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Monday, October 24, 2005


Kochalkaholics Anonymous

Around the same time the Mountain violently thrust itself out of the digital mantle, Alan David Doane of longtime (in net years, anyway) comix site Comic Book Galaxy started Kochalkaholic, a blog dedicated to the work of Vermont cartoonist James Kochalka.

Author of the daily diary comic American Elf, SuperF*ckers and about 1,000 other wonderful, funny, sometimes frustrating comics, Kochalka is an amazing creative force—and a unique voice in the world of independent comics. His work, infused with a DIY joy, agressively rejects the cynicism, terminal mopiness and studied detatchment of the AltComix All-Stars (you know their names; they all listen to ragtime 78s and wear their grandfathers' underwear). For its part, Kochalkaholic has quickly proven itself a invaluable resource for Kochlaka fans. Particularly interesting are Doane's interviews with various people in James' life—which means invariably, his comics. His most recent interview is with Josie Whitmore, a student at the new Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont*. Like many of other prominent cartoonists in the Green Mountains, Kochalka is part of the faculty at this two-year graphic novel arts school. It's an interesting interview, not least of all because it helped my gauge my comic geek patheticism: yes, I was slightly bugged when the girl called her first comic "Cap’n Carrot and his Crunch-A-Carrot Crew." It's Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew.

Clearly, I need help. (And now that I think about it, her title is better.)

*I grew up about 10 miles from WRJ, and lived there for six months before I got married in 1994. I remember it as cloudy much of the time...or maybe White River is just grayer than other Vermont towns. If my impressions are any guide, upon opening this fall CCS instantly became the most interesting thing there.

You know, I thought about correcting the Captain Carrot reference, then decided it was too geeky to bother with it. I honestly didn't think anyone else would even notice.

Thanks for the coverage, Cole!
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