by Jamie Coe
Daniel Stope is a small-town guy with dreams of becoming an artist. His enrollment at art school and subsequent move to the city opens up a world of possibilities. Unsurprisingly, Daniel struggles with his newfound independence—the difficulties of big city dating and making new friends. Jamie Coe's tale is a visually powerful graphic novel that covers familiar ground with an enthralling approach.
To say that I loved Jamie Coe's Art Schooled would be an understatement. This book was fantastic from start to finish and I found myself enjoying it on many different levels. The story itself was great because it is a kind of "coming of age" story told about someone who is moving to college. The newness and weirdness that is college - actually, with weirdness amplified because it is about going to art school! That was another aspect of the book I enjoyed because I had a minor in Drawing when I was doing my Psychology degree. Being a part of that culture, even for just a little while, is quite a trip. I found myself reminiscing about those days as I read Art Schooled. As much as we don't want to admit it, stereotypes do and will exist and Art Schooled showcases the most popular ones in the art school world.
The other aspect I enjoyed was the art style itself. I am a big fan of R. Crumb and the work in the Harvey Pekar books, so I found myself really enjoying this style of illustration. Daniel is a likable character because he could be any of us - trying to figure it out with this new independent life.
Read it because it's awesome! There is some "nudity" in the book - but trust me when I say, this book describes the truth that is art school. It's a fantastic work and I look forward to seeing more of Coe's work.
About the Author
Jamie Coe is a recent graduate from Central Saint Martins, London. He has worked on commissions for Foyles, illustrated political cartoons for the Gateway, and is the author of the short comic House of Freaks. He lives in London, England.