BY JEN VAUGHN – This weekend is Portfolio Day at The Center for Cartoon Studies. Prospective students cram into the Colodny for a day of tours, faculty talks and portfolio reviews. Their age range is all over the place, fourteen years of age to fifty. Some don’t want to come to the school but know that they are on the right track with comics.

Burning to tell a story? This is the place to be. Want to learn how to take a sketch from your notebook to a full-developed story bound as a book? This is the place to be.

The place where I am currently is Arizona. Nice, hot and dry. A weekend with the family explaining what the hell it is that a cartoonist does, I came prepared with copies of my own comics, anthologies and books I’ve illustrated from other companies. What I did not expect was a rather shared knowledge of Tintin. We’re from Tornado Alley. The Schmeckpeper family likes all things theatrical but I was one of the few to follow it to comics and cartooning. Everyone knew about Tintin, some of the books and the movie.


As I checked into my hotel, I found this business card insert with my key and a *special* do-not-disturb sign featuring Tintin, Snowy and our favorite drunk captain. MYSTERY SOLVED.

If only I could leave some of these delicious parodies i09 collected out for them (especially the 2001 R. Sikoryak’s “Prisoners of the Red Planet” that ran in Wired). While many are skeptical about the upcoming Tin Tin movie, I cannot recommend Tintin and the Golden Fleece enough! This 1961 release (filmed in the late 50’s) featured Jean-Pierre Talbot as the boy reporter (you know, you can’t tell if he is 18 or 30). With Captain Haddock and trusty dog, Snowy, they easily slide from country to country to country in a fantastic mystery that was not actually adapted from an Herge comic but written specifically for the silver screen. Child-proofing may make a nice family film for the December release of The Adventures of Tin Tin but don’t be afraid to rent an old-school badass of a film.

Jen Vaughn is a freelance writer, cartoonist and skeptic. Email her for a good drawing time.