Faculty Feature: Nicole J. Georges

Our second 2014 CCA MFA in Comics faculty interview shines the spotlight on our First Year Comics Workshop instructor, Nicole J. Georges. 

Her graphic memoir, Calling Dr. Laura, was called “engrossing, lovable, smart and ultimately poignant” by Rachel Maddow, and “disarming and haunting, hip and sweet, all at once” by Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home. We’re thrilled she’ll be joining us in San Francisco this summer! 

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1) You’ve taught comics at both Portland’sIndependent Publishing Resource Center and The Center for Cartoon Studies. What’s your favorite part about working with up and coming cartoonists?

I love being around people who are enthusiastic about cartooning. If someone has a story to tell, I want to help them crack the code to comics. I want to help people write and draw to their fullest potential (because then I get to read all of those great new books). 

2) Congratulations on the recent Lambda nomination for Calling Dr. Laura. What makes comics such a good fit for memoir?

As a cartoonist, I think in words and pictures simultaneously. For me, it’s easier or more efficient to draw a scene from my life than to just write it. In a single panel I can show you what someone looks like, their mood, and their setting, as compared to a written piece where that same information might take a whole page to convey. This was helpful when writing a graphic memoir, because I could jump between stories and eras easily, while always bringing the reader along and sharing a visual language with them. 

3) You recently served as a judge for’s Cartoonist Studio Prize. What are a few books that got you really excited this year?

I fell in love with the books “Sunny”, Volumes 1 & 2, by Taiyo Matsumoto. “Sunny” is a beautifully drawn ensemble cast of children living in a foster care home. Smart and heart-breaking with exquisite attention to detail. Volume 3 should be out soon!

I also enjoyed “Map of Days” by Robert Hunter, “This is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life” by Ulli Lust, “The Property” by Rutu Modan, and “Susceptible” by Genevieve Castree (she is one of my favorite artists).

4) We’re very excited for you to join us in San Francisco this summer. What should our first year students expect when they walk into your workshop?

Students should expect a lot of work. But good work! It will be a high-energy class full of candid discussions, memory-mining exercises, and lessons on story-telling techniques from a variety of visual perspectives. Drawing, reading, and talking are my favorite ways to spend time, and I’m very excited to be joining you in San Francisco to do just that.

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For more information on Nicole’s work:

See you in San Francisco this summer!