Archive for the ‘Teaching’ Category

Journey to the center of my sketchbook – Nude! Nude! Nude!

December 10, 2008

kovaleski_figure

So, it was the last pose of the last session of figure drawing for the Intro to Drawing class I’m teaching at Gettysburg College, and I decided to “practice what I preach” by doing a quickie gesture drawing. Granted, it’s not in a realistic style, but the same principles apply. (And his feet really did resemble tacos.)

SPX and X-students

October 14, 2008

One of the extra added bonuses of being at SPX was seeing former cartooning students. I knew a few of my  recent students would be there but I also ending up running into one of my older former students, Ira Marcks. We chatted and exchanged books and it was really terrific. To sound like a completely softie, it warms my heart to reconnect with my former students. When I introduced Ira to one of my more recent former students, Serge Ragno, he said, “Hello, Second Generation.” (I’ve been teaching off and on for -gasp!- 15 years at Gettysburg College and before that at the Rochester Institute of Technology.) Most of the x-students I’m in contact with took both  of my cartooning classes (“Intro to” and “Sequential Art”) and a couple did independent study with me.

Below are links to their recent work. (I’ll take credit for all the great stuff they’ve done.)

Cody Constable

John Golden

Ira Marcks

Sergio Ragno

Sara Parysz

The Three Universal Truths about Cartoonists (and some personal examples)

October 1, 2008

Sure, you should never make all-encompassing statements about any group of people…unless you are part of that group of people. In my experience I have found that there are Three Universal Truths about Cartoonists. Here they are, with illustrations from my life.

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#1 Cartoonists are forgetful

Cartoonists forget everything – names, deadlines, pants, etc. Months ago, I invited my friend, the ever-youthful Canadian cartoonist John Martz, to share my table at SPX this coming up weekend. It was only recently that I saw the table layout and realized that I had only signed up for half of a table. Which means Johnny and I will only have about 2 feet of real estate each. (Cozy.)

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#2 Cartoonists are friendly

I’ve been lucky enough to meet a bunch of cartoonists over the years, from the famous to the unknown, and they’re all pretty friendly. I’m definitely at the “unknown” end of the scale and if you stop at table W16A (I mean, half-table W16A) at SPX, I will be nice to you. I promise. I might even have something free to give you. (Pretty nice, huh?)

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Last Spring I was teaching my Sequential Art course at Gettysburg College, which includes a long-term project. The students get to write and draw an original story, working on it step-by-step and continually refining it throughout the semester. My students were doing a really great job. Their stories were all over the place from slice-of-life to Japanese mythology to a noir mystery featuring a rabbit detective. About two weeks before the end of the semester I came up with the idea of of printing up all of the stories and giving them away at a book signing in the college union on the last day of classes, just before the start of finals. This gave us a tight deadline – only two days from when their projects were due till the big day. My students were a bit skeptical but once they started signing and giving out their work, they got into it. It was a great success. Two hundred copies went faster than we though they would. My department chair loved the idea and how it legitimized teaching cartooning. The president came by for a copy. (Well, she just happened to be walking by and I grabbed her.) The library asked for two copies for their permanent collection. All in all, it couldn’t have gone better. I was so happy and proud.

Recently while talking with one of my former students, she mentioned that on the back of the book I had spelled “narratives” with an “i” where the second “a” should be.

#3 Cartoonists are crappy spellers.