Saturday, June 8, 2019
Every year TCAF grows its hard to keep up with all the talks and panels, so many great ones at the same time, it’s hard to choose. One of the panels I really liked was Craig Thompson (Blankets) I’m a big fan of his work. He talked about his new serialized comic Ginseng Roots. I found some parallels in his life to my own childhood. As a kid he had summer jobs working on a ginseng farm, picking rocks from the fields, hoeing weeds and all the things that go along with growing that crop. The money he made was not much but it paid for his comic habit! He equated how much money he made with how many comics he could buy. He mentioned now a days immigrants do most of that work, back then it was a summer job for teens but not anymore, either they don’t want to do that kind of work because it is hard, or the immigrants don’t mind the hot sun and work harder. When I was old enough to work in the farmer’s fields, I did every summer into my late teens. I picked beans, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, we hoed weeds and picked rocks out of the fields so they would’t damage the farmers machinery. With the money I made I’d buy Basil Wolverton gum cards at the corner store. They were exaggerated cartoons of faces with common names. We would find our friends name and laugh at the ugly face on the card while we chewed our gum. Wolvertons were a big influence on me, I started drawing caricatures throughout my art college days, that money paid for my tuition!
Anyway… getting back to TCAF. The range of diverse art styles was inspiring. I was incredibly happy to be part of all the debut books at the Conundrum table. I also had a signing on Saturday and Sunday as well as a panel called Then and Now with Jeffrey Ellis of (Cloudscape Comic)a publisher from Vancouver, soon to publish my son Alex’s comic, in the fall! Michael Charka (Silent Invasion) was also on the panel, with our moderator Brendan Montgomery of Sequential magazine. There’s a review of Aurora BoreAlice in the latest issue. Ken and I were also interviewed by Aaron Broverman of Speech Bubble Podcast. There’s also an interview I did with Comics Journal but I’m not sure when it’s coming out… I keep you posted.
Basil Wolverton cartoons