Earlier today, SCAD Atlanta Professor and Crogan Adventures creator Chris Schweizer announced the 2012-2013 academic year will be his final one teaching at Savannah College of Art and Design Atlanta. As the scholar/writer/artist noted at his own blog, “I love being a teacher, and I love being a cartoonist, and in many ways each helps me be better at the other. But I’ve come to find that I can do neither to the best of my ability without infringing on the time necessary to see the other done to the degree of quality I’d expect of myself.”
The move is not just a decision to stop teaching: Schweizer has also agreed to form a new studio with Chad Thomas (Mega Man) and Jason Horn (Ninjasaur). In conjunction with announcing the decision, Schweizer fielded a few questions from me. As a fellow resident of Atlanta, I have to add, as pleased as I am to know Schweizer will have more time to devote to his craft, I am equally sad to know he will be leaving Atlanta to do it.
Tim O’Shea: Knowing how much you love teaching, how many times did you talk yourself into staying at SCAD?
Chris Schweizer: I know it sounds cavalier, but never. Once I realized that there was a real problem with the regularity of my output, a problem that was only growing as I moved the Crogan projects to color, I had to look for a solution. I often have trouble finding my way through a problem that I’m in, both in writing and in real life, and I find that the best way puzzle out a solution is to not think of it from the standpoint of what to do next, but to decide on the ideal outcome. Once that outcome is in place, it’s much easier for me to determine the path by which to arrive at it. I was surprised that my ideal outcome didn’t leave time for teaching, or have us staying in Atlanta. Once I realized that, there was no real debating, there was only trying to figure out how best to undertake the change. Originally we thought I’d teach for an additional year after this one, to give us plenty of time to sell the house.
This past HeroesCon, I briefly met writer/artist Jason Horn. Stemming from that brief encounter, I learned about his webcomic Ninjasaur ["about a dinosaur who is also a ninja (not the other way around)"]. During this email interview we also briefly dug into another project of his–a continuation of a Norwegian folk tale–Gruff, as well as drawing superheroes for children in the streets of Guatemala (and juxtaposing that with his experience at SDCC). My thanks to Horn for his time and for the opportunity to discuss ninjas and David Lynch in the same sentence.
Tim O’Shea: How did you first come up with the idea of making a dinosaur into a ninja?
Jason Horn: I was at my second FLUKE, a small press convention in Athens Georgia, and I’d had the word Ninjasaur in my head for a few days. I was with my friend, Dean Trippe, who I’d met at FLUKE the previous year, and I told him that I had this word but I didn’t know what it would be. He quickly convinced me to convert that ridiculous word into an awesome webcomic. And, with his help, that’s what I did. Ninjasaur is pretty much just what it sounds like, an absurd comic about a dinosaur ninja that fights people/things while saying something sarcastic.