The Carleton Graphic, formerly known as the Carleton Comics Journal is stepping things up with their recent release of “Spring Lake Massacre” last Friday, an ambitious project to rival comic-makers at any art school.
“Spring Lake Massacre” tells the story of a murder at a middle school and society's tendency to sensationalize these kinds of events. Unlike previous issues of the Graphic, the entire story of this issue was written by Andreas Stoehr ‘11, with its nine sections drawn by eight artists, including some cartooning from alum Scott Donaldson ‘10, gestural drawings from Aditya Menon ‘13, Klimt-inspired borders from Jacob Canfield ‘12, some imitation manga from Kailyn Kent ‘11, and even a section at the end drawn by Stoehr himself.
“Spring Lake Massacre” was originally slated for release at the end of fall term, but after two all-nighters during finals, it still didn't quite come together.
“That was a bad time,” Canfield said. “We thought we could put it together in the last four hours, but we hadn't even started laying out.”
The finishing touches came over winter break, in a story of long-distance collaboration gone right. Working together from their homes in California, Iowa and Minnesota, the three editors went through a dozen iterations before coming to the final product.
When “SLM” was finally released to the public last Friday, Canfield and Stoehr opted for an interesting strategy: a magic-markered sign that colorfully said, “Pay what you want.” This style of elective patronage has become en vogue thanks to the website Bandcamp, which lets musicians distribute their work in a way such that the customer can choose the cost.
“The average Carleton student would be turned off by us saying, 'Hey, here's this thing that's normally free. Now it's $2,’” Canfield said. “For every person that took it for free, someone else paid $5.”
The journal ended up fully recouping their costs of printing, with still half of the copies left. The Graphic crew is looking forward to taking “SLM” to a convention in New York, and maybe getting it to some indie bookstores. Get a copy while they're still around.
Stoehr and Canfield spoke about their creative habits (Stoehr stays up really late), and both of them said they do their best work when they’re working on a great idea. Many of these ideas come out in the Graphic’s weekly drawing and writing salon at Canfield's room in Asia House, 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Anyone with an idea for a story or a passion for drawing can get involved in the Comics Journal by sending Canfield an email (canfielj) or just showing up to the Comics Salon. Comics are a collaborative process, and the Graphic staff is committed to helping match up writers and artists to make great comics.
The idea is to turn all these ideas and all this creative potential into something real, like a comic about homeless people living in a pirate ship on a pond in a suburban sub-development. That sounds cool.
To read more about The Carleton Graphic, check out the column under Viewpoints.