National Lampoon’s Split Rock

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The fact that Split Rock is closing reminds me of the final act in National Lampoons vacation: when the Griswolds travel all that way only to find out that Wally World is closed. Well, although my travel wasn’t in vain, it still pains me to know that other may have had to wait another year and now know that they’re opportunity is lost. Maybe if those responsible for the closing understood what efforts people took to get to the Split Rock Arts Program, then they wouldn’t disgard it so easily. So let’s start with my story, at least.
Although I’ve been drawing for 15 years, I still consider myself an amateur cartoonist taught by “the self-learning method”of comics strips and graphic novels. They’re were few that I could call “peers in the field”, as other cartooning people I knew did so for fun and had no plans for serious pursuit. Although I searched for like-minded souls in comic book store gatherings, the closest locations only hosted “Magic: The Gathering” Parties and nothing more. Even in college I found only the usual readers (not illustrators/writers) of the superhero genre. What kept me going was my own study of cartoonists, comic artists, and the history and social impact of the craft itself. By the time I graduated, I knew that I was going to have to search long and hard to find formal lessons. I didn’t know how hard it would be. 
The first search was not so successful when I moved back home. Of the region-wide Comic Book stores that had websites, no meetings could be found on their events calendars. Reaching the peak of my frustration, I took a break from the search and focused on my creative writing.
In between writing groups, I travelled through the online branches of database links, collecting as many writing workshop postings as I could. I knew, however that it wouldn’t hurt to peek at the art databases, you know, just in case. In the best stroke of luck, I could not believe what stood out among the droves of watercolor, acrylic and other traditional workshops: Comic Art. With a little financial help from Mom
(and a promise to let her tag along on the trip west) I was on my way to a real structured workshop!
As I conclude this blog, I’m setting up for a Comic Art Meet-up located 3 hours from home. Because it’s the closest one available.  I hope those responsible understand what they’re taking away when they let Split Rock close down.

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