- ILLUSTRATIONS: MAREK BENNETT
Cartoons are visually appealing and communicate quickly and accessibly — and not just to kids. A couple of ambitious adult projects in Vermont are currently using the compelling qualities of cartoons to tell the stories of people who might otherwise be voiceless.
In White River Junction, two institutions central to the culture of that town — the Center for Cartoon Studies and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center — have teamed up on the Cartoonist Veteran Project. Meanwhile, in Middlebury, the Open Door Clinic and the Vermont Folklife Center are working with local cartoonists to convey the experiences of migrant farmworkers in Vermont. That project is called “El viaje más caro/The Most Costly Journey.”
Funded in part by a $15,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Cartoonist Veteran Project allows for a rare crosstown collaboration. Several CCS students are currently at work illustrating the stories of local veterans. The project began in February, when CCS invited vets to meet cartoonists, learn about the language of comics and participate in the process.