Keith Knight – 2024 Creator Keynote Speaker
Keith Knight’s art has appeared in various publications worldwide, including the Washington Post, the New Yorker, San Francisco Chronicle, the Nib, Ebony, ESPN the Magazine, MAD Magazine, and the Funny Times.
In 2020, the world was introduced to Knight’s work in a whole new way–as the inspiration for the live-action streaming television series, Woke, courtesy of Hulu. Knight served as a co-creator, writer, and executive producer on the show.
Jeffery J. Manley – Jeffery J. Manley is an old school cartoonist. His comics are a love letter to classic newspaper comic strips.
Jason Struz – I have been working in comics for over ten years, publishing with Red Stylo Media, Full Moon Comix, Action Lab, and am currently self-publishing my graphic novel, Returned.
Brian Canini – Brian Canini has been cartooning and creating stories ever since he took hold of his first crayon. Through his efforts in self-publishing, he has created the award-winning autobio graphic novels Fear of Flying and The Big Year, the critically-acclaimed sci-fi comic Plastic People, the critically-acclaimed solo anthology Airbag and is part of the team that produces the Eisner nominated comics newspaper The Columbus Scribbler.
Matt Feazell – The blatantly simple adventures of the Amazing Cynicalman, America’s laid-off superhero, and his ever-expanding world of supporting characters. As seen in books, comics, minicomics and newspapers over the last 43 years. Freelance work in the Cynicalman style for Nicklodeon, Hour Detroit magazine, Detroit Metro Times and Disney Adventures Magazine. Premiering in 2024 will be my book of comics theory for kids, “Mr. Comics.”
Chris Mattei – Chris Mattei is a cartoonist and comic creator living in Lansing, MI. His work blends fantastical worlds with rather mundane subject matter, creating a darkly comedic reading experience.
Bob Corby – Bob Corby is a 68 year old who runs SPACE (Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo) in Columbus. He is a retired structural engineer who has been a part-time cartoonist publishing his own work and the work of others since 1986. He publishes Oh,Comics! an annual themed anthology comic which has been published since 1988. His other publications include Plans, Leaves, Amazing Tales of Entropy, Test!, numerous minicomics including his latest, the Point. All are available at www.backporchcomics.com.
Tyler Cooper – I create sci-fi and fantasy comics, as well as character and environment designs.
Corinne Roberts – Corinne Roberts is an illustrator working in comics with books such as “Bug Bites” and the “Out and About” silent sequence series (3 books so far in series).
Meggie Ramm – A non-binary cartoonist and comic educator.
They graduated from California College of the Arts with an MFA in Comics in 2017. They’ve done work for the New Yorker, Everyday Feminism and Silver Sprocket, and have comics in the Advanced Death Saves and Votes 4 Women anthologies. They are the sole creator of Stick World, and their anti-anxiety pocketbook You Will Be Okay was published through Silver Sprocket in 2019. They spent the last five years teaching comics to kids across the East Bay. while creating Littlest Dungeon Guard comic strips for Sunday HaHa.
Their first comic Batcat came out with Abrams in 2023, and the sequel is expected to come out in 2024.
Bill Pulkovski – Bill Pulkovski’s work can be found in comic books, trading cards, prints, magazines and film. Pulkovski has worked on many official projects for popular properties such as Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Paramount Pictures, as well as a number of small press and original creations. He is a co-founder of studio/ publisher Rocket Ink Studios and an educator at Macomb Community College.
Patrick Lay – Patrick Lay is a cartoonist, illustrator, and educator from Northwest Ohio. His most recent book, Death Strikes: The Emperor of Atlantis, will be released in January of 2024 from Berger Books/Dark Horse. Patrick also has a dozen self-published titles under his belt, an MFA in Comics from the California College of the Arts, and is currently an adjunct professor at Columbus College of Art and Design, teaching Comics and Narrative Practice.
Rory and Amanda Webb – Legends of Aukera was inspired by the many Dungeon and Dragons campaigns Rory and Amanda played. They decided to create their own world, called Aukera, with Rory as the mastermind behind all of the stories, and Amanda as the illustrator. The first of many planned series, The Ascendants tells the story of Felosial, an elven mage living in the port city of Dagruum, who finds herself caught up in an adventure she hadn’t intended on having. Four graphic novels have been published, making it a complete series.
Mark Dudley – Worked in TTRPGs for 25 years. Put out comics as Drunkenstyle Studios in the 90s. Currently putting out print and webcomics as Imaginos Workshop.
Jiba Anderson – Jiba Molei Anderson is an artist, writer, designer, and educator. He is the publisher for Griot Enterprises and creator of its flagship title, The Horsemen, and is also the curator of the 4 Pages 16 Bars: A Visual Mixtape anthology series.
