How is everyone doing this happy Friday!? Things are super-duper busy in the world of Jon Chad, but as always, it's a ton of fun! I've been doing a lot of work on my book for Roaring Brook Press lately, and this week I've been re-lettering the whole kit-and-kaboodle. It's given me a new respect for lettering. If I had to do nothing but letter day in and day out, I would go CRAZY! Hopefully, I'll be done by the end of the weekend.
I just printed out my Bikeman Issue 3 covers today. I'll be taking them to the printers where they'll be combined with the guts and bound together, Yay! I've got to get my rear in gear and get moving on some of my other projects including, but not limited to, the new issue of Drop Target Zine, the pinball zine by Alec Longstreth and yours truely!
What I really wanted to do today is take the opportunity to talk about my favorite, and current employer, The Center for Cartoon Studies, how I got to be where I am, and how much CCS has meant to me. For those of you that know the tale that is my life, this might be old hat.
When I was in college, I actually heard from my grandma that there was comics school in Vermont. I recognized the irony, having grown up in Vermont all my life and having left to attend art school, only to have an amazing comics-centric institution emerge in the wake of my departure. Since I was still in college, I inquired about interning at the school during my summer break of '07. I was accepted! The aspect of the school that made an impression on me almost immediately was the high quality of the student work, and the vivacity of the creative environment the students surrounded themselves in. The encouragement that the students expressed to each other, and the enthusiasm with which the faculty engaged and elaborated on the comics medium, was unbelievable. I gain so much more knowledge and appreciation for comics just through diffusion. It was pretty much one of the best summers ever.
After I had graduated in May '08, I was actually offered a staff position at the school. Let's put it into perspective:
"JON CHAD! You're a wizard! Do you want to work at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?"
Are you high?! OF COURSE I do. If spending one summer at the school was enlightening, being able to work with, and interact with the students and faculty year-round has been the best. The passion for cartooning is palpable. The competitive spirit at the school is 1000% the friendliest I've ever had the pleasure of working with.
Last year, I was offered the chance to co-teach a class with one of my best buds of all time, Alec. Teaching has turned out to be a really rewarding and important part of my life. Being a part of the faculty has given me insight into how dedicated and successfully synthesized CCS's curriculum is. It's a tough road to commencement, but the students, on a regular basis, exceed my expectations.
CCS, and by extension White River Junction, have turned out to be a really perfect place to spend my post graduating years. If I wasn't steeping in all of these creative comics juices, I don't know if I would have this many Bikeman pages, this many books under my belt, or have made as many invaluable connections with students, faculty, and artists. The friends I've made here I will treasure FOREVER!
The Center for Cartooning Studies offers an opportunity to hone in a young cartoonist's passion; an opportunity that is hard to match anywhere else. If you aren't familiar with the Center for Cartoon Studies, I encourage you to check out their website, or attend an event if you're local. They are doing something really amazing with comics, and they're worth keeping your eye on.