White River Junction Scene Report

Up with local comics scene. Down with Marvel. Down with DC. Boycott Disney. Boycott Time Warner. Kill Super Heroes.

Do I sound like a broken record? I don’t fuckin’ care! I’m so tired of sifting through “coverage” of the Big Two on comics blogs. You guys are just workin’ for The Man. Knock it off! I should have a “greater concern”? Bullshit. Stop promoting corporate culture in comics.

This week’s local comics scene report brought to you by the great Jen Vaughn. Jen lives in White River Junction, Vermont – home of The Center for Cartoon Studies. She is awesome, does awesome stuff and also writes awesomely for the Schulz Library Blog.

Don’t forget! My CARTOONING CORRESPONDENCE COURSE starts at the end the end of October! Hurry up and apply – you can do it! I will make you a comics expert in eight weeks!


Also! Michael DeForge ups the ante again with his story in Thickness number two. I call it a knife fight. He will cut you! The rest of the issue is equally astonishing – lots of different looks – a well edited anthology if there ever was one. It’s also beautifully printed – Ryan Sands crushed this one out of the park, folks. Don’t delay – buy your copy today.


White River Junction scene report
by Jen Vaughn

Here in the thicket of White River Junction, a town of small proportions (~2500 people), a lot of cartoonist students dream big. Montreal, Boston and New York are at most five hours away but in this sleepy place often referred to as WRJ or my favorite, the Junc, everything closes around 5pm and good luck on Sundays.
My house is behind that green tree on the right

The local coffee shop, the Tuckerbox, hangs cartoonist work on the walls year round and is the morning or late afternoon studio space for some.

LtoR: Cartoonists Pat Barrett, Josh Kramer, Max de Radigues, Kevin Uehlein and Ben Horak

However, there is no shortage of fun and events. Like anywhere, a toonie amidst all all these other toonies and townies must concentrate to keep their butt firmly in their drawing table seat. Thanks to the Center for Cartoon Studies, we have visiting artists every week that come to speak to the school and a lot that just visit!


Cartoonists: Katherine Roy, me and Jon Fine) Dartmouth College is near by with great plays, events and often employs cartoonists. Laura Terry, Katherine Roy and I have made one large mural and have a current exhibit of collegiate fun paintings on display in their student union cafe.
This is the first place I’ve lived where I draw anywhere I go and people ask ‘Are you a cartoonist?’ instead of ‘artist.’ The villagers know what’s shakin’. Although, if you asked me to describe our activities in three words I’d say “costumes, games and animals.” I’ve pet more goats, pigs and more pigs in my time here than my combined 13 years in Texas.

Moving a pig coral at a co-op
A lot of us like, scratch that, LOVE board games. Night of playing resource management games like Agricola, Carcassone, or Dominion are planned out usually with wine and dinner to boot. Although, it is constantly an odd bag being one of the few female cartoonists in the area with a boyfriend at events with couples. Luckily, we’re all friends so I don’t care about whether I should talk craft with ‘the guys’ or any other subject with ‘the ladies.’ Sometimes its nice to step away from the work. CCS professor Jason Lutes is kind enough let us beta-test his own creation, “Thrilling Tales of Adventure” and hosts a weekly board game night (meanwhile Steve Bissette hosts an often horrifying weekly movie night)

LtoR: Cartoonists David Yoder, Joe Lambert, Bill Bedard and Rio Aubrey Taylor play Merchants and Marauders
In my free time not spent at my day jobs at the Schulz Graphic Novel Library and at the Main Street Museum OR drawing, I spent wrapped up in a butterfly/caterpillar costume as part of the local puppeteer’s gang at Fantasy Technicians. Becoming something else for a bit, whether a butterfly or a pair of shoes, is amazing and I’m totally working on my own articulating costume. And preparing for my week long job in New Orleans next Mardi Gras.

Parties usually have a theme, a costumed theme. Like the going away party, Lady Gaga Gone.

Featuring toonies Penina Gal, Carol Thompson, Betsey Swardlick, Beth Hetland and me.
And in any other city you might buy comics at a comic book store but our Border’s closed down AND the local comic shop is more of a game shop (although not a problem for those of us hoping to score the Cthulhu Gloom expansion). The Schulz Graphic Novel Library gets a lot of comic books sent to it by publishers, writers, artists and people who just want to send their favorite to such a grand library. The school also buys a lot of new graphic novels and is open to the public on First Fridays Unfortunately, due to the flood waters of Hurricane Irene, we had to move our library to a temporary storage space but hope to move soon. We save a lot of our buying bucks for conventions, where comics are like currency!

Here’s my boyfriend, Ryan Anderson and cartoonist, Molly Howard, enjoying comics in our old space

And here’s a photo of my comics class!

In the town of White River Junction, friends are around every corner and they like to have a good time. Which is great because I love to pose under silly signs. My town may be small but its heart is huge.

at Tunbridge World’s Fair with Linda Walker and cartoonist Rachel Foss

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