September 20 — talk and workshop with Vermont Cartoonist Laureate, James Kochalka

Contact: Erik Esckilsen,

Where and when: Hauke Conference Center; three session options — 9:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m., 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., 12:30 p.m.-1:45 p.m.

Cartoonist, author, musician — and Vermont’s first ever cartoonist laureate — James Kochalka will visit campus to lead a discussion and workshop of wide appeal to students in any program that touches on creativity, visual rhetoric, visual storytelling, art, animation, videogames — you name it.mars_fb

Kochalka’s body of work has reached a wide audience — from comic strips and video games suitable for children to stuff you probably shouldn’t read in the office. His presentation/workshop will combine a brief overview of his career as a cartoonist, including select examples of his work, and more interactive segments. Participants need not have any drawing training to benefit from some of the session’s activities, which will focus on topics with broad appeal to students in diverse majors. The presentation will be VERY applicable to students pursuing the following subjects: visual rhetoric, creative writing, electronic game design, and art/animation.

Some examples of what James’s presentation could entail:

* Discussion of the relationship between word and image in narratives, such as in graphic novels.

* Discussion of the narrative progression of a comic strip.

* Discussion of where his ideas come from and the nature of the creative impulse.

* An interactive exercise that unfolds over the course of the session, resulting in an original cartoon character. Non-artists will be surprised at what they can create.

* Questions and discussion of his career trajectory as an artist whose work has appeared in comic strips, graphic novels, animated films, and video games.


If you’d like to become more familiar with James’s body of work ahead of the presentation, check out these sites:

American Elf:

The page for the Glorkian Warrior videogame:


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