Wednesday, June 17, 2009

SCAD Tragedy

As the folks who read this blog may or may not know, I’m a professor of sequential art (comics) at SCAD-Atlanta, the metro branch of the Savannah College of Art and Design. Though I’ve never attended or taught in Savannah, I do try to visit often when events are held or when my wife (who also works at SCAD, in admissions) has business there.

This week, the Savannah campus had a tragedy with the death of Jeremy Mullins, a professor there specializing in web comics and alternative comics. He died while hiking, falling from the Kaaterskill Falls in New York.

With an enthusiasm all-too-rarely found in academia, Jeremy put in tons of out-of-class time with his students, taking them on trips to indie comic shows, spearheading publication opportunities, founding the excellent comics podcast SEQALAB (one show away from its hundredth episode), and giving loads of support, guidance, criticism, and help to lots of future comic creators.

MacArthur, in a letter to the Comics Reporter, wrote this:

“…his career in teaching had even only begun, but I'm writing through tears to tell you that his presence has impacted a chunk of this generations' young cartoonists.”

That’s no exaggeration. The majority of the indie kids coming out of Savannah’s comics program (there are about ten right now who will be really making a splash within the next year or two, I guarantee) were really cultivated and helped by Jeremy, and his passing will be a huge blow to the department.

It's summertime - convention season for artists, make-money-time for students - and so I ask that, if you've got a little bit of extra dough with which you can part, you make a donation to the Jeremy Mullins Sequential Art Scholarship.  His life was dedicated to helping mold aspiring cartoonists into professional cartoonists, and such a scholarship is, I think, a fitting memorial. 

Here's the info:
Jeremy Mullins Sequential Art Scholarship, Savannah College of Art and Design, P.O. Box 3146, Savannah, GA 31402-3146. For more information, call the institutional advancement department at 912.525.5868.


Rich said...

Wow, that's terrible. I met him once, and heard him on podcasts several times with and without SCAD students. Seemed a lovely guy with a real passion for his craft and sharing it with others.