Comics Reporter Tom Spurgeon posts Patrick McDonnell’s commencement speech given to the first graduating class of the Center for Cartoon Studies.
We have a 100-year-plus history. You stand on the shoulders of some true giants. The classic illustrations of Winsor McCay, the poetry of George Herriman, the surrealism of EC Segar, the humanity of Charles Schulz, the power of Jack Kirby, the honesty of Robert Crumb, the autobiofiction of Lynda Barry, the intellectual angst of Art Spiegelman.
Of course they are all artists — in every sense of the word. Great artists. When I was in college this was debated, but now I think it’s understood.
This is a very exciting time to be a cartoonist. Just last year there was a major cartoon art show at Museum of Contemporary Art in LA and another show at the Library of Congress.
Graphic novels are the hottest thing in publishing today, with every literary magazine reviewing them. Many of the blockbusters now in Hollywood are animation. There are opportunities in self-publishing, magazine illustration, children’s books, website and computer game design, movie storyboardsÃ¢â?¬Â¦we live in a totally visual society.
Being a part of the first graduating class of the Center for Cartoon Studies, you are at the forefront of a new and exciting era.