Bill Campbell – I’m the owner of Rosarium Publishing, which specializes in comics and science fiction focusing mainly on marginalized voices. Entering into our 10th year, we have published the charity anthology, APB: ARTISTS AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY, as well as the works of John Jennings, Damian Duffy, Stacey Robinson, Whit Taylor, Ajuan Mance, and David Brame. I have personally written three graphic novels: BAAAAD MUTHAZ, THE DAY THE KLAN CAME TO TOWN, and REFUGE. In 2016, I won the Glyph Pioneer/Lifetime Achievement Award.
Adam Talley – In 2024, Adam celebrates 30 years in self publishing With his various works in all genres of storytelling. His new ongoing series, PLEASANT LIFE launched in 2023 and he continues to do nsfw storytelling comics on his Patreon. His past credits include work for Marvel, DC, Topps Cards (Star Wars, Walking Dead, Mars Attacks) Antactic Press and Dynamite Comics (KISS, Bettie Page, Red Sonja and Vampirella).
Mary Mitchell – I started making comics in college for my Comic Art and Graphic Narrative Minor. Since then I’ve primarily done webcomics and mini zines. I was also president of Graphic Novels Club during my Junior & Senior year at MSU which was a great experience where I was able to teach other students about making comics.
Heidi Black – Artist in the Eisner-winning anthology “Puerto Rico Strong” (Lion Forge), colorist in the JLG gold medal “Agents of SLAM” (Oni Press). Continuing work on independent comic “Sons of Fire.”
Ro Salarian – Ro Salarian is a writer and artist who began making webcomics in the early 00s, and broke into print with I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space and the recently completed Spectacle series. They were nominated for an Eisner Award for their short story Transplant, and have had work featured in various anthologies from publishers like Strawberry Comics and Iron Circus Comics, as well as their own self published works. When not making books, they are a burlesque performer, cheese expert, textile designer, and pretty decent cook. They live in Michigan with their partner and cats in a house with a secret room and a spooky pit in the basement. They can be contacted at email@example.com. They are represented by Desiree Wilson.
José Alaniz – Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Department of Comparative Literature (adjunct) at the University of Washington, Seattle, has published three scholarly monographs: Komiks: Comic Art in Russia (University Press of Mississippi, 2010), Death, Disability and the Superhero: The Silver Age and Beyond (UPM, 2014) and Resurrection: Comics in Post-Soviet Russia (Ohio State University Press, 2022). Long before that, though, he was drawing comics. He has published three comics/prose collections: The Phantom Zone & Other Stories (Amatl Comix, 2020), The Compleat Moscow Calling (Amatl, 2023) and Puro Pinche True Fictions (FlowerSong Press, 2023). His work has also appeared in The Daily Texan, The Moscow Tribune, The Stranger, the Seattle anthology Dune, AltCom: How To Survive a Dictatorship (2018), Tales From La Vida: A Latinx Comics Anthology (2018), BorderX: A Crisis in Graphic Detail (2020) and SCARFFF.
BluRaven Houvener – My comics are autobiographical, tackling the topics of life, mental health, and poverty, but with a comedic lean to get the point across but not depress.
Steve Harrick – Steve Harrick is a writer living in the St. Louis area. His comics have been published by GreyHaven Comics and Ink & Drink Comics. His first self-published title, Pulp-Sized Comics, premiered in 2018. His most recent title, Dirt Sheet ½, premiered in 2023. He is currently at work on several comics projects. He has tabled at conventions in Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and Michigan (including the MSU Comics Forum 2017). He is currently working on several comics projects, as well as his illustration skills. His work may be seen on Instagram (stephenharrick) and DeviantArt (steveharrick).
Sean Dempsey – Sean Dempsey is a Chicago based sequential artist. His independent comics focus on curiosity and adventure through traveling or misfit characters. Whether in a comic, illustration, or cartoon, Sean’s stories embrace a balance of innocent and cynical protagonists. He hopes to create diverse, relatable characters that the audience can witness their inner growth, discovery, and individuality.
Suzanne Baumann – Back in a time and place when a student had no reference for what a comics-releated senior project should look like, I muddled my way through one and first comic book. Since then, cartooning has been a constant in my life: a way to share stories,make readers laugh and scratch their heads, experiment with art, develop craft, and continuously try to outdo myself. It’s been years since I’ve been to the Comics Forum, but I have great memories of the show and my interactions with the attendees there.
David Caldwell – I’ve been making comics seriously since 2016. I work in different genres including science fiction, horror and autobiography. I’m currently writing my next comic that could take the form of a graphic novel.
Lisa Naffziger is a graphic novelist and children’s book illustrator from the Midwest. In 2014, She graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Sequential Art. Her previous comics work includes the 2018 self-published travel memoir I Don’t Wanna Puke in Tijuana and the 2019 YA crime thriller Minus (a Junior Library Guild selection).