Every year I go to MoCCA Fest with a new shopping objective, based on whatever I’m interested in and in the mood for that particular year. Sometimes I like to pick up books with great design, or hefty graphic novels, or maybe something completely different, like t-shirts or vinyl records (one year I even bought a card game). This year my focus was minicomics, which are a nice low-cost way to meet new artists. I especially focused on titles that were $1, which is how I was introduced to One Place, One Cheese: Making Vermont’s Real Cheese by Josh Kramer.
One Place, One Cheese documents a visit to Thistle Hill Farm in Pomfret, Vermont, where John and Janine Putnam make Tarentaise cheese. Kramer documents the process of making a wheel of cheese, illustrating the various steps, from milking all the way to the aging room, where the cheese wheels will rest for up to a year before being sold. The drawings are simple, but detailed enough to convey the process, and the narrative is told in a straightforward, non-opinionated manner. As Kramer states on the final page, “This comics is neither fiction nor autobiography. It is a work of journalism.”
This comic is but a “taster” of what Kramer has in store for the world, having also released the first issue of his Cartoon Picayune, a comic format periodical featuring journalistic stories. Josh actually studied journalism at American University, which makes him one of the few actual trained journalists in comics journalism. The first issue of Cartoon Picayune features a story about the Hanover High School ski jumping team, and is available in print and PDF from the website. He hopes to publish issue #2 in September.