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Saturday December 18, 2010 4:13 am

Michael Chabon & The MacDowell Colony




Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials, Dark Horse Comics

Kavalier & KlayMichael Chabon, who will always be a nerd favorite for his book The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay (and its spinoff Dark Horse comic book The Escapist), has gotten himself a new gig.

The Pulitzer Prize-winner will take over as the chairman of The MacDowell Colony's board of directors.

He replaces the outgoing chairman, Robert MacNeil, who’s been there since 1993. If that sounds surprising, it shouldn’t. Chabon is a nine-time MacDowell Colony Fellow.

But what is The MacDowell Colony, and doesn’t it sound like an M. Night Shyamalan movie? It’s an artist residency program that’s been going since 1907, headquartered on a “450-acre woodsy estate in Peterborough, N.H.”

Creative types can apply to go up there for a month at a time, give or take, and just devote themselves to their own creativity and see what pops out.

Lunch is delivered to your door, and you don’t have to interact with anyone until dinner. And the program is free if your application is accepted.

E.L. Doctorow, Thornton Wilder, Walter Mosley, Daniel Handler, Stewart O'Nan, Jonathan Franzen and Aaron Copeland have all participated in the past.

Now that Chabon is in charge, it’d be nice if he could use his influence to get a few comic-related people over there and see what they could create in 30 stress-free, people-free, obligation-free days.

People like Joe Sacco. Stan Lee. Matt Fraction. Mark Waid now that he’s freelance. Zach Weiner. Linda Medley. Peter Bagge. Howard Chaykin. Jill Thompson. John Wagner. Paul Pope. Joss Whedon. Carla Speed McNeil. Brendan McCarthy. Gerard Jones. Bryan Lee O’Malley. Neil Vokes. Martin Powell. Steve Leiber. Mike Carey. Evan Dorkin.

Who knows what kind of work they could turn out in 30 days with just a cabin and a computer and food brought to their door. A novel, a comic book series, a screenplay?

Of course, your list may vary...

Congrats to Michael Chabon, and good luck running the colony. Corralling a bunch of creative people in an isolated location has either sitcom or horror movie written all over it. Maybe Wes Craven should apply?

[Artwork: Cover to Kavalier & Clay]

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