This weekend, Nikki, my mom, and I went to go visit the School of Visual Arts in NYC, as a school with a major in comics! It was really an interesting experience.
The real meat of the day started with a powerpoint talk by the director of the Cartooning program at SVA, Thomas Woodruff. He was really frank and charismatic, and I enjoyed the talk! I also enjoyed learning about the faculty. As far as I'm concerned, the professors of the Cartooning department, as far as I'm concerned, are rock stars!
Just a few names (of the MANY professors) that stick out to me: Jillian Tamaki (Skim, Gilded Lilies) David Mazzucchelli (ASTERIOS POLYP!!, Batman: Year One) Yuko Shimizu (she's done a lot of really beautiful comic covers) Becky Cloonan (DEMO, American Virgin).... for a full list check out this page!
On top of that, they gave out some AWESOME publication swag at this thing. Even the course catalog was pimped out with stickers and a heat-sensitive cover that would reveal itself when you put your warm hands on it.
The comics in the student works book were pretty good! Like any student works book, not everything was great, but there were definitely some comics in there that stood out, and I was really happy to take all these books home with me!
If this school was in a relaxed little suburb or a small college town or out in the country, I would not think twice about making SVA my #1 first choice. But, SVA is in New York City. And thing about New York City is... I really hate it.
First of all, living there is really expensive. We had a little tour of the dorms...
This drawing is generous. These dorm rooms were TINY. Each roommate has to pay like $12,000+ which is just ridiculous. But getting an apartment on your own probably wouldn't be much better!
Although the facilities of the school were fairly nice on the inside, they were way too far apart! I feel like I would have to start endurance-training if I were to be able walk up the many stairs and get to all my different classes.
And the city itself... I just can't even consider living it New York City for even a small amount of time. I wouldn't even want to take a week-long vacation there. I'm really just too stressful a person to deal with such a fast-pace way of life. As for my clumsy cutie, I have a feeling she wouldn't be too keen on riding the subway every day...
I would love for someone to explain to me why the ENTIRE CITY SMELLS LIKE SOMEONE PEED ON IT!?
Seriously. Elevators, trains, benches, sidewalks, just EVERYTHING IS COVERED IN PEE IN THIS CITY. I'm the kind of person who has to use hand sanitizer after touching the stability bars in the subway... if I dropped something on the street I would probably just leave it there, thats just how gross I feel in NYC!
So, even though I really love the school itself, the location pretty much totally rules it out for me. It's a shame too, because if I could find myself being taught by Jillian Tamaki I'd probably faint with excitement! But only a few hours in NYC made us suburbanites crazy on the ride home...
If you're a comic kid from a big city or someone who likes a fast-paced and gritty life, I would 100% totally point you to SVA, because it seems really awesome! But for Nikki and I, we just don't think it's a good fit.