Anyone who knows Senior Quinn Thomson also knows that he is a unique and gifted individual. So when it came to Quinn’s college choice, it came as no surprise that Quinn would blaze his own, unique path. Forsaking the traditional road, Quinn has been accepted by the Center for Cartoon Studies (“CCS”) in White River Junction, VT in the fall. The Center for Cartoon Studies offers a Master of Fine Arts degree, both one and two-year certificate programs, as well as summer programs, and is "the only college-level training program of its kind in the United States."
Each term, roughly 14 well known cartoon artists and others in the field come to CCS as visiting faculty and guest lecturers. The visiting faculty lecture, critique, and discuss with students of the school the student work and their own. A senior Thesis is required at the Center, which usually involves the creation of a full scale graphic novel or a full year's worth of work.
Quinn’s passion for telling stories through graphic novels began in eighth grade. Before that, he thought he would likely be a mathematician or work in theoretical physics. Asked why the switch, Quinn says, ”I have always enjoyed drawing, but its probably the product of an over active imagination. There are just so many things running around up here (pointing to his head). ” Something that he did for fun became a passion. “Once the monkey was out of the barrel….”
At Dublin, Quinn was able to develop and deepen his skills working closely with art teacher Earl Schofield. The arts program and the “super supportiveness” of the community was key to Quinn being able to take his passion to another level, “ I don’t think I could have flourished in a place where comics were not considered real art…”
While he has developed a number of characters and storylines over the last four years, his newest may be the most unique. Named “The Unlikely Hero”, she appeared to Quinn one night as he was going to bed. She was compelling enough that he had to commit her to paper before he fell asleep.
The Unlikely Hero doesn’t fit the traditional idea of what you see in comic books. Instead of the hyper muscular, masculine superhero, The Unlikely Hero is short, a little chubby - a normal person of the type that you might look past. Quinn’s point in developing the character is that “real heroics don’t come from outside. Heroism comes from inside….” As Quinn talks about The Unlikely Hero it's obvious that he has lived with this character for long enough that she is close to being real. “As you add more and more detail… they become people, not just an element to move the story forward. They are almost like real people sometimes. It's one of the good things that comes from imagination…”
His advice for others that may want to pursue his path? “Keep drawing, keep imagining. Eventually great things will happen.”