05/24/2018

Sally here with a Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency Report from Jason Robinson!

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Frank Santoro and Jason Robinson, 2017

Jason Robinson is a comics maker, illustrator, and graphic designer living in Asbury Park, NJ. He joined us in Pittsburgh early last summer for a weeklong Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency.

When Jason arrived, he mentioned that he had brought along a few “housewarming gifts” – these turned out to be several boxes worth of kitchen gadgets, pots and pans, a tea kettle, and other goodies for the Rowhouse that future residents and the more long-term resident cartoonists have made delighted use of. This generous gift was just one among many ways that Jason showed his support for the Rowhouse Residency, and if Frank and the rest of the team was able to give him anything in return we are grateful!

It’s a treat to revisit Jason’s time in Pittsburgh through his thoughtful and entertaining residency report – here’s an excerpt:

Day six was filled with daydreams and the jotting down of enough story ideas to last the next five years. In many ways, I feel like I was just getting revved up and here I am at the end, hoping I have the discipline to continue this trajectory or at least ride this wave for a long while. Because only now have the chaotic thoughts begun to settle on the floor of my brain. And I’m able to calmly wander through, picking up bits and pieces, and notice how some seem to connect—to join together like pieces of a puzzle.

I joined Frank and Sally for dinner on that last night. And a bit drunk on wine, I tried to convey this feeling by paraphrasing a similar concept I’d read somewhere about a scientist explaining that “it may not look like I’m working when I’m staring off into space, but what I’m really doing is constructing a 3-dimensional puzzle in my head—piecing together bits and bytes of information, and that takes time and focus to carefully construct this puzzle in my mind’s sky so that it may stand on it’s own. So, please don’t interrupt me, or you risk the pieces of the puzzle caving in on each other, imploding into a cloud of ash.”

…Fortunately, Frank has a better and much more succinct iteration in his back pocket – “When I’m working, you may not see it, but I’m welding here. I have a helmet on, and my mitt, it grips a fucking torch-of-fire. So stand back, or you’re in danger!”

I’ll close with some unsolicited advise to future residents:

You don’t have to chain yourself to the drawing table. Of course you may, and obviously there can be great benefits to doing so, I only argue that there are other equally constructive ways to make use of this time you’ve carved out for yourself. Paradoxically, doing “nothing” may be exactly what’s needed to do the next something.

On the porch at Copacetic Comics in Polish Hill

Read the rest of Jason Robinson’s Rowhouse Residency Report HERE!

For more info on the Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency please visit this page or email santoroschool@gmail.com

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Joanie and Jordie – 5-24-18 – by Audra Stang

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