So Long, East Coast

Sun 8/5/2012

Well, I'm sitting in the CCS lab, getting ready to leave White River Junction once and for all. This time I'm not just leaving Vermont though, I'm leaving the entire east coast.

One of my students recently remarked that it was so weird to think of me being on the west coast, because he thought of me as an "east coast cartoonist." This seemed way off to me, because internally I feel like a west coast cartoonist, probably because I grew up on the west coast, and started Phase 7 out there. But really, if I look back, I only drew Phase 7 #001-#005 on the west coast, which took three years. #006-#016 were drawn in Manhattan, Brooklyn and White River Junction over a period of seven years, so I can't blame him for thinking of me as an east coaster.

When a big life experience like this comes to an end, I tend to look back at its beginning. It's crazy to think that almost exactly eight years ago, I arrived in New York City. Although this website has been up since 1999, my move to New York also marked version 3.0 of this blog which is as far back as the archives go. From that first post to this post, this blog now documents my entire east coast experience... it has been a wild ride!

I originally moved from Portland to New York because I felt like my cartooning skills had plateaued and I wanted to go back to school, to study art. I was a moody, heartbroken 24 year old. I learned so much in New York... sure, about art at Pratt, but also a lot about life. It was a messy and busy and frantic time, but along the way I met a bunch of cool people and made some great friends.

I moved to Vermont because I was having a hard time getting work done on Basewood. Up here I learned even more about art, from the other side of the teacher's desk, and met an incredible array of students, artists and colleagues. I started to save some money for the first time in my life, met Claire and finished my book - everything felt like it was falling into place. Now I'm 32, and I'm heading back to the west coast a much stronger cartoonist, and a happier man.

I won't miss the heat and humidity, or the long winters, but I will definitely miss all the amazing people I have met and known over on this side of the country. I've long since learned that life is a sequence, and it's best not to have big dramatic good-byes, because before you know it, you will see people again. Especially in the comics community, where there are so many chances for our tribe to gather.

So instead of good-bye, I'll say see you soon to my east coast friends, and thanks for all the good times!

4 comments on this entry

Alec - The Grubes welcome you (and Claire) to beautiful California!!

Stefan Grube Aug07

Thanks Stefan! We'll have to come down the coast to visit you guys soon. Much love to you and Julie and the kids!

Alec Aug07

Awwww...this post made me sad for your leaving, but happy for your state of mind! It's nice reminder for me to acknowledge the crazy times of yesteryear, and celebrate how sweet things are now. You will be sorely missed on the East Coast, but now we just have another awesome reason to visit the West Coast (and another reason for Joe to try and convince me to move out there)! Happy travels, and we'll see you and Claire soon!

Maris Aug09

Thanks, Maris! You and Joe are welcome out here any time!

Alec Aug09

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