Tara Wray and Josh Melrod’s documentary Cartoon College is a look at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont, with interviews with students, Faculty, and comics luminaries like Chris Ware and Lynda Barry. I had no idea that such a place existed before watching the film, and it was satisfying to find out that it was operating, and to see a new generation of cartoonists being nurtured there. There’s a huge wealth of excellent interviews in Cartoon College and it’s fascinating to hear established artists reflect on the difficult process of developing their art, and the very perilous prospects of pursuing cartooning as a profession. The filmmakers were afforded great access, and by virtue of the quality and intimacy of the conversations in the film, they must be very good at their jobs.
This is also the first time I’ve seen acknowledgment of, or a connection to the new handmade comic scene and the more established Fantagraphics pantheon of artists. That’s as important and needful a bridge as the one that goes from the previous generation to the 60′s underground comix scene.
Link to the film’s website.