My fellow cartooning buddy Mike from Parsons and I created and exchanged tributes of each others’ comic series.  Why, one might ask?  Because we’re both obsessive cartoonists with tons of free time on our hands!  Though that reason is not far from the truth, we both have comic books being released in the near future and we just decided to promote each others’ work. 


Here’s my Scarmonshu tribute: 



You can view his body of work here.


And here’s his Roommates tribute: 



Pretty neat, if I do say so myself.  I’d say this picture captures all my characters’ personalities perfectly. 


I guess this strip isn’t side-splittingly funny, but sort of insightful…..sorta.  Hey, this isn’t exactly the philosophy of Aristotle.  Why am I still thinking about Aristotle?  I don’t know, but I’ll be sure to whack myself with something to forget it later.   


So the trip turned out to be a blast.  Since I don’t want to type out all the details to every single person who asks, I’ve promised to write about everything that happened here. 


The first day, Wednesday, was over at Penn State.  I liked the campus and the vibes I got from the school very much, even if they place a huge emphasis on sports.  Seriously, their football stadium fits over a hundred thousand people and they are filled to capacity every game.  However, the students who gave the tour said going to the school was the best decision of their lives and everyone who I met seemed to be having a great time.  One big turn-off was the smell of cows that hung in the air on campus, but according to the students it’s never been like that during the school year. 


Thursday was spent in Pittsburg and at Carnegie Mellon.  The school has a great rep as one of the best in the country and also has a special program where you can pursue both arts or science and fine arts degrees.  I left the school with a “meh” feeling.  Maybe I didn’t get the true feel of the environment, but the campus was kind of ugly.  I spent the night at an amusement park called Kennysburg and went on all of the roller coasters, which was great.


Next up was the RIT overnight.  I got to the school after a long car ride and met up with my roommate, who turned out to be a great guy.  I would’ve died if I had to room with some psycho with a trenchcoat, so I lucked out.  The first activity was an orientation in which the speaker showed us a graph depicting how students responded when asked why they attend college.  In the 1950’s the majority of students said that they went to become “philosophically enlightened” as opposed to “earning lots of money”.  When asked the question now, the two numbers were completely inverted.  It’s great to make tons of money, but it’s very saddening that our culture has become so consumerist that students no longer care about the true values of education.


Here’s the funniest anecdote of our time at RIT:  We head back to the dorm to drop off our folders.  We’re given a key to open the door, so we put the key in and leave the door open.  All of a sudden the door slams behind us and we’re trapped.  Normally when you open the lock to a door it stays unlocked, but that was not the case.  So here we are, my roommate and I, inside the room, thinking to ourselves, “what the fuck do we do now?”  We slam on the door to the room in case someone on the outside could hear us.  No response.  We look out the window where a bunch of guys are gathered and then say, “if we were to yell out the window to have someone come up to get us, we’d become RIT legends.”  They’d be telling this story at freshman orientation.  So we go back to the door, knock like madmen, until some guy opens the door, looks at us, and just says, “………wow.”  The lesson to be learned here: DO NOT LEAVE YOUR KEY IN YOUR DOOR. 


We decide to put the past behind us and attend some more activities. We see an improv comedy troupe, go to a student panel, watch some students do lame tricks, eat dinner, and hang out in a student lounge with all kinds of arcade games and pool tables.  I even tried my hand at Bouncy Boxing in an inflatable ring wearing these oversize gloves. 


The next day I have 3 sessions to attend.  First I go to a Film and Animation session, which was one of the main reasons I decided to visit the campus.  Not many schools offer animation, so I was excited to see what they had to say about the program.  Overall, we watched some student films and listened to a graduate student talk about animation.  What she basically said was, if you get hired with a big studio you’ll be making decent money.  If not, you’re making diddly squat.  Not to mention that most of the great jobs are out in California and are hard to come by.  Also, animation students may be given internships but are paid NOTHING, whereas engineering and computer science students may come home with 20 grand for half a years’ work.  Why, one might ask?  Well, there is a high number of applicants for a small number of jobs.   That sucks royally. 


I haven’t decided for sure what the hell I’m going to study in college and I’m keeping my options completely open, which is why I decided to attend an exploration session.  All we did was take a personality test, which told me I was an “artisan”, meaning I am great at sensing and perceiving.  It goes on to provide an explanation of what that means, and I’d say it was pretty accurate.  Then we get…free frisbees!  That sure was random, but I’ll take a free frisbee when  I can get one. 


The illustration class was pretty cool, primarily because the teacher did such amazing work, especially caricatures.  I know that’s a major I won’t be pursuing because if a guy THAT talented is constantly looking for work, what chances would I have?  Anyway, he did a portrait of me, which came out great, and we spent the last few minutes doing portraits of each other.  Nothing I haven’t done before.     


I couldn’t believe how fast people met up with each other. I went with someone I met from class to lunch and BAM, I met up with 8 other people.  Girls, too.  Once I told my room key story I was practically the center of attention.  It was awesome.     


Overall I had a great time.  I even got to finish my Simpsons book, which is a must-read for fanatics.  It’s a 450 page analysis of all of the characters and their intricacies, which was fascinating, at least to me.  Not that I don’t already know everything about the series already, but the book showed how multi-faceted and carefully constructed the series really is.  The book also depicted how the show parallels American society and how its writers want to make bold angry statements about today’s flawed times.  In America, people fall into cushy jobs and live their lives in the corners of the world, never getting out and making a difference.  In Simpsons world, for example, Lisa represents how the intellectual elite try to make societal changes but are overtaken by the masses.  Read this book.     


Hmm, I don’t have a cool closing statement to tie this entry together, but I don’t need one.  It was just a bunch of stuff that happened. 

So I stayed inside today to finish the remaining pages of the comic book.  All day.  And yesterday.  But it’s done.  And it’s 24 splendid pages.  The pencilling is done at least, I still have ten pages left to ink.  I may just decide to add one more page to the end, because the beginning starts off with a two-page rant and it would continue at the end of the book.  Or not.  I’ll decide soon enough.  Also, I still need a cover page. 


Here’s a preview.  I tried scanning in a whole page but it was too big for the scanner.  This actually isn’t a completed panel, there’s a word balloon and a few edits in the final version. 



I’m taking off this week, ’til Sunday anyway to see a few schools.  Can’t say I’m looking forward to it, maybe just the overnight at RIT.  I’ll be looking forward to making some plans when I get back, because I can’t stay home anymore. 


Well, seeya.