Trumpet Thrower Comics
Trumpet Thrower Comics
Preface by Dr. Thrower: Ideas for these comics began during my master’s thesis research as a type of therapy to get through the rigors of academia. For two decades, apparently I have needed a lot of therapy!
As I started compiling my writings and studies for the trumpet books that would become a 15-volume set titled “Comprehensive Trumpet Skills,” many of these comics naturally found their way into the pages of those study books. For topics as serious as the volumes address, it’s healthy to occasionally take a step back and look at the grand scheme of things. As serious and profound as music can be, taking the art form too seriously can strip the joy out of learning and performing. Critics have raved and (only a couple) have blasted the inclusion of comics in the method books, but I cannot exclude them. They make an important part of the overall character of the books, and in turn an integral part of my personality. Cheesy as some of them are, they illustrate a critical component of my persona as a musician and educator.
In 2001-02, I hired a friend, Mike Smith, to illustrate 20 of the comics in exchange for an original composition for a short animated film project. A short time later, an undergraduate student that I was teaching, Gina Chu, an art major, accepted a little job to illustrate a small number of these comics. The majority of them were illustrated by Gizelle Lampitoc, or Jigz.
I wish I could say that everything in this book is made up, but unfortunately there are too many autobiographical inclusions that make the ironies a little too “funny.” Choosing to laugh at the mistakes and misfortunes throughout my career has brought a refreshing perspective to life. And when a musician cracks a smile at any particular frame, it’s undoubtedly because he or she can relate to it first-hand in some way!
In all, my collection of comics includes approximately 300 illustrations. Not all of them make sense out of context of the method books, but the vast majority of them can stand alone, and therefore are included here. Many of them are organized sequentially to tell a kind of life-long story, for better or for worse.
It is my sincerest desire that whoever picks up this book will find a bit of needed therapeutic joy in laughing at the entertaining ironies of a musician’s life. Enjoy!