Sunday, January 31, 2010


On Wednesday, January 27th the Sequential Students at SCAD-Lacoste rose early in the morning and enthusiastically gathered at our bus for departure to the town of Angouleme - home of the International Festival of BD, a yearly event. As you can see, everyone was happy (ha!) to be up at 7:00 a.m.

It was icy and there was snow on the ground from the previous evening. Very eerie looking.

Not one of these students had ever been to this festival, so it was a great opportunity for all of them to wet their feet at one of the biggest festivals centered on comic books in the world.

It was still raining when we arrived in Angouleme and everyone still looked really happy. This photo is actually from Thursday, the 28th of January when we were going for our first day of the actual festival. Madame Geraldine Zannier of ECMA met us at the parking area and took us to the museum of BD - Comic Art. It was a very cool experience.

We went to see the French artist FRED in the afternoon of day one. There was no translator and I had hoped that they would show graphics of his art as a way to help the students with their attention. But there were no graphics and we had about an hour and a half of French that no one understood.

My fault.

I appreciate that the Event Organizer for the festival, Marie-Noelle Bas set up the seats for us at this event. I was mistaken about how much we might be able to get from the "encounter" as they call it. He was a very pleasant man. His work (when we could see the books held up) is interesting. I wish that we could have understood more.

We also had an encounter with the animation school of ECMA and were given a copy of their WHITE ALBUM that shows a selection of their best animated shorts. An animator named TIM had two shorts on the album and they were fantastic. The school was very nice to us and very gracious with their time.

All of the events on Wednesday took up most of the day so that we had very little time to go to the actual festival on the first day. We were able to go to a vernissage/opening of an art show for the Maison Auteurs - a building set up for the availability of economical art studio space so that artists can work on their projects in a comfortable environment.

It was a very neat set up and we met an artist who was an animator. She was quite good.

Finally, as a tribute to SCAD-Savannah Faculty member Dove McHargue I took this photo of Corto Maltese, the statue. The moon was so neat right over his head.

Be jealous, DOVE!!!

Love from France-


First - AVIGNON!!

On Tuesday of last week, my TRAVEL PORTFOLIO class went to Avignon for a bit. Bitter cold and stout winds made it hard to work or photograph anything (I almost had my camera blown out of my hands), but it is a beautiful town. We went mainly to the exterior of the Palace of the Popes. We will be visiting the interior (with my letter from SCAD certifying me as an Art History Professor - wow!) on February 9th. Let's hope it warms up some by then.

The wall around the town was built to protect the pope and the palace. It's pretty cool.

Class Members: Sarah Desrossiers, Grace Allison, Peter Larvan (our intrepid and freezing driver and guide), Jolie Menzel, Kyle Maurey, Angela Falvey, Jennifer Bickford, Nick LeBruyne, John Waluskiewicz, Allison Horner, Whitney Leopard (yes, she IS cold, too), Jen Keith, Missy Pena and Margo Nelson

All having more fun than a barrel of monkeys in a refrigerator!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The SCAD-Lacoste CAT!!

Hi all-
Here's the SCAD-Lacoste cat. She climbs all over the place and meows and purrs and generally has adopted all of us at this end of the campus. She ADORES Professor Daniel Brown. She has climbed into his apartment here many times. She was waiting for me in the doorway across from my apartment one morning - meowing away at me.
Yesterday she was perched on the post that is part of the gates going up to Pitot (the rooms - I'm in Daniel behind all of this) and I tried to photograph her ... and instead caught her in a great action shot!!

27 pages of plot done. More to come by Friday.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Travel Portfolio Trip: FONTAINE de VAUCLUSE

For my Travel Portfolio class, today we went to the small, but beautiful French Village of Fontaine de Vaucluse which is 30 minutes NW of the Lacoste campus. It's a very unique town that has a river (which is very active right now thanks to melting snow - yeah, that snow from earlier) which runs right down the side of it. The most unique part is that this river is fed from a huge spring at the bottom of a cave (which no one has been able to find the bottom of yet - manned or unmanned mission). The pool at the source seems so calm, yet within 10 feet of that pool start the roaring rapids - going downhill and past the town.

