27 August, 2005

More Notes from a Kochalkaholic

The Brattleboro Reformer earlier this month featured a piece on the Comic Art in the Green Mountains exhibit, running through early November of this year. It looks like later today my wife and I will be packing up the kids and heading off to Brattleboro to see the exhibit.

My wife, son and daughter all have read James Kochalka's comics, as well as seen him perform, so they're looking forward to seeing some of his original art on display (besides the original art on display in our living room, I mean -- a commissioned recreation of his Comics Journal cover). I'm really curious to see how his work is presented, and looking forward to the trip myself.

But unlike my family, I'm also familiar with the work of all the other cartoonists whose work is on display, as well -- Frank Miller, Steve Bissette, James Sturm and Rick Veitch. All of these guys have produced work I adore, from Bissette and Veitch's contributions to Alan Moore's landmark 1980s Swamp Thing run to Miller's excellent Daredevil work. But other than Kochalka, I'm most looking forward to seeing some of James Sturm's originals.

Sturm is a gifted storyteller whose works include stories as diverse as The Golem's Mighty Swing and the hugely underrated Fantastic Four: Unstable Molecules. He's also the prime mover behind The Center for Cartoon Studies, which begins classes this fall in White River Junction, Vermont. The grand opening of the school is Saturday, September 10th, and you know, that might be a good reason for us to return to Vermont a couple of weeks from today's visit to Brattleboro. James Kochalka is a mamber of the school's faculty, it should be noted.

But as to Sturm, he has produced a truly impressive body of work, ranging from the mannered historical dramas of Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight and The Revival (the pair collected by Drawn and Quarterly as a collection called Above & Below) to the educational anti-racism comic Return to Normal, which was released in the wake of the September 11th, 2001 attacks.

The Comic Art in the Green Mountains website says comics by these creators will be available in the museum gift shop, and I hope to find some previously unknown or unread work by some of the artists on display. But mainly, I am looking forward to exposing my family to some quality original comics art, and seeing what the reception is to this work among the people in attendance. I'm really looking forward to the trip, and hope to detail it for you in the next couple of days.


Blogger Cole Moore Odell said...

Alan, note that the 24-hour comics challenge happens today at the museum, starting at 12 noon. Bissette is giving opening remarks. As of Thursday, the Reformer said 28 people were signed up. I don't know where they'll be set up, but it's going to be somewhere in the museum. Anyway, I hope you like our town! If you're looking for lunch try the Brattleboro Co-op across the street, or Carol's bakery and deli on Main Street.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Cole Moore Odell said...

Also, I don't know how far you're driving, but be warned that the exhibit is pretty small, in the museum's smallest of four galleries. Bissette has four pages on display--two from Swamp Thing and two from Tyrant. Sturm has a couple of pages from Golem, Vietch has two-to-four paged from Rare Bit Fiends, Miller has maybe two pages of Sin City up, and Kochalka has the most work on display wtih two Sketchbook covers, two intro pages from those books, and maybe six-to-eight pages from Monkey v. Robot and the Crystal of Power.

Given that, you might want to plan something else to do in or around town with the family. Today's paper has an events calendar with a few other local history museums listed, we have a great farmer's market, some good local blueberry orchards, and there's a great petting farm right outside town on Route 30.

If you came next weekened, there's the Guilford Fair.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Cole Moore Odell said...

Last thing--the books in the gift shop are selected works only, and pretty much just what you could find at Amazon or your comic shop.

8:23 AM  
Blogger ADD said...


Got some photos of 24 Hr. Comic day getting underway, spent a few minutes chatting with the extremely nice Mr. Bissette, and enjoyed the small but effective display of comic art on exhibit.

Full report hopefully later tonight or tomorrow, and pictures in a few days.


6:35 PM  

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