Former MAD Magazine artist gives an insider look into his work
Lorene Johnson Gratton, a long-time Roswell Museum and Art Center member, bequeathed funding to the RMAC Foundation for annual workshops with professional artists in the areas of drawing, painting, printmaking or sculpture. The Gratton workshops are open to both paying students and those with a financial need who require a scholarship to participate.
Coming up is a two-day Gratton comic workshop, “Creating Comics About Your Life,” which is led by artist Christopher Baldwin. Baldwin is a renowned cartoonist and graphic novelist, who has been posting comics regularly online since 1996 and has self-published more than 20 comic collections and graphic novels. The artist is originally from Greenfield, Massachusetts. He said that he started drawing comic strips around age 5 and comic books around age 12.
Baldwin was a regular contributor to MAD Magazine, and his graphic novel, “Little Dee and the Penguin,” was published in 2016 by Penguin/Dial books, and “Willowweep Manor,” a graphic novel co-created with Shaenon Garrity, is due out in 2020 through Simon & Schuster.
One of the most unique characteristics of Baldwin’s art is that he is versatile in being able to draw in old-school pen and ink, crow quill and using brush techniques on top of working digitally. His humor and ability to tell stories switches easily from child-appropriate comics, such as “Little Dee” to his new adult graphic series “Spacetrawler,” that portraits a world with rather snarky characters that are thrown into a universe full of aliens, abducted humans and a kangaroo that talks in the third person. The dry humor unites them — if they want to or not. Baldwin also uses his art form as a way to keep memories, documenting his experiences as a visual diary.
Baldwin’s work showed in the “What, Me Worry? 60 years of MAD” exhibition at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, and he has work in their permanent archive, as well as in the archive of the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art. He will also be included in an exhibition at the National Academy of Sciences in March 2020.
Baldwin’s workshop, “Creating Comics About Your Life,” takes place Sept. 28 and 29 at the Roswell Museum and Art Center, 1011 N. Richardson Ave., on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at email@example.com.