The Evergreen State College Forty Years Logo

Return to Evergreen - Evergreen's Turning 40
September 19, 2011 - June 15, 2012
The Evergreen State College

Animation, Comics and Graphic Novels: A Great Evergreen Tradition

A fishbowl seminar facilitated by Ruth Hayes, Faculty

College Recreation Center Gymnasium 
Friday, May 18, 2012, 3:30-5:30 pm

Animation, comics, and graphic novels are a great Evergreen tradition dating to the early years of the College.  They are as much a part of Evergreen's  history as the Mods, Red Square, and slugs on the walkway.  Come watch the alumni from each decade across the past 40 years share their common passion in a fishbowl seminar facilitated by faculty member, Ruth Hayes. 

Seminar Participants

Craig Bartlett '81, Animator
Drew Christie '07, Animator & Illustrator
Matt Groening '77, Cartoonist
Megan Kelso '91, Comic Book Artist and Writer
Tommy Thompson '10, Animator
Steve Willis '79, Cartoonist

Seminar Facilitator

Ruth Hayes Headshot
Ruth Hayes 
Faculty, The Evergreen State College

Ruth is an animator, producing in analog and digital media as well as flipbooks and other pre-cinema formats. Her award winning film Reign of the Dog: A Re-Visionist History has been screened internationally and her video Wanda played in The Learning Channel's "Through Her Eyes" series, screened at the 39th Flaherty Seminar and toured with the Black Maria and Women in the Director's Chair Festivals and is featured in the British Animation Awards DVD compilation Desire & Sexuality; Animating the Unconscious. Her flipbooks have been exhibited internationally and are in the collections of the Library of the Museum of Modern Art, UCLA and the University of Washington. She recently completed On Our Way, a digitally animated reflection on the changing landscapes of Western Washington. 


Seminar Participants

Craig Bartlett '81 
AnimatorCraig Bartlett headshot

Craig began his animation career at Portland’s Will Vinton Studios, where he learned the art of stop-motion animation. He moved to Los Angeles in 1987 to work on the Penny Cartoons for “Pee Wee's Playhouse.” He went on to create “Hey Arnold!” for Nickelodeon and “Dinosaur Train for PBS. Although Craig’s kids. Mathias and Kathleen, were born and raised in L.A., both followed him to Evergreen.


Drew Christie headshot
Drew Christie '07
Animator & Illustrator

Drew began making animations when his father granted him full access to the family camcorder at the age of 5. He went on to study film at the Seattle Film Institute and animation at The Evergreen State College, where he graduated from in 2007. His films have played in festivals all over the world including the Sundance Film Festival and his work has been featured in The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, Drawn, Cartoon Brew, and Seattle Magazine among others. He lives and works in Seattle,Washington.


Matt Groening ’77
CartoonistMatt Groening headshot

Matt created the longest-running comedy in television history…The Simpsons. It exploded into a cultural phenomenon in 1990 and has remained one of the most groundbreaking and innovative entertainment franchises, recognizable throughout the world. He followed it with his creation of the hit sci-fi series FUTURAMA, currently one of the top rated shows on Comedy Central. As a cartoonist, Groening began his “Life in Hell” weekly comic strip series in the 1980’s which continues to this day in newspapers nationwide.


Megan Kelso headshotMegan Kelso '91 
Comic Book Artist and Writer

Megan was inspired by the explosion of ’zines, bands and DIY projects. In 1991, she published a minicomic, “Girlhero,” and in 1998, Highwater Books published the best work from “Girlhero” in Queen of the Black Black. Fantagraphics Books published her second short story collection, The Squirrel Mother. In 2007, the New York Times chose Megan to create a strip for the Sunday magazine, “Watergate Sue,” which ran for six months. In 2010, Fantagraphics published her graphic novel, Artichoke Tales.


Tommy Thompson '10
AnimatorTommy Thompson Headshot

Tommy Thompson started his film making career at 14, filming skate videos and directly transferring each shot to his VHS deck for editing. He quickly moved onto non-linear editing and began producing music videos for local bands. At The Evergreen State College, Tommy enrolled in all the intensive media programs offered, where he was introduced to the art form of animation under faculty Ruth Hayes. For his first major production Tommy created the innovative stratastencil animation, Endless Tunnel, which has played in 12 film festivals worldwide. Directly after its completion, he began conceiving High Strung, an ambitious stop-motion film. Working in all aspects of production, from writing to cinematography, his versatile skills allow near-total independence.


Steve Willis '79
CartoonistSteve Willis Headshot

Steve has been drawing cartoons ever since he can remember. He attended Olympia schools, starting with Kindergarten, and culminating with his Evergreen graduation in 1979. He graduated from the University of Washington with a Master’s in Library and Information Science in 1982, a degree he turned into a career. He was also active in the very early years of post-Underground photocopy Comix in the 1970s-1980s. His main cartoon vehicle is a character known as Morty the Dog. Today Steve lives in McCleary, in a 100-year-old house with four cats.




Abby Kelso | Alumni Programs Officer | Call (360) 867-6538 or Email