Friday, October 23, 2009

The Junc

For my thesis project this year at The Center for Cartoon Studies, I'm working on a bunch of short comics journalism type pieces about White River Junction, VT, the town that I have lived in for the past year and a half, where CCS is located in the old Colodny Surprise Department Store. I lived in this town four years ago as well, when I interned for CCS.

There's something special about this town. I'm still working on getting at what that really is. In the end I think I'm going to have some stories of my interactions with local people at the Gift Shop/ Convenience Store where I work, selling a lot of lottery tickets, cigarettes, and coffee. I've also recorded a couple of interviews with people who live here. I'm really influenced by Studs Terkel's work. I've also been reading a lot of Duplex Planet, and listening to Radio Diaries. (You should definitely hear this one.)

I'm still in the process of figuring out how this is going to come together. Now that I've done a lot of observing and interviewing (though I'm not nearly done), I'm getting antsy to start drawing. So here's a page a drew, to get down on paper some of the things I've found out, and what my focus is going to be. It's not just about WRJ as a town, but about the people in it, and the specific stories and details that make them all unique.

Tom Hart is my advisor. He is AWESOME. Check out his comics on Act-i-vate!

What I know About White River Junction

1 comment:

  1. Hi Melissa-

    One of the interesting things about this page to me is that it doesn't focus on a single interviewee. I had originally thought you might, but that was my LIMITED THINKING! This single page, which goes all over the place is fascinating for how much ground it covers (and how charmingly it is drawn.)

    So have you considered asking other people questions about the issues that have already popped up (first date with a spouse, where they were when the strip club burned down, the crackhouse, how they would describe WSJ in one sentence... etc?) It might be fun. I love the stripper moment- that's such a powerful image to imagine: all these strippers crying in front of the flames (btw, study Jaime Hernandez for great stripper drawings if you want- his Vivian and Ray stories especially.) Ok I'm done for now. Great work!