RANTing with Caroline Percello

Sophomore Caroline Percello is a drawing-and-painting major who has been drawing comics every night since middle school. Her comic, RANT, is a witty and sometimes self-deprecating poke at the absurdities of everyday life.
Does RANT stand for anything?
No it doesn't stand for anything, but when I was at a writing class, the teacher described ways to write about humor and one of the ways was ranting, which was pretty much the first time I heard the word, and I just thought it was awesome. Most of my RANT comics aren't about me ranting, but I'm a complainer so I think the title fits.
You started RANT in high school. Is that what you’re still focusing on?
Yes. But I might be starting a graphic novel soon. I’m starting to write a script.
Do any specific artists or periods of art inspire you?
I really like street art and pop art. Comic-wise, I’m really into web-comic artists and contemporary graphic novels. Stream of conscious, real-life sort of comics.

You’re a Visual Arts student, so do you basically live in the conservatory?
Yeah, most of the time, but recently I’ve been kind of burnt out from all the work so sometimes I just bring my work in my dorm. I’m painting in here; I’ll draw on my computer. I enjoy just drawing in my sketchbook, that’s what I’m doing all the time.
Do you know other people at Purchase who do comics too?
Yeah! There are other people, especially in the VA, who always wanted to be a cartoonist or are in the same boat as I am – that they’re at art school, they want to be at cartooning school, but it’s a little too expensive. But they just do it in their free time.
There aren’t any cartooning classes here?
There’s aren’t any classes, no, it’s kind of frowned upon in the fine arts program. The people I know that make comics are getting together and we’re going to try to start something at this college, like a little magazine.
That’s a cool idea. Isn’t there Poor Choice?
Yeah there’s Poor Choice but we want it to be ours, we want it to be more free print. Poor Choice only publishes once a year, we want to publish more and get recognition from the school.
Any future plans?
I really want to be a storyboard artist for a production studio like Blue Sky or Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network, something like that. And then, in my spare time, I would try to start a website for my comics.
Well, Blue Sky’s right over here.
Yeah, it’s convenient. I’d like to get started there.
Have you had any notable personal successes already?
I emailed some of my favorite web-comic artists and said how much I like their work and if they would look at mine. And then getting recognition from them – they responded and said, ‘wow this is really good work’. It’s cool they got back to me; they’re really kind.
That is nice! Do you have a lot of fans yet?
I have a couple. I always want more (smiles) But I’m glad that people actually read it. It’s kind of cool. I just kind of want to get bigger from that.
Like the creators of well-known “xkcd” or “Cyanide and Happiness”?
I kind of want to be a web comic celebrity. I want to be part of that kind of culture, that little world of web-comics.
Caroline Percello’s comics can be found here.