Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cartoonists In The Classroom: Special Guest Studio Visits

A really big thanks to the folks who dropped in to the 7th annual Summer Sessions course "Cartoon & Comic Art" as distinguished alum and outstanding creators on their own. One of which was the wonderful Anna Bongiovanni who regaled the students (and me) with tales of her experiences out in the real world as a cartoonist. After graduating from MCAD's Sequential Art program she's stayed on in the epicenter of mini-comic-ing and has been successfully producing material for both herself and the writings of others. Anna also gave us a good feel for what it's like not only taking classes for her degree but shared her ground-floor perspective on having tables at many alternative conventions. She also brought along a lot of samples and original artwork to drool over, and made a great impression on the students in the class - it was a real treat! Some samples of Anna's work can be seen at a previous post here but she's now mostly moved over to a Tumblr site called "Bikes Babes & Booze"- check it out (UPDATE: and here's her new on-line store: "Fun with Feelings" and review of her latest comic "Out of Hollow Water" and some previews of the upcoming "Moonbaby" published by 2D Cloud).

Yet another awesome inspiration came with the visit of local legend Layla Lawlor, who was fresh from coming off her own educational experience in teaching comics (more on this in an upcoming post) and a co-exhibitor in the recent Alaska Center for Natural Medicine's "Comic Art" show. A frequent guest and esteemed alum she shared with us her unique and extensive experiences spent generating amazing output... also generously showing a range of minicomics, graphic novels, books (like my favorite: "Freebird") and original artwork with the eager students. There's absolutely nothing better in the world than seeing and meeting a creator in person, seeing the work firsthand, and having the opportunity to ask questions and benefit from their hard-won experience. As an educator I deeply appreciate hearing of fellow cartoonists (esp. former student's) adventures almost as much as the current crop of aspiring talents needs a break from hearing all about it from me: See! Take it from someone else that's "living the dream!"

Last but definitely not least was the kickoff of the class provided by none other than Lucas Elliot, who's since migrated down to the Big City (Los Anchorage - Seattle's Northernmost suburb) and will soon be casting his net across the entire state hemisphere. Good luck to him, and to Layla and Anna, and especially the students who benefited from their experience and inspiration: thanks for stopping by.

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