Sunday, July 15, 2007

"I thought this was supposed to be a puff piece."

Big week! Sorry I haven't updated more often, I've been so swamped.

I've finished the first week of a two-week workshop that I'm teaching in my old hometown of Hopkinsville, Kentucky. The newspaper came by and talked to us, but I assumed that it would be burried in the "living" section. Imagine my surprise when my mom (I'm staying at my parents' house while I'm here) showed me this - front page!

It paraphrases me a little to the point where it sounds like I'm very lackadaisical about the class, which is not true, but it was a really cool article and a neat experience. The reporter did some of our drawing exercises with us.

How cool is that, huh?

The class is going really well. At first I was nervous because there's a BIG age range, 8-16. With that comes a big skill range. The kids didn't know each other, weren't socializing - I was SO stressed at the end of the first day. But after seeing what they could do? These kids are AMAZING. Some of them (one in particular) EASILY rival some of the intro students at SCAD, and with proper teaching and encouragement could really be something in this field. Oh, and the talk to each other now.

So far we've gone from the relatively simple stuff like panel direction through decidedly more advanced stuff like line weight and line quality, the use of the three planes in panel composition, making environments unique, etc, and they're catching on so well. It's really amazing - I guess they wouldn't have signed up for the class without a predisposition towards making comics, but the level that these kids are on just astounds me for their age.

We've done a LOT of pages - self-done comics (a couple of the kids are real powerhouses, cranking out five pages a day or more), jam comics, plot-builder exercise comics, etc. Dozens now, and I'm spending almost all of my time scanning them in so that we can make minis. -Ugh- I love it, it's just taking an extra three or four hours a day.

Tuesday should be a big day - Nashville cartoonist Chad Thomas (whose stuff is just constantly amazing me and making me feel like my own has so far to go) is going to be coming in to speak with/show his stuff to the class, and I think that they'll really dig it. And he may not be coming alone - there's a chance that Dean Trippe, everybody's favorite chronicler of the adventures of tween superhero Butterfly may come, too. It's gonna be a blast for the kids (and me, of course). We're going to hit Cancun's, my favorite Mexican dive from high school.

Oh, and just for the heck of it, I drew Gambit from the X-Men. He's supposed to be Cajun, so I hate that he always looks like a matinee idol. I never met a Cajun that didn't look a little bit scrinchy. Nice, sure, but scrinchy nonetheless.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on the main page, big-timer! I was talking to a friend earlier in the week about SCAD and showed him the college's online site, and was surprised to see your name/the workshop mentioned there as well.

emma said...

chris, this is wonderful! i don't keep up with your blog regularly, so when i drop by, i get a massive dose of shock and awe with everything you've done. your work is outstanding and i can't tell you how much i admire you for pursuing all the different avenues of art that you do. you're really quite inspiring. good luck with everything! =)

NolanWoodard said...

God, I so want to see you draw an issue of X-MEN now.

Unknown said...

Congrats on the newspaper piece. I bet it will lead to some similar gigs. I've been misquoted by local press too, so I know what you mean. Sometimes, I hand them a short press release, so they have some exact quotes written out, but still talk to them, so they can ask follow up questions.

I agree about you doing the Xmen. It looks like they are having an indie guy do Omega the Unknown, so who knows?