Playing the scribble game is good for you
EAGLE-VAIL – Second and third graders from Avon, Edwards, Meadow Mountain, Red Sandstone and the Eagle County Charter Academy attended an entertaining program at Battle Mountain High School last Friday with two cartoonists from The New Yorker. Cartoonists Harry Bliss and Matt Diffee led interactive and entertaining presentations to show students how art and cartoons are a form of storytelling.
Bliss, who also illustrates children’s books, talked about how he started drawing and how an ideas and sketches evolve into finished cartoons. “The cartoonists got students involved with ‘The Scribble Game’ where a student would come up and draw a scribble. The cartoonist would then create a sketch out of that scribble,” said Melinda Gladitsch, Eagle County School District spokeswoman. Eagle County Charter Academy student Luke Vickerman added: “I liked the scribbles, but I didn’t get to go up.”
On Monday, Bliss visited the Vail Mountain School in East Vail. Joining the crowd of youngsters and parents at the private school were two classes from Red Sandstone Elementary School. Bliss encouraged the students to play the scribble game with one another to exercise their imagination. After his presentation, Bliss signed copies of some of the books he has illustrated, including “Countdown to Kindergarten” by Allison McGhee, “Diary of a Worm” and “Diary of a Spider” by Doreen Cronin, and “Don’t Forget to Come Back “by Robie H. Harris. Bliss grew up in a family of painters in upstate New York and studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the University of the Arts and Syracuse University, from which he received his master’s degree.
Since 1998, Bliss has had his cartoons on 17 covers of the New Yorker. His work has also been printed in Nickelodeon and Archeology magazines.In addition, his one-panel cartoon, “Bliss,” appears in the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Detroit Free Press and the Chicago Tribune. For more information on Harry Bliss, visit http://www.harrybliss.com.The cartoonists’ appearances were part of last weekend’s Humor On the Slopes festival at Beaver Creek. Eight New Yorker cartoonists participated in children’s workshops, panel discussions and a caption competition. The other cartoonists were Bob Mankoff, Ed Koren, Jack Ziegler, Chad Darbyshire, Drew Dernacich and Victoria Roberts.