For a college now famous for producing so many cartoonists, it sure was hard finding anyone who could act as a faculty sponsor in the 1970s. For my own part, all of my cartooning instructors were English teachers. I never took a course at TESC in graphic art technique. (Some would say, "Yeah, and it shows!") Teachers like Thad Curtz, Josie Reed, Margaret Gribskov, and Peter Elbow taught me about cartooning through the written word, not the drawn line.
This was before the days of affordable photocopying with the ability to reduce and enlarge images on your own. But as a student, I had access to the campus print shop and was able to produce three comix from 1976-1978 as part of my academic work. The second book, An Untitled Portfolio, (pictured here) was produced with the teaching/editing of Thad Curtz. Charles Schulz once said something to the effect that cartooning was a "sort of" art. You had to be sort of good at writing, and sort of good at drawing. Not great, just sort of good. The trick was blending the two together. Thad knew this and sent me in some great directions. A couple years later, Seattle cartoonist Ray Collins told me, confirming Thad's view, that the best way to learn cartooning is to study poetry.
I did have one informal class in art while a student at Evergroove, probably about 1975. I went to the home of a fellow student where his eccentric father had boxes of art clippings throughout the house. When he learned I was a cartoonist he launched into a long (and boozy) lecture on the place of the cartoon in American culture. A modern painter, he said, could use abstraction in a work and hang it in a gallery and the normal Joe on the street would reject it. But the same principles of abstraction, like the squiggle for Charlie Brown's hair, or Nancy's dot eyes, or that incredibly disturbing > symbol for Fred Flintstone's ear, are accepted as, well, normal by normal Joe. As long as cartoons were on the low end of the art chain-of-being, they would maintain their power. But once a cartoonist starts running with the gallery crowd, they might as well crawl in the grave and cover themselves up.
He was funny. He was engaging. He was wearing a t-shirt with ketchup stains on it. It was the best lecture on art I had ever heard. I learned he died shortly after my visit. And you know, I never got his name!