Spotlights
Noah Cutwright: Budding cartoonist at Lansdowne High
11/7/12

Spotlight

"I think I first developed an interest in art when I was a kid and I couldn't color inside the lines of a coloring book. I think that's when I realized I wanted to create my own lines, so that's just what I did." – Noah Cutwright

In addition to providing a forum for information exchange and community expression, Lansdowne High School's newspaper, The Rurik, serves as a showcase for student artwork including that of junior Noah Cutwright, who routinely submits comic strips for inclusion in both the printed and online editions.

Although Cutwright officially joined The Rurik staff at the start of the 2012-2013 school year, he approached the paper about publishing his comics over a year ago. "He didn't come to me with an idea for a strip, or a character or two he drew once; he had a whole series ready to go!" says Brandon Nicklas, Lansdowne High's televideo, multimedia, and photojournalism advisor.

Last school year, The Rurik integrated several strips from Cutwright's original comic The Carsons in each of its published editions. The Carsons details the life of Steve Carson, a cartoonist who forgoes his artistic interests in order to support his family.

"My first inspiration for art had to be Walt Disney and all of his wonderful classic films," declares Cutwright. "Today, I'm still inspired by all of the classic Disney and Pixar films, but a huge current inspiration is Matt Groening, and particularly his creation of The Simpsons." He continues, "I love the characters, the social satire, but especially the heart that comes with some of the best episodes."

When Cutwright is not tending to The Carsons, he sets his attention to Doggie, Cammy, & Mousy, a film he is producing with friend Demetrick McDonald. Their film follows the stories of Cammy, a young girl whose creativity receives society's scorn; Doggie, a powerful wizard's magical creation; and Mousy, an egotistical and contemptuous mouse. On the run from Dogomus, an evil creature that intends to manipulate Doggie's powers to eliminate the human race, Doggie and Mousy become allies with Cammy, who provides them with protection.

While Cutwright holds primary proprietorship over Doggie, Cammy, & Mousy, he is quick to pay due respects to his co-collaborator, "He [McDonald] always tells me, 'Dude, Doggie, Cammy, & Mousy is all yours; you created that all by yourself.' And, while that is true, I genuinely believe that the film wouldn't be the same without the distinctive mark he has left on it, specifically through his story and dialogue suggestions and distinctive voice-work."

Cutwright, who also attended Hernwood Elementary School and Deer Park Middle Magnet School, seeks to pursue a career in art. "I hope to attend the California Institute of Art one day," he says. "It is a school built by Walt Disney and his brother, Roy, which many of my favorite animators attended. I hope to one day work for Walt Disney Animation Studios, but my dream is to open my own studio to produce my own animated films for the world to see and love."
Aside from being the first contributing artist of The Rurik's online newspaper, Cutwright also writes movie reviews for The Rurik's printed publication and blog entries for his personal Web site.

Katherine Showalter, Lansdowne High's journalism advisor, anticipates the realization of Cutwright's goals—both artistic and otherwise. "The staff is thrilled with his ability and success…," she says. "His focus is key to his success, and I'm confident that he will achieve even more notoriety in the future."

To see Cutwright's comics, visit http://tinyurl.com/cqlazqs.

Story written by Blake Lubinski, intern in the BCPS Office of Communications and a senior at Towson High School.
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