Zubby Newsletter #31: Big Jam

Twice a year, Character Design instructor Jim Graves organizes a drawing meet-up he calls Sketch Jam. Instructors and students from Seneca’s art programs hang out, draw for fun, and socialize. It started in late 2004 with a couple instructors and approximately a dozen students and has continued ever since. No marks, no assignments, just making art for fun.

We haven’t had a big Sketch Jam meet-up since Covid and I could tell Jim was worried it was going to fade away so I beat the drum hard last week, encouraging current students, especially our new first years, to make an appearance and be part of the tradition.

On Saturday, the students came out in force and it was amazing.

The 2023 Fall Sketch Jam crew walk to Union Station before heading to the pub.

At least 40 students and alumni showed up at St. Lawrence Market for afternoon sketching and more than double that met up with us at the pub after for After-Jam drinks and celebration.

I enjoyed college and made a lot of friends while busting away on my drawing and storytelling skills, but there aren’t many of my profs I would have wanted to spend time with outside of their required lectures. The fact that so many of these students and grads come out in droves to hang out with us, year after year, kind of blows my mind.

They tell us about their work and creative projects, they regale us with their victories and setbacks, they wax nostalgic about their time in Seneca’s Animation program and how much they miss being on campus.

I joke that they’re our “kids”, even though they’re adults, but it’s even more surreal when they bring their own kids to celebrate with us-

Lynn and Andrew met at Seneca and have been married for ten years.
Now they have two beautiful daughters. I’m proud and feel absolutely ancient.

It’s my 19th year teaching at Seneca, so there are 16 years worth of grads out in the industry, creating art and telling stories. When I have a moment to think about that, and when I see first hand how excited they are to reconnect – it fills my heart right up.

Killer Comics

Speaking of former students, David Yu is one of them and he has a new comic coming from Scout called TOTAL PARTY KILLER arriving in comic shops late December.

I’ve read the full story and it’s a ton of fun, especially if you play tabletop or video game RPGs.

Killer Art

Speaking of former students, Jorge Molina is one of them and he has a new Patreon where he shows off the illustration and design techniques that have made him a top notch artist for Marvel and DC.

Bound in Black Stone – The Conclusion!

CONAN THE BARBARIAN #4 arrives in comic shops tomorrow, on Wednesday, October 25th, wrapping up the first story arc of this bold new era. I’m nervous and excited to hear what people think.

Once issue 4 arrives, readers will have a complete ‘mission statement’ for the new Conan series and Heroic Signatures imprint and can let us know via social media or by emailing chainmail@conan.com if we delivered the goods:

  • Grand mythmaking
  • Visceral storytelling
  • New stories with respect for the past

Links and Other Things

I hope your week is going well!

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