2024 Event Announcements

The Michigan State University (MSU) Comics Forum returns for it’s first triennial event on the first weekend of February 2024 in-person at the MSU Main Library. All events associated with the MSU Comics Forum are free and open to the public. This year we welcome two esteemed keynote speakers:

Our 2024 Creator Keynote Speaker is Keith Knight, whose 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.

Our 2024 Scholar Keynote Speaker, Rebecca Wanzo, is a professor and chair of the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. She is the author of The Content of Our Caricature: African American Comic Art and Political Belonging (NYU Press, 2020), which examines how Black cartoonists have used racialized caricatures to criticize constructions of ideal citizenship, as well as the alienation of African Americans from such imaginaries. It was the recipient of the Katherine Singer Kovacs Book Prize from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, the Charles Hatfield Book Prize from the Comics Studies Society, and the Best Scholarly/Academic Work from the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.
She has also written essays for media outlets such as CNN, the LA Review of Books, Huffington Post, The Conversation, and the comic book Bitch Planet.

We will also feature an artist alley with dozens of creators showcasing their work. Applications for artist alley tables are available via our Forms page through September 22nd, 2023.

The presenters for our academic panel discussions will be by invitation only this year. We apologize for the change in format, but due to a number of shifts in personnel and physical spaces (our Special Collections Library housing the largest public collection of comic books in the world is moving several floors up, but staying in the main library) we regretfully need to scale back this portion of our event.

We look forward to seeing you at our 15th MSU Comics Forum in February 2024!

Ryan Claytor
MSU Comics Forum – Director

2023 Capital City Comic-Con

Join our fellow Lansing-area convention and MSU Comics Studies Student Scholarship Sponsorship Partner, the Capital City Comic Con at their three-day celebration of comics and pop culture, June 30th, July 1st & July 2nd, 2023 in Lansing, Michigan. This year, the Capital City Comic Con returns to the Lansing Center for an extended weekend of comics, celebrities, eSports, artists, table top games, cosplay, and more. Tickets, hotel accommodations, and additional information are listed on their website, www.CapCityComicCon.com

Annual Schedule Changes

After 14 consecutive years of events, the annual Michigan State University Comics Forum will move to a triennial event because of an exciting partnership between Michigan State University (MSU) and the Comics Studies Society (CSS). Starting in 2022, the Comics Studies Society International Conference (an annual traveling conference) will be hosted at MSU every 3 years.

With the MSU Comics Forum and CSS both taking place every third year, in order to maintain an annual comics event presence, we plan to have invited guests every third year as well. This will be similar to the MSU Comics Forum Keynote Speakers, but without the other events that surround it.

Moving forward, our schedule will look like this:

…and will repeat the same way as our schedule extends into future years:

Michigan State University Comics Studies is proud to welcome the Comics Studies Society International Conference to campus, continue our annual tradition of a major comics event, and give more comics scholars greater access to the many comics studies resources we have on campus, including our Special Collections Library, the largest public collection of comic books in the world.

Thank you to all attendees, artists, and scholars for your support over the past 14 years and moving ahead as we continue to forage new and additional spaces for comics studies at Michigan State University.

2021 Comics Forum Events Archived

Thank you to all who attended, participated in, donated to, and helped program the 2021 MSU Comics Forum events last week. We have now archived many of the events associated with this year’s Forum, including

Creator Keynote Address with Kevin Huizenga: https://youtu.be/Wbmhgk5F5XQ

Scholar Keynote Address with Dr. Deborah Whaley: https://youtu.be/0rBSaX7OqFo

…as well as all of the academic panel discussions (currently listed on our Panel Discussions page).

We also appreciate all the support we’ve received for the past 14 consecutive years of events. Please see our latest annoucnement for how our annual events will take place moving into the future.

On behalf of the entire MSU Comics Forum Committee, thanks, again, for making the 2021 Michigan State University Comics Forum such a success!

Ryan Claytor
MSU Comics Forum – Director

2021 Event Schedule is Live

The 2021 Michigan State University Comics Forum events schedule is now live.

All events associated with the 2021 MSU Comics Forum will be broadcast on our YouTube Channel, here:


An overview of all our events are located on our SCHEDULE PAGE, with more granular listings on our Artist Alley and Panel Discussions pages.

We look forward to your participation in the 14th annual MSU Comics Forum on the final weekend of February 2021!

Ryan Claytor
MSU Comics Forum – Director

Melanshek Family

MSU Comic Forum friends and family: it is with a heavy heart we share the news of the passing of Michigan comic artist Nick Melanshek, and his six-year-old daughter Riley. Nick appeared in Artist Alley at the 2019 MSU Comics Forum, which was his first time doing so. Nick and Riley sadly lost their lives as the result of a car accident. Being a smaller, creator focused show means Comics Forum attendees and staff get to spend more time with artists, and we felt we needed to share this information. Nick is survived by his wife, Jessica, and there is a Go Fund Me page set up for her if anyone would like to contribute.   https://www.gofundme.com/f/m59-family-loss-riley-and-nick

2021 MSU Comics Forum Moves Online

In light of the global pandemic and resulting health and financial strain on many of our scholars, artists, and attendees, the 2021 MSU Comics Forum will be conducted online.  We are still accepting submissions from artists and scholars for our 2021 online event.  Scholarly panel discussions will be held via invited Zoom rooms, Artist Alley will take place in a virtual setting on our website, and our special guests will deliver their keynote addresses at their regularly scheduled times.  More information forthcoming as the event draws closer.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our staff via the contact page.

Stay safe,
Ryan Claytor
MSU Comics Forum – Director

2021 Event Announcements

We’re proud to announce our 2021 MSU Comics Forum event dates, location, keynote speakers, availability of our artist and scholar submission forms, and our event artwork:

Kevin Huizenga’s graphic novels include CursesThe Wild Kingdom, Gloriana, and the recently released The River at Night.  His work has been translated into six languages, garnered five Ignatz awards, as well as nominations for Harvey and Eisner awards.  In 2020, The Guardian named The River at Night one of the best comics of the past decade.  Huizenga lives in Minneapolis where he taught in the Comic Art program at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design from 2015-2019.

Deborah Elizabeth Whaley is an artist, curator, writer, Senior Scholar for Digital Arts and Humanities for DSPS, director of the Digital Humanities graduate certificate, and Professor of American Studies and African American Studies at the University of Iowa. In her recent book, Black Women in Sequence: Re-inking Comics, Graphic Novels, and Anime, Whaley explores graphic novel production and comic book fandom, looking in particular at African, African American, and multiethnic women as deployed in television, film, animation, gaming, and print representations of comic book and graphic novel characters. Whaley was a Resident Visiting Scholar at the Center for Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and was a recipient of a grant from the Monroe Trotter Institute for Black Culture for her research on responses to 9/11 in Black expressive art and in the public sphere.

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We look forward to seeing you again next year!

The MSU Comics Forum Committee

2020 MSU Comics Forum Keynote Address LiveStreams Archived

The 2020 MSU Comics Forum Keynote Addresses with Emil Ferris and Nick Sousanis are now available on our YouTube channel:

Emil Ferris – 2020 MSU Comics Forum Creator Keynote Speaker:

YouTube Direct Link: https://youtu.be/r4dgEsNy0WE

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Nick Sousanis – 2020 MSU Comics Forum Scholar Keynote Speaker:

YouTube Direct Link: https://youtu.be/asVT6Qd4UI4