Congratulations to James Kochalka, who has just been picked as Vermont’s first Cartoonist Laureate! (Alaska is the only other State to have picked a Cartoonist Laureate before: Chad Carpenter was recognized in 2008.) The position officially starts March 10, but you can read the official announcement from the Center for Cartoon Studies.
[T]he cartoonist laureate is a person whose primary residence is Vermont, whose work manifests a high degree of excellence, who has produced a critically acclaimed body of work, and who has a long association with Vermont.
Not only is this very cool news for Kochalka, who has created some comics for kids and plenty for adults as well, but I’d say it’s a leap forward for comics geeks. There have always been arguments about the cultural worth of comics, but having a Cartoonist Laureate and a Center for Cartoon Studies shows that Vermont is headed in the right direction.
So, big congrats to both Kochalka and Vermont — and may other cartoonists and states be inspired by this news!