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My Journey In Academia

Note: I wrote this piece about three or four years ago, and it has been sitting in the queue here since then. I have not altered the text since I initially wrote it, and that is purposeful. Hopefully this post will help someone who reads it. 

Lately, I have been thinking about my educational and professional path from my undergrad education to today. I’ve been thinking about this partly because of the readings I am doing for my history of higher education class. However, I have also been thinking about my educational and career trajectory because it has been a long trek, and it is far from over. With that said, today I want briefly trace how I have gotten to this stage in my life, doing what I love to do.

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Identity in Adrian Tomine “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist”

Before I even picked it up and started reading, Adrian Tomine’s The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist grabbed my attention, specifically because of it tangible, tactile features which mirror a sketch book. Of course when I started reading, various things stood out. One such instance occurs when Tomine starts to have chest pains and is carrying his daughter up the stairs. During this sequence, the borders disappear from each panel, indicating a split in temporal time. Tomine falls backwards down the stairs, lying unconscious on the floor as his daughters yell at him to wake up. The seven-panel sequence ends, and we return to Tomine holding his daughter as she asks if everything he feels ok.

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Book Design and Adrian Tomine’s “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist”

A few weeks ago, I picked up Adrian Tomine’s latest book, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist. I read Killing and Dying last year, and Tomine’s new book immediately caught my attention, not necessarily for the illustrations or content. No, what grabbed me was the book design itself. It’s a physically gorgeous book because it is, for all intents and purposes, a grid sketchbook. Apart from the title, the cover illustration of Tomine drawing, and the backmatter blurbs, the book is a Moleskine classic notebook, and that connection immediately grabbed me because while I am not an illustrator, I use those types of notebooks (unlined for me) constantly. Today, I want to look at the ways that The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist serves as a metanarrative of itself and how the physical design, not just the illustrations and text between the covers, works within this process.

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Comics Script for Frank Yerby’s “The Foxes of Harrow”

Last spring, I created my first comic alongside my students. When I created my comic on Lillian Smith, I thought about the script and the layout; however, I did not sit down and type out the script. Instead, I worked within the Comic Book! app to layout the pages and insert the text. I knew what I wanted it to look like as I went along, and I was using pictures for the panels. This led me to start thinking about writing out a script for a comic. I’ve done a couple now, and today I want to share a five page script I wrote for the opening of Frank Yerby’s The Foxes of Harrow, a novel that I think would do well as as a graphic novel. These pages focus on the prologue to the novel, a section I have written about before. There are no illustrations here yet, but hopefully one day that will change. Enjoy!

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Severed History in Nate Powell’s “Save It For Later”: Part V

Speaking with Sean Clancy, Nate Powell talked about the ways he views his own activism. He says, “I’m like the vast majority of people. I show up and I use the time and energy from other parts of my life to make up for the fact that I’m less involved on a direct action level. A lot of that means putting my concerns and my heart and soul into the books I make.” In many ways, this is how I view my own work and activism. While I came of age listening to punk rock and being “rebellious,” whatever the hell that means in my case, I didn’t actively participate in protests or activism growing up. In fact, I was blind to the myriad of things that I should have protested and fought against. This is why I identify so much with “Wingnut,” the final piece in Powell’s Save It For Later.

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