the inevitable atticus & glen

When I went to college, I knew I wanted to draw a comic strip for the school paper. My sophmore year, I figured out what that strip would be: Atticus and Glen, the story of a tentative freshman (Glen) and the wise old squirrel who lived on campus his whole life (Atticus).

Although the set-up owed a lot to Calvin and Hobbes, the topics I covered were very much Oberlin. Co-ops, bicycles, vegetarianism, the ubiquitous English major, and of course race, gender, and class politics. My senior year, knowing I would leave Atticus and Glen in Oberlin, I wanted to make one big story before I ended the strip. The result was a seventeen page comic book I wrote and drew during winter term called The Inevitable Atticus & Glen. In another nod to Calvin and Hobbes, I gave the title a totally misleading prefix. There was nothing inevitable about the book; I willed this into exitance just like the rest of the strip.

The Inevitable Atticus & Glen was my first foray into self-publishing. The other cartoonist on campus, Alec Longstreth, was a huge self-publishing fan and would go on to make the long-running Phase 7 comic series. I was a bit more reluctant. I would be more than happy to do all the creative work and let some big publisher take on the unenviable task of producing, marketing, and selling. In the small world of Oberlin, and in the slightly bigger but still small world of non-superhero comics, there aren’t many publishers willing to do this. Self-publishing for me, then, was inevitable.

I took my pages to the college print shop, knowing nothing about putting a book together. They took my original art, photocopied it, and produced 100 booklets. The cost was low enough that I didn’t bother charging for the books. With the help of my friend Charlotte, we distributed the books across campus. I included a note imploring people to share; I wanted everyone to at least have a chance to read my masterpiece.

Now, for the first time, I’m making The Inevitable Atticus & Glen available to the world. You can read it below, or for the price of one dollar, you can have a PDF. Purists take note: I cleaned up the art a bit to make it more legible and less embarrassing. I have not added Jar Jar Binks, nor have I made Han shoot second.

Blog friday robot

friday robots: college edition

These robots are from my carefree college days.  The first was based upon the college seal.  I added flying squirrels, wine glass trees, faintly visible classroom windows, and an enigmatic stalactite left of center.

My first-year art professor asked me, “is it a commentary on race?”  I hated that art teacher.  No, I called it black and white because the drawing was black and white.oberlin-college-black-and-white-logo
Three years later, I finally decided to enroll in another art class.  After that first semester train wreck, I wasn’t so sure about art classes in college.  Boy, I’m glad I took a few more before graduation, because my two professors senior year were fantastic, for very different reasons.

These two robots were preliminary works for my final project.  It was to be a painting based on a collage, and I combined two things that interested me greatly: dinosaurs and Japanese Shinto architecture.  My final project painting was made from the top collage.  I liked it, and my professor didn’t even ask me if it was supposed to be about class warfare or the sexual revolution or anything.dinosaurs-shinto-shrines-oberlin

Happy Friday everybody!