By Colleen Clark
Unlike Sakhile, who got to go to beautiful Savannah, Georgia, I decided to stay in Columbus for my very last spring break. I'm still new at my job, so I can't request vacation time, but I wanted to stay and make money anyway.
They let me work lots of hours, which means I juuuust might be able to afford all of my senior expenses for the Directions Career Fair. I saw this as an opportunity to save up… even though I would have loved to go home or somewhere balmy and sunny (I'm jealous of you, Sakhile, can you tell?).
But I had fun at work; we had a St. Patrick’s day party the same day we moved into a new, fancy office up on High Street. I got to bring in all of my toys from my apartment to make my desk look like a five-year-old’s.
I got to see some of my friends too, and I spent some time at 16 Bit, the arcade bar downtown, and Kafe Kerouac.
The highlight of my break was on the 21st, when the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library had two new exhibition openings: Exploring Calvin and Hobbes and The Irresistible Force Meets the Immovable Object: A Richard Thompson Retrospective. Like everyone who has ever seen the comic, I am in love with Calvin and Hobbes. It was amazing to see the original paintings and inked comics, as well as the history, tools, and stories behind Bill Watterson’s work. Richard Thompson is responsible for the more recent comic Cul-de-Sac. The strip was unfortunately discontinued after six years because of Thompson’s Parkinsons disease, but in its short run it garnered lots of awards and acclaim.
As I was looking at Thompson’s comics, I felt like the scenes were startlingly familiar. The family in the strip stopped at a produce stand on the way to the beach, as I always did as a child. Then they went to a bookstore that was almost identical to my beach bookstore at Bethany Beach, Delaware, where I would vacation growing up. I figured it was just a coincidence, but on a whim, I asked the woman next to me where Richard Thompson was from. She just happened to be his sister-in-law, and told me he grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland. My hometown! I never meet anyone from Gaithersburg! It just so happened that the scenes he illustrated were my childhood beaches and were reminiscent of my hometown.
He was at the gallery opening, and I got to meet him and thank him for his work. I also got to tell him that I'm from Gaithersburg, and he gave me a fist pump when my friend (and the curator of his exhibition) Caitlin told him that I make feminist comics. That little fist pump was the best fist pump I will ever receive in my life. It was the fist pump to outshine all other fist pumps. All in all, it was an extremely wonderful exhibition and evening, and I cannot wait to go back.
I find myself once again reminded that amazing, career-changing things can happen in a single evening in Columbus. I'm so lucky to be connected to the comics world here and that I got a chance to see something this inspiring.
I probably should have spent more time on homework, but it’s vacation, right? Below are some snapshots of my week. I hope everyone had a lovely break, and now it’s back to the grind!
Colleen Clark is a CCAD senior majoring in Illustration who wishes Star Trek was real. She loves comics, puppies, anything involving Tina Fey, and sharing her art and thoughts through her online blog.