It's all very beautiful as you can see.

The shot of me by the water wheel is from a bridge/street that crosses right over the water and into the main part of the town.

These two shots are from the pool - the source - at the top of the hill.

Surrounding the village and water are the coolest cliffs and caves. and some very neat looking stalagmite formations on the face of the cliffs. The rock around here in France is so worn and old and just plain neat looking that you know you're in a place that has magic.

There's a chateau of some sort that you can see on the top of the rock formations here. In the one shot, students in my class - Angela Falvey and Nick DeBruyne - are looking up at this amazing wonder of nature.

It's just so cool. If Sue were here, it would be perfect.

We will be going back there some time later in the quarter. I'm sure that the water won't be running quite so intensely. This land is beautiful. How can you not appreciate this?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My FRENCH DUCK Experience!!!

Went to L'isle sur la Sorgue today and met a French duck.

He didn't quack in French.



Friday, January 15, 2010

Beautiful places that are very OLD!

Living in the US, we have no idea what old really is. 200 years old is a miracle in the US, but that's just a baby here in France. While in Lacoste, I can't help but think about all the people who've been by the buildings I look at.

And yesterday, we went to a church in Bonnieux that was built in the 1100's, but it also had a sacrificial altar (glad we don't do that anymore) from the 7th or 8th century. It was slick with wear and age and I got to touch it.

I'm enclosing a photo of my TRAVEL PORTFOLIO class inside the church with our pleasant tour guide and keeper of the key, Monsieur Vincent Gils. I did an ink drawing of a nativity scene inside the chapel that he had made at age 14. I had the whole class sign it and we presented it to him as a gift for taking time to open the church for us. That's the drawing that he's holding in his hands in the group photograph. It was a marvelous trip and it was great to be indoors yesterday since the winds were blowing mercilessly all around.

It was still very cold - even inside the chapel, though.

Today was very calm and beautiful ... and MUCH warmer. Much more what everyone would like it to be like around here every day.

Education is happening ... even with all the fun. It's pretty cool to be over here.

Hey! On Wednesday, I FINALLY BROKE THE ICE AND STARTED DOING THE PANEL TO PANEL PLOT FOR MY GRAPHIC NOVEL. And I got 20 pages plotted. The story is flowing out nicely. I am going to work more on that this weekend. I'll let you all know how it goes. Thanks for all the support regarding my work.

More to come-

Saturday, January 9, 2010

MORE SNOW with all the Students Here!!

No trip to Apt for supplies today. Too much snow. The group shot is of our first breakfast all together. It's very cold and still snowing, but not all that much. Probably about 8" has fallen, but it's getting beaten down so much that it's not anywhere close to that thick.

The students are bored.

But they at least have computer access. The can Facebook themselves to death!!!!

Some really good kids here. It seems like a fun group. We should be really productive and have some good fun while doing it.

More later.


Friday, January 8, 2010

SNOW in Lacoste!!!

It looks beautiful , BUT ....

the students are due today. All of the buses were canceled, so SCAD is driving vans back and forth from Marseille all day today as we get our charges to the campus.

Hopefully no busted butts!!

Vive' la France!!


Six and a half hours later:
Guess who slipped on ice and whacked his tail bone pretty well?
You BET!!
It was me.
I'm just sore. Nothing busted.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tom Lyle Passed His Driving Test In France Today

Here's Nicola ... my test manager.
He wasn't TOO scared driving with me.

Students are coming tomorrow.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Hey all-
I'm in Lacoste, France for 9 weeks teaching for SCAD this quarter. I've had a TON of meetings so far this week and today we went driving for about 90 minutes and actually got to explore a bit.


I'm working hard, but it is France after all, so it can't be all bad.

Here's an assortment of pictures around the village of Lacoste.
The one of my cat is back in the US. Pursia wanted to come with me.
I had to settle for a photo.