Kutztown University of PA was founded in 1866 as Keystone Normal School. Throughout the U.S. colleges that educated teachers were known as “normal schools.” When KU shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic we had to abruptly adjust to a New Normal.

CDE 253, Illustration 2: The class is making zines this semester. We got a table at MoCCAfest, the giant indy comic book festival in New York City. We were going to hop on the bus and show our stuff, but the Society of Illustrators postponed MoCCAfest. These students were doing extraordinary work so the change of plans was disappointing. The class meets via ZOOM now. We came up with a new assignment: Here are some reflections on the New Normal.

Art © Christopher Weaver

The simple pleasure of finishing a puzzle is the theme of Chris Weaver’s piece. He writes, “My name is Christopher Weaver and I’m from Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. I love illustrating characters that make me and others laugh.” Website:

Cole Winters is a Communication Design major at Kutztown, concentrating in Illustration. He cannot get enough of giant robots, monsters, and loves horror to death. He drew a story about his last meal at a restaurant before quarantine. He went for the DA-BOMB hot wings.

Art © Cole Winters

Gisela Rivera is currently studying Graphic Design at Kutztown. She is an avid reader of comic books and literature, she aspires to publish her own comics in the near future. Her page appears below.

Art © Gisela Rivera

Maxwell Jackson is an illustrator from a little place called York, PA. He is known for his freestyle sketchbook drawings and being a product of his environment. He is drawing on sneakers at home.

Art @ Maxwell Jackson

‘Apologies to J. Roiland and Dan Harmon for using their characters, Rick and Morty.’ – Maxwell Jackson.

Art © Jake Woods

Jake Woods is riffing on working in underwear in this new normal. Jake is slated to graduate in December and the professor handing out the diploma is meant to be me. Jake writes, “I’m a traveling illustrator and graphic designer from Upper Black Eddy, PA. I spend my days in quarantine with my roommates and cat, keeping me as entertained as a person stuck indoors could be! My work and info can be found at

Art @ Malina Quarry

Malina Quarry is a Communication Design student whose illustrated works consist mostly of traditional media and vector-based drawings. She is minoring in art history and hopes to develop and expand her visual style. Find her on instagram @ ma.lime.

Brittany Clauss writes, “Hello! I’m Brittany and I live in Bushkill PA. I am currently studying Communication Design, with concentrations in Illustration and Graphic Design. A lot of my work is illustrative, however I am working on branching out into graphic design.”

Art © Brittany Clauss

Jason Padilla writes, “As a double major in Communication Design and Applied Digital Arts I thought I would be in more of a panic during this covid-19 pandemic. While I still am, to a degree, I find myself calm as not much has changed besides working from home. I look at this situation perhaps selfishly with optimism and a hint of pessimism. Thankful for still having my pen, paper and family’s health. In full understanding that things can change for the worse. Until that happens, I will make the most of what I can in this situation.”

Art © Jason Padilla

We’ll share more Kutztown “New Normal School” pages next week. We plan to make them into a zine and print as many as we can. Hope to bring it to the rescheduled MoCCA fest.

Professional illustrators are responding to this crisis with autobiographical comics. Aron Nels Steinke, author of “Mr. Wolf’s Class” did a great one last week for The New York Times. I’ve swiped a panel below, and the whole thing can be found here.

Below is another by children’s book author Meghan McCarthy. It popped up on my computer screen, made me laugh and I asked if I could share it. There is more to see on her web page, Her speciality is nonfiction for kids and her latest book is Firefighters’ Handbook.


art © Meghan McCarthy

2 thoughts on “NEW NORMAL SCHOOL

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: