One of the perks of being in White River Junction when I am is that Lynda Barry was here for a couple of days doing a workshop with the students. Last night there was a bit of an afterparty with Ms. Barry at the bar which Caitlin and I could go to (we weren’t invited to the workshop, being librarians as opposed to cartoonists).
Lynda’s a very good talker and it’s kind of neat to listen to a person who’s famous talking about her friends and acquaintances who are people who’ve always just been names in books (like Charles Burns, Ira Glass and Matt Groening). People were interested in the gossip, sure, but there was also talk about the notion of language and culture being a part of biological evolution, synchronicity and all sorts of good stuff. She sketched a sleeping dog while she was talking.
I stayed out of it mostly, after a couple of Canada references at the beginning. I mean, the students are the ones who’re there to learn from her, to soak up her methods and whatever. I’m just the librarian intern. Not “just.” It’s actually really fun to have such a specific role in town here. Caitlin introduces me as “her intern from Canada” and yeah. Since I’m here a short time, being pigeon-holed is exactly what I want. It makes interaction easier. I have an in to just sit there and listen to people talk about linework and getting their pages done and I really enjoy it. It’s all so much more interesting than geeking out on tagging or social media or whatever crap I animatedly talk about after school with a couple of beers in me. (Do I talk about library stuff when that happens? Maybe I don’t.)
It was also pretty funny because last night was also 50¢ wings night at the bar, so it was packed (evidently they used to be 25¢ wings and they needed to thin out the crowds a bit by doubling the price) with regular townsfolk, who for the most part are distinguishable from the cartoonists. One of the students was talking about coming out the door and a bunch of guys were driving by yelling “Woo! We’re gonna go fuck some chicks! Fuck’em! Woo!” Those guys were not cartoonists.art caitlin canada cartoonists charles burns discussion geek gossip intern ira glass librarians linework lynda barry matt groening pages practicum social media tagging white river junction wings