25 years ago I returned to class at the State University of New York after a life altering tour of West Africa that summer, a sort of Peace Corps internship. My dreams of becoming the next big comicbook artist seemed trivial. I returned with the role of Vice President of the student government already secured and a reinvented sense of place within the student body. This internship/tour was funded almost entirely by this same student government, a benefit of consistent participation and a willingness to present the proposal. In this experience, there was a lesson more valuable to me than the basic courses my first year in university offered, something to do with who you know as well as the benefits of organized service.
As year book editor the previous year, I was well positioned to encourage like-minded students into leadership roles within student government funded publications. The predominance of art & design students on staff at the student newspaper The Rambler resulted in a boom in production quality. Moving beyond the Personals Sections and Calendar of Events it featured a pull-out comics section titled The Comics Rampage, later simplified to THE RAMPAGE!. Jokes where often made about how the newspaper was mearely a dustjack for the comics section; there was some truth to that. We were a young and creative group of aspiring comics artisits thrilled with the opportunity to bring their artwork into mass production. For many it would be the first time their art would see print.
Come the Fall of 1989 enough RAMPAGE contributers had joined the student government to make a bid for a massive upgrade to the newspaper’s production process plausable. We would enter the cutting edge world of desktop publishing. The proposal included the the budget for purchase of three Macintosh SE/30 desktop computers, at the introductory price of $6,500 each, along with a Laser printer, a scanner and associated software; Quark express, Aldus Pagemaker, Aldus Freehand and Adobe Photoshop 1.0. it was the first purchase of the new year and the entire newspaper staff worked through the holiday break familuarizing ourselve with the new technology.