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FalCon brings attention to comic, graphic and animation arts on campus

In planning the event, Weiss wanted to keep students at the center of activities, allowing submissions for an “Artist’s Alley.” The five students exhibiting their work ranged from freshman to graduate students, and came from majors in painting, education, studio art, animation and art history.

David Osgood, displayed his art on one table while introducing attendees to the Animation Club at another. As club president, Osgood spoke on how formative being a member has been, especially in introducing him to his best friends and advancing career skills.FalCon gave different disciplines the “opportunity to overlap,” Osgood said, adding that animation was a “source of joy and creativity every week.”“It’s important for students to discover these clubs that might match their interest you need to be able to find your people, be creative with them.”Olivia Marchione, a freshman, exhibited her painted and drawn works, but also attended to see “what other people are doing.”“It’s good to get clued in,” she said.

During the first talk of the day, author James Cambias read a chapter from his third book, “Arkadys World” and answered questions from members of the audience.Prior, Cambias tabled alongside student organizations to talk to students one-on-one about his career and interest in science fiction, as well as offer advice.
“I heard about this event at the very last minute,” Cambias said, explaining that his wife was an adjunct professor on the UMass campus. A Louisiana native, Cambias now works from Deerfield, Mass.“We’re in a very interesting time right now,” Cambias said about the science fiction genre, noting the increased number of independent publishers and new markets. “The whole secret is you have to write something”Gary Hallgren, a local illustrator and comic artist from Granby, Mass. spoke at 1 p.m. about his career spanning from “alternative hippie comic books” to the nation’s most prestigious publications.

Currently, Hallgren ghosts the popular comic strip “Hagar the Horrible.”In the Digital Media Lab, Ian Walls of web services and emerging technologies at UMass Libraries ran an activity for students to pose in front of a green screen that could become a variety of science fiction themed backgrounds.Walls became involved in the planning committee to show that the library isn’t just “that big tall building in the middle of campus.”“People don’t always know we have things other than books,” Walls said.A seven-year employee of UMass, he added that FalCon would be the last event he helped with before leaving for the private sector.“I really appreciate the energy and passion that students have for the work they do,” Walls said.“It’s a bright note, an upswing, to see [FalCon] come to fruition.”“I hope I can come back next year as a community member,” he said.

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