Friday, August 29, 2014

Comic Arts: Jackie Roche

I'm a regular reader of Mother Jones magazine - even so far back as print days whenever a copy would show up in the Interior - and it always makes my day to stumble across the publication of comic work by someone I'd met in person. Jackie Roche was in graduate studies in the Sequential Art department at SCAD when I was in residence for one final quarter of studies (re)wrapping up my own MFA degree. Her style triggered a "hey that looks familiar" while surfing, and great to see such an endeavor reach the public: both a serious cause and and perfect imagery meshing together in the ideal medium. Roche's comics journalism and living history is blended as well as her linework and wash (which I find myself having more and more of a penchant for as of late).

Check out Roche's "On This Very Spot" Tumblr here and also her website "J. Roche Workshop" here for some more beautiful samples of her wonderful work. This would be the second time her work has appeared in Mother Jones (via Symbolia and Showtime's "Years of Living Dangerously") and in conjunction with writer Audrey Quinn's writing, and since my family history is situated near the shores of Lake Erie this particular topic has long been a personal issue, and is currently getting a lot of media exposure what with a recent, dismal turn of events. I grew up swimming in the algae sludge and pea-green soup that routinely chokes the Finger Lakes region (esp. Chautauqua) and especially what with the specific toxic heritage of Onondaga Lake  - otherwise known as America's Most Polluted Lake (putting the "fun" in a Superfund site). Seeing the inexorable encroachment of sprawl and all it's attendant chemical fertilizer runoff from richly manicured lawns, golf courses and borderline factory farms left an indelible impression on me - and the problems are only getting worse.

Artistic efforts like by this will hopefully help make it better.

Image excerpted from "Syria's Climate Conflict"

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