"The greatest mistake you can make is to say that your work is better than a lot of the shit that's out there. No doubt. But being better than shit is not exactly a shining credential." – Dave Sim
A handful of excerpted samples from the final 3-page (minimum) vignettes that comprised the student's finals in the summer session "Cartoon & Comic Art" course at UAF.
Publishing this book entails everybody's pages being done the night before the last day of class, which afterwards, if I'm lucky, in turn means only getting a few hours of sleep once done scanning and formatting elements and being first in line at the local print shop when it opens at 7:30am. Comparatively small sacrifice given the overall quality of work produced and the very least one can do after the students have completely fried themselves in such a short amount of time. And every year Date Line Digital Printing (shameless plug) has pulled it off for us, so big thanks go out that crew.
Skimming over the printer's dummy and subsequent proofs of the class comic I'm again struck by the diversity and range of talent, from raw to refined, and how many different stories were chosen to be told: from sci-fi, horror, fantasy and noir genres, and running the gamut from to the mysterious and sublime, to hilarious and profound.
The appropriately eclectic accompanying soundtrack would have to be: Wagner's "Vorspiel," the theme from the Simpsons, Will I Am "Big & Chunky," some Snoop-Dog, death metal and of course a little bit of zydeco (specifically Corey Ledet and Cedric Watson). And lots and lots of coffee. Lastlt, the new, unofficial motto adopted after seeing a student comment can now be succinctly stated as "Three Pages of Epic Pants-shitting Awesomeness!"
"There are people. There are stories. The people think they shape the stories,
but the reverse is often closer to the truth." - Alan Moore
Posted below is the last page from "Billabong" by Hannah Foss, the required solo minicomic put out by advanced students, which copies of were handed out along with the final anthology as a sort of supplement: seeing a finished product stand on its own is a real special accomplishment and also provides an invaluable example of what serious discipline can result in for the other folks in the class. It can be quite an empowering experience to create something that one can hand to other people and say "see - here it is, I did this, here I am." Hopefully one of the meta-lesson demonstrated is to spark a flame, that hey - I can do that.
"The world always seems brighter when you've just made something
that wasn't there before." - Neil Gaiman