Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Present(ation) and the Future

I gave my Capstone presentation today! I don't have any pictures from it to put up, but I can say that it did go very well. I prepared some slides of my process for a few spreads, and used those to talk about the project as a whole, as well as my London experience. I was nervous at first, so I cracked a lot of jokes. Bill came (I was happily surprised-- I thought he'd be grading sophomore work today), as well as Kate, Allie, Chris, Meg and Kelsey, even Meg's parents. (After the presentations, Meg's parents took me and her out to dinner-- delicious!) It was such a supportive group of people. After I got into it, I felt really at ease, especially with such a great group there with me. I got a lot of compliments. Afterwards, the Honors representative who was monitoring my room and had sat through my presentation asked if I was selling the books, and when I said I wasn't (I don't feel right selling them when I got them all for free) she said she would have liked to buy one for her granddaughter. I told her I'd just give her one. I think at this point, it's time for me to share all the positivity I got through completing this project.

Which brings me to the future, or my ideal future for my book. In my most wild pipe dreams (I don't actually smoke a pipe of any kind-- it's just a figure of speech, hehe) I would love to submit this book to Top Shelf Productions to at least get an opinion from those in the comics profession. Top Shelf has published some of my favorite independent comics, including Blankets (and a whole bunch of Craig Thompson's other work) and the work of Jeffrey Brown, who writes autobiographical comics about relationships. I have his first book, Clumsy, and it is really incredibly honest and touching. Though he doesn't draw as gorgeously as Craig Thompson, it doesn't matter because you get attached to the stories and the characters-- it's so easy to see yourself and your own relationships in his work. (I was given Clumsy by my ex-boyfriend, and I found tinges of our relationship in the book.)

Actually, reading Brown's book Clumsy has helped me rethink the extent of my own project. While I find myself drawn to autobiographical comics, I didn't see my own project as anything more than something self-indulgent until recently. Rereading books like Clumsy helped me realize that maybe there is more to my own project than just a stack of books to sit in my living room. So next week, as I'm distributing many of my sixty copies to family and friends (and that Honors advisor's granddaughter), I will also be sending a copy to Top Shelf. If I do and nothing ever comes of it, fine. But if I don't, I'll never know.

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