By Hannah Ross
Roz Chast understands that life is uncomfortable. She understands its complexities; that people grow old and birds, like people, get anxious too.
When it was announced she was going to be here giving a talk at CCAD, my brain flipped and fluttered about -- full of nagging questions and thoughts. I want to be Roz Chast in many ways. I want to share her mind and her spirit for cartooning. I deeply admire her ability to adopt darkness into her own brand of comedy. I love her fearlessness regarding self-image. I love how strange, how gentle, how content she seems in interviews. She's unafraid to display her neurosis and is willing to span genres in order reach as many people as she can. She's even met Steve Martin. Holy moly.
But all of things aren't even the thing that I admire most about Roz Chast; (a woman whose name I have to say in full every time...) it's the fact that she works for The New Yorker that makes me admire her most The New Yorker: that pinnacle of satirical commentary and inspirational narrative. I collect these magazines, hoard them away like buried treasures. Ask anyone and they'll confirm that it is a dream of mine to someday draw/write for The New Yorker, a dream no doubt partly influenced by Roz Chast herself. Her work is the jelly to the magazine's peanut butter and has become iconic as such. I owe much of my gathered influence from her.
I felt fortunate to be in her presence, to witness her kindness, and hear her speak unabashedly. It was an experience I'll hardly forget anytime soon and those who aren't familiar with Roz Chast's work, should go and seek her out right this moment.
Thanks a bunch, Roz Chast. I miss ya already.
Hannah Ross is a CCAD Senior Illustration major who loves knitting sweaters, wearing jumpsuits, doodling silly pictures, and drinking coffee outside. You can find out more here on her personal blog.