Wednesday March 7, 2012
So we met at SAW and divided into cars. Tom’s friend Erin was going to escort us to Payne’s Prairie, where we’d be certain to see alligators. An air of anticipation wrapped us as we headed out. Everybody brought their sketchbooks. The idea was we were going to have an adventure RIGHT NOW and then do comics about it.
Sadly, strangely, when we got to the park entrance, the grounds were closed to the public for a rare bison move. My plan had been thwarted!!! We drove back disconsolate, stopping at a wayside viewing platform in hopes of seeing an alligator, but all we were treated to were dead weeds.
When we returned to SAW, I told Tom about our Gator Failure, and he suggested we all do comics about NOT seeing the alligators! Genius! This is why he’s the one running the comics school. After all, life is not always pickles and cream cheese, but full of disappointment as well. So everybody got busy on their disappointment comics.
In the afternoon people worked on their stories from the previous days as well, and at the end of the day we all headed out to the Gainesville Downtown Farmer’s Market, a traditional gathering of food vendors, artists, and old hippies. I wanted the students to practice drawing from life. So we filed out into the crowds and sketched what we saw.
Next day we’d try again for the alligators… and this time for sure!
John Porcellino was born in Chicago, in 1968, and has been writing, drawing, and publishing minicomics, comics, and graphic novels for over twenty-five years. His celebrated self-published series King-Cat Comics, begun in 1989, has inspired a generation of cartoonists.