been checking a lot of stuff off of our move-in list: setting up our work spaces, getting a bank account, setting up the first-ever Phase 7 Post Office Box! (listed on the homepage), getting our new drivers licenses, registering to vote, etc. etc.

Ironically, after exerting all of this energy to get settled out here in Oakland, I am hopping on a plane tonight to head back to Vermont! Here's what the next six weeks hold for me:

In my spare time I will be working on four big projects:

  1. Penciling Phase 7 #017 - This will be the first of a three-issue arc called The Weezer Fan Trilogy. The first issue focuses on The Blue Album. I'm hoping to have this done by the end of the summer!
  2. Coloring Walker Bean 2 - Aaron has drawn some amazing pages, and now it's time for me to color them in. Trust me, this book will be well worth the wait!
  3. Basewood Corrections - The are dozens of little things that need to be fixed throughout the book, and they need to be done by early autumn, because the French edition of Basewood will be out in November!
  4. Penciling Isle of Elsi - I finally finished the fourth (and FINAL!) draft of my first big Isle of Elsi story. In the photo above, you can see our kitchen table, which I took over while finishing up the script. I got some great feedback on the third draft from James Sturm, and last year's CCS seniors, which I incorporated into the story. It is hard work editing comics without screwing up all of the page turns and everything, but in the end the changes really strengthened the story. I'm so excited to finally start penciling some pages for this, my next big comics project!

I will also be working on some fun, smaller projects along the way. I'll post about those on here as they happen. In the meantime, I hope everyone's summer is getting off to a great start!

3 comments on this entry

Man o man, Alec . . . quite an amazing summer you've got there! Wish you the best in your travels and I hope to catch up again soon. Cheers - from your college buddy in LA.

Patrick Whitehorn Jul06

Very interesting acirtle. I have some mixed feelings about a program like this, which seems different from the Kubert school whose mission is basically nuts-and-bolts vocational, as I understand it. I'll make an analogy with journalism, since I once worked as a newspaper reporter and still earn my living writing. The best journalists I knew never went to journalism school. They majored in history, political science, English, or even hard science, then used that background to enrich their journalism careers. An editor once told me they'd rather hire a kid who knows something about the world and teach them journalism than one who only knows journalism and teach them about the world. I agree with that sentiment.Re: cartoon school, I just wonder if they're missing the point that cartooning isn't technique, it's ideas. Spiegelman didn't win a Pulitzer for being the best cartoonist ever--he's not--but for communicating great ideas. I knew a lot of kids in high school and college who were excellent cartoonists but quickly fizzled out because they had nothing interesting to say about the world.Still, I'm sure these students learned some great stuff, and some will surely go on to great things with it. It'd be interesting to survey that graduating class in 10 years and find out how their expectations met reality.

Feriha Jul22

At CCS, we definitely don't "miss the point" that cartooning isn't just technique. Only the first year has technique classes, and even then, every assignment also focuses on story. The entire second year of the program is focused on a thesis project based on one large idea or concept.

I give my students the exact same advice: "Become an interesting person." One of the big problems in comics right now is cartoonists who are only inspired by other cartoonists. It's like a feedback loop. We all need to get out into the world and have unique experiences so that we can contribute something new to the comics landscape.

Even just five years out (the first class graduated in 2007) we have many alumni who have been professionally published and others working as professional designers, editors and teachers.

Alec Jul23

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