Friday, October 28, 2011

The District/Boundary

One of the coolest gigs I ever had was being the comics editor for the student newspaper for a year. Under my tenure the comics section grew from at best one or two sporadically appearing strips to one, then two full pages of regularly running strips from fellow sequential art students. A lot (50%) of the success of such an endeavor rests with an editor, who is responsible for beating the bushes and tracking folks down to extricate submissions until it becomes routine and/or the cartoonists become habituated. Nowadays most of the editors I know are underpaid and overworked to the point where it is almost entirely incumbent upon the prospective cartoonist to explore and create their own promotional opportunities (i.e. nobody's going to do it for you, you have to make it happen).
The crowning achievement was the quarterly publication of a special issue stand-alone insert called "Boundary" that showcased graduate student work in their own full-page pieces.
Unfortunately the publication has unfortunately turned into an on-line edition, and there's only a few cartoons, which is rather feeble from an institution that has an entire department devoted to the medium. Oh well, you can lead a horse to a swampwater and all that... 
I think there's something to think about by looking at a recent example from the Center for Cartoon Study: a gorgeous newspaper was put out as an accompaniment to an exhibition "Caboose." Print isn't so much dead as it's being killed off.

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