Douglas Laubacher '13

Major: Fine Art & English
Job Title: Minerva, OH

I draw a comic strip called “Unbound” which currently runs in both the Tuscarawas County Bargain Hunter and Wooster Weekly. I also have a regular clientele of libraries and institutions where I teach comics and cartooning classes, including the Tuscarawas County Center for the Arts and Malone University. 

MY EXCEPTIONAL STORY

Natural Transition 
I chose Mount Union because it was close enough to home to commute to and offered the traditional Fine Art program I wanted to study. It also presented me with the opportunity to sort of naturally transition into college and still continue the liberal arts education I received in high school.

Sense of Community
I think the sense of community is what makes Mount Union, Mount. If other Mount graduates find out where you went to school, there's this real sense of comradery. It’s difficult to do it justice in words; you need to see it for yourself.

Outside Opportunities 
I recently had the opportunity to go to Quebec and study art for a month at the incredible Imaginism House Workshop and because the workshop is meant to scale to your skill level, I got that much more out of it because I already had a fine art background. I would encourage anybody coming out of art school to continue to look for opportunities to grow, be it grad school, workshops, or even just talking with other working artists. Everyone is different; find what works for you.

Liberal Arts Advocate 
People may be surprised to hear that something like cartooning could further solidify my advocacy of the liberal arts, but it has. Comics exist at this intersection between the visual arts and writing and I feel pretty vindicated in my choice of major and minor. It’s even proven useful in the long run to have explored classes outside of those fields, like philosophy and business. Philosophy helps give you something to say. Business is business.

Staying Connected
I’ve been known to make random appearances in the art department and I’ve attended a Schooler Lecture or two since graduating. I have a sister who also attended Mount Union so we have a pretty big group of friends and acquaintances that just kind of organically keep us connected to the school.

Lifetime Goal
I’d like to have some kind of role as a producer or editor for other comics, even if that means I have to invent the role myself. I’m not sure if that means starting a publication or eventually establishing a grant, but I want to have a hand in making great comics and also somehow facilitate the opportunities for others to make great comics as well.

Best Part About Being a Cartoonist 
Brewing a cup of coffee, putting on headphones, blocking out everything and drawing. Was, and likely will remain to me, the greatest feeling in the world.

I'm gearing up to teach a comics course at Malone University in the fall and I know I wouldn't have had the skillset to have taken it this far, let alone be able to take advantage of the opportunity in the first place, without the foundation Mount gave me.

Fun Facts

What is your favorite travel destination?
A secret, undisclosed coffee shop
If you could try out any job for a day, what would it be?
Probably a sailor or fisherman of some kind
What is your favorite quote or motto?
I'm torn between, "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" and "Wubba lubba dub dub"
What's your all-time favorite movie?
Pirates of the Caribbean
What's the best piece of advice you were ever given?
I didn’t realize how impactful it was at the time, but being told that “you should always be a little frustrated” when you work on projects was an incredibly liberating piece of advice that changed my life (Shoutout to Thierry LaFontaine for the wisdom)
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