Arts

Rhode Island Cartoonist Celebrates 40th Birthday with Drawing Events

Part of Providence Public Library's Adaptive Practices series

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Walker Mettling makes his own silver linings. As his 40th birthday approaches, the Providence-based cartoonist and printmaker has decided to celebrate as only an artist can: by drawing continuously for 24 hours and broadcasting it live for the whole world to see.

Such a whimsical idea deserves a whimsical title: “A Durational & Isolational Birthday Celebrational.” The drawing marathon will take place Wednesday April 29 and an hour-long conversation/reading/Q&A will follow one week later on Wednesday May 6 at 7pm.

“I’m psyched to take one uninterrupted strip of time and selfishly exploit it,” says Mettling. “But also broadcast it as a non-competitive, 24-hour, one-person, reality TV show.”

Mettling is a prolific cartoonist and teacher of comic book art, and he also runs the Providence Comics Consortium. Among his many achievements, Mettling is a past fellow at the Providence Public Library, where he used the special collections as inspiration for an original comic book project.

“PPL reached out to the former and current Special Collections Creative Fellows,” explains Mettling, “and asked us to do projects focusing on the positive aspects of isolation and uncertainty. It’s called Adaptive Practices.”

Mettling isn’t exactly sure what he’ll create during his day-long artistic marathons, but he’s considered creating an original comic book or even a “book of hours” – based on illuminated medieval manuscripts. He will stream his work live on the website Twitch, which is usually dedicated to live video game feeds.

The only thing he knows for sure: “It’ll be on a ton of pages! Maybe I’ll set up clotheslines to hang them up as I go!”

Watch live here

Visit ProvLib.org for details on both events including registration for May 6. For more about Mettling’s work follow along on Instagram @katrillioneyes and Tumblr walkermettling@tumblr.com