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Cartoon College, directed by Josh Melrod and Tara Wray

2 out of 4 stars

Cartoon College
Directed by
Josh Melrod, Tara Wray

The Center for Cartoon Studies, operating out of the economically depressed town of White River Junction, Vermont, is an MFA-granting graduate program for promising cartoonists and graphic novelists. In these students, the filmmakers are blessed with subjects who are outsiders and misfits, and have compelling stories to tell. The documentary also features a who's who of the graphic novel world, with appearances by Art Spiegelman, Lynda Barry, Chris Ware and others. But with so many (pardon the term) characters, Cartoon College fails; it's impossible to have a meaningful connection to any of them – although the filmmakers come close in the case of Al, who at 61 is the oldest student ever admitted to CCS; and Jen, the always-cheerful over-achieving workhorse whose thesis project is a series of comics about menstruation.

Sept. 29, 2:50 pm Granville 1; Oct. 4, 3:20 pm Granville 5; Oct. 5 6:30 pm, Pacific Cinémathèque

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