by J.T. Dockery
And thus begins the transmissions from White River Junction, Vermont. Center for Cartoon Studies. Toon town, they call it. D.W. Griffith, Kentuckian, filmed Way Down East here circa 1919. I win.
I have moved in to what is commonly referred to as "the red house" here, traditionally an abode filled with cartoonist folk orbiting around CCS. A good number of the parties surrounding the school/community are held here. I've been to two myself, one when I visited the place back in March which jump started this rapidograph packing briar jumper's relocation to Annexia (don't worry, I can prove I'm a cartoonist), and one last weekend the second night in the house the day of CCS graduation. You ever been to a party in which every person is a comic book artist?
This was my cocktail hour, a quiet drink along prior to that post-graduation party, in fact. When I showed this pic to JSH he quipped, "Duelling plantations." I often now sit and smoke and look at the house across the street looking back to me. Speaking of Dockery's plantations, one of the more remarkable things about being a 16 hour drive from the region of my birth is that the actual landscape is essentially the same as eastern Kentucky, just with actual mountains as opposed to hills (aka eroded plateaus).
I've already established the filling station in my room, a quiet spot to let a bottle of Kentucky whiskey rest between a vintage noir poster and a contemporary tribute to the original Dracula by Tod Browning. If you're a vampire like me, it's good to hit town and realize that a short hop across the river into New Hampshire, the local liquor store stocks a decent selection of bourbon, with prices actually cheaper than at home. Russell's Reserve was my first purchase to assist me in reacquainting myself with my style.
When I got here, I already had a package waiting for me. Geoff Grogan had mailed to the new address my contributors copies of the third issue of his and Kevin Mutch's Pood anthology, oversized and on newsprint. It made me feel like a modern day Winsor McCay, the space I invade, etc.
Last weekend I met both Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly. This weekend I'm heading with a gang of ink studs to Portland, Maine for MeCAF. Some say the world is ending, but me (besides being the self-proclaimed "cartoonist for these end times"), I'm just getting started.