A Denizen of Big Midwestern City

I’ve recently made a shift in my professional life to focus more on work related to my passion for comics and essays by creating a series of cartoonographic essays that look at topics in film and media studies (I’ve been developing these essays over the past 10 years while teaching media and visual communication at a small liberal arts college in the San Francisco Bay Area). I’d like to publish some of this work in print, but I’m using this site as a way to archive what I’ve worked on in the past and to feature in digital form some of what I’m working on now.

What I’m currently working on:

Big Midwestern City: Shocking Tales from the Avant-garde

David Kowalski Cheers on the Avant-Garde

This is a graphic novel that tells stories from my days as an art student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1980s. It’s not really a memoir since it focuses on other people mostly, but it does function as a memory book of sorts and it seeks to understand the avant-garde as it was configured in a specific city at a specific time. I’ll be posting sketches and such from the project as I develop the pages. Right now, I’ve roughed out about a third of the overall page count.

Major Arcana: Random Encounters with Celebrity

Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn near the Whitney Museum
The Whitney Museum in NYC
Large Scale Heroic Expressionism at the Whitney

Over the years I’ve met a few celebrities mainly because I’ve lived a large portion of my life in California with side trips to New York. I’ve used stories related to these celebrity encounters over the years in my teaching about media and it seemed like it might be worth writing them down and adding a few illustrations. It’s also an Oubapo (the comics wing of Oulipo) work of a sort since it has a playful rule structure that I’m following in creating the micro-essays and prose poems that serve for the bulk of the work.

The Green Valise: A Portfolio

Krakow John: Doctor Faustus, a video

Finally, I’m working on a recreation of my past work – most of it destroyed in various rain related disasters – in comic book form. This is a periodic project and will mostly appear on this site as ephemeral posts of past stuff I’ve done, but as cartoons. Probably a never ending project and a bit obsessive to boot.