Tonight a certain home here in White River Junction we lovingly call the “Muff Mansion” will be hosting a farewell party to its four remaining occupants. These four and among the favorite lady cartoonists here in WRJ and all are alumni of CCS. I graduated with one, two were classmates and the fourth has been here longer than almost any other lady in town, only nudged out by Colleen Frakes of the inaugural class! On Sunday in prep for the 4th of July Weekend I’ll post plenty of pictures from the party, but today I’m going to cover briefly the most important thing about these wonderful people: their comics!
CCS Class of 2010
Jen is one of the standout 2010 classmates of mine! She immediately made her presence known with her bubbly personality, big laugh and non-stop humor. Her comics make her stand out even more. Her on-going series of Menstruation Station mini comics have driven her to the top of many other female cartoonists lists…and even intrigued some guys. Humorous looks at the most womanly thing about being female. Her most consistent comics are that of a fantastic world under the sea where a group of mermaids run a hostel for fishy guests of all kinds. Dealing with everything from current events, trends, to daily musings in Jen’s own life, it posts every Tuesday at her website. Lastly, Jen is an avid illustrator and blogger, spreading her work and words on the web and in print. Posters and flyers are a frequent thing for Jen, you’ve probably seen one for a band you like! You can read her musings for CCS at the Schulz Library Blog which she helped to re-launch recently, as well as occasional pieces for THE BEAT; Heidi Macdonald’s outstanding comics industry blog.
CCS Class of 2011
The recently graduated Beth Hetland is one of the only girls in town that can rival Jen’s boisterous excitement and enthusiasm for CCS and comics. While she is loud and giddy almost 24/7, her comics exude a much more subdued, subtle feelings of grace and consideration. Her pacing is very steady and her characters drawn from her own experiences growing up. Her CCS Thesis was called FUGUE, and is a three-book story of her own family and growing up with music, most specifically learning to play piano. It’s a tale of expectations, music, family frustration, love, and being tested. She continues to put pages up frequently at her website and will very soon have the book(s) up online to order!
CCS Class of 2011
Betsey is…hard to put into words. She interned here many moons ago, at a time when CCS was still in its infancy. She left her mark even then, as as I went through my first year I heard her unfamiliar name recounted again and again. Suddenly, as if by destiny, she re-appeared at CCS after a several year absence, as a part of the class of 2011. CCS is just now hitting it’s stride and people like Betsey are a big reason why. She’s wild, colorful, brilliantly positive, and wants to make all around her feel welcome. Her comics are equally as crazy and exciting. Her main works featured in her CCS Thesis were Fail Wolves…about a group of un-motivated werewolves who are not very good at lycanthopy, and the work-in progress comic “Frank,” “about self-acceptance, self-expression, and the melancholy of a go-go dad” as classmate Josh Kramer says on the Class of 2011 Summer Showcase website. Betsey may be leaving us for now, but having already returned to CCS once, I’m sure she’ll be back to visit in the future!
CCS Class of 2008
Is one of WRJ’s longest standing cartoonist residents out of CCS. She’s been a staple in the community since 2006 and one of the most active members in all going ons comic-wise. She, along with Betsey above, helped start the Werewolf series of Anthologies, one of CCS’s most successful and popular! Her personal work is fantastic in nature and captures the essence of childhood. Along with editing and contributing to Werewolf! she is also slowly working on the Fire Messenger series of comics. It’s a strange tale of two children who become lost in the woods and enter a world that is quite far from Kansas, and one boy discovers an ability to create fire in the palm of his hands! Her art is full of life and subtlety as she works in beautiful watercolors! Penina will be missed both in the studio and on the Soccer pitch!
Well, that just about does it. I encourage you to all check out these fine lady’s comics and illustrations and even consider buying something to help off-set the cost of their moving away. Come back Sunday for pictures and a recap of their going away party tonight, and remember that tomorrow is SONIC SATURDAY! I’ll be doing a live webcast around Noon as I tweak page 1 and get this thing officially underway (again!)
I wish the Muff Mansion-ers all safe journeys and the hope of a return to Cartoonist Country some day soon!
All work above is © it’s respective creator.