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My Thesis for The Center for Cartoon Studies is DONE!

My thesis for The Center for Cartoon Studies is DONE! WOOHOO!! Man, the year went by really fast. It feels weird to be done with school, especially now that I’ve collected all my work from this year together.

At The Center for Cartoon Studies each student must collect the eight months of work from their senior year and produce a final “thesis packet” to be evaluated. I recently finished production on my thesis packet which consists of the three books in the picture. It’s great to see I’ve done a whole lot more than I realized!

1. Short Notes on Long Comics: 10 Great Examples of Story Structure in Graphic Novels. Collected from my blog posts about Story Structure in Graphic Novels, this 64-page book premiered at MoCCA in April 2010 and shows how three-act story structure is used in 10 of the most popular graphic novels on the market, some of which have been in print for over 20 years! By maintaining a regular schedule for short articles like these (about 1500 words each), I was able to produce a high volume of work without really realizing it. I will definitely incorporate this approach into my other work from now on. The book is on sale now through my online store ($5).

2. Tales of the Uncanny – N-Man & Friends: A Naut Comics History, Vol. 1. The book in the middle is a 32-page collection of the articles and comic book scripts I wrote for Tales of the Uncanny along with the preview book I designed with Stephen R. Bissette and Katherine Roy (cover art by Jay Piscopo copyright Stephen R. Bissette 2010). Tales of the Uncanny – N-Man & Friends: A Naut Comics History is a fictionalized version of comics history following Stephen R. Bissette’s characters from the iconic comic series 1963. See here for more details. This summer, Steve and I plan to go into final production of Volume 1 and start momentum for Volume 2! Very exciting!

3. The Guardian: Protecting the Devil. The Guardian is Yoshihiro Takayama, a bodyguard who specializes in protecting paranormal clients. In Protecting the Devil, Yoshi must protect a teenage boy who is possessed by the demon that killed Yoshi’s wife. The book in the picture is a 100-page script for a 200-page graphic novel. The story is a different subject matter than I am used to writing with more research than any script I’ve written in the past, so it has been an excellent challenge to face during my thesis year. My thanks go to the faculty and my peers at CCS for their solid notes throughout the process; it has been great to see this crazy idea take shape over the course of just one school year.

It’s a wonderful feeling to collect eight months of work, print it and bind it. It feels real, like you’re the professional artist you tell yourself you are. If you have a lot of work lying around your house or floating on the internet, I highly recommend packaging it and printing it either at a copy shop or through Lulu.com. It’s a great feeling to have a book of your work sitting on a shelf.

Or print out eight copies (CCS requires eight copies of a thesis packet) and stack them up! Eight copies x 200 pages = awesome. It’s like one Stephen King book.

If you are in the area of White River Junction, VT (who isn’t?) stop by CCS and check out all the thesis work that will be on exhibition starting May 15th.

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