This past weekend was the annual New York Comic-Con, held in New York City, an experience easily worth the $50 ticket and most definitely worth all the homework neglected along the way. During a highlight of the convention, the representative of famous comic artist Alex Ross spoke to the audience about the key to his own success, which entailed making great coffee for his superiors.
What the representative revealed was an accent that indicated he was from the Bronx, as well as his general distain for college professors. “They get paid because they understand theory,” the Bronx representative explained, “But they don’t know from real life experience.” So I couldn’t help but notice how at odds it was with the notion that a professor from RIT was indeed sitting behind a booth at the Comic Con.
This professor was Jason Yungbluth, a familiar face in a strange land, who was selling a creation of his called Weapon Brown, a satirical comic dealing with Sunday morning cartoon strip characters (specifically Charles Schultz’s Peanuts) in a post-apocalyptic setting. Yungbluth teaches Cartooning and Sequential Art at RIT among the Fine and Applied Arts and Crafts courses. Most current is the Advanced Cartooning he is teaching next quarter (spring) on Tuesdays from 6 - 9:50 p.m.
In his career, Yungbluth has worked for the likes of MAD Magazine and created his own series of indie comics. None of his fall quarter cartooning class quite suspected just what he’d been up to in his own professional career, until one day he brought in a page from the comic he was currently working on. Seeing the panels of a post-apocalyptic Charlie Brown plowing through a plethora of other cartoon characters, no one could help but give in to laughter and admit that the guy knew his stuff when it came to the art of comics.
Indeed, in my experience, all who have read Weapon Brown have laughed. Some only had to glance at the cover. For a quick humor litmus test, you can check out some of his artwork for yourself at his website, http://whatisdeepfried.com.
In the past, students have grumbled about the intense workload in Yungbluth’s two credit courses. But, if you have even the slightest inclination of wanting to learn how to cartoon, the “demanding” nature of the class shouldn’t be something to complain about, regardless of how many credits are involved.
In Yungbluth’s courses, you’ll get to create your own cartoon character and change it throughout the quarter, applying the lessons you’ve learned. During class time, you’ll not be bored — as is the nature of cartooning, the class is inherently full of funny.
If his sales at the New York Comic Con are any indicator, Yungbluth’s career as a cartoonist is on the warpath, so to speak. The Advanced Cartooning class remains open for students in the spring quarter. If not filled, the course will be cancelled and it will be a true shame to see such a resource go to waste at RIT.