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THE 2021 GUEST LIST IS HERE!
Take a look at just some of our awesome guests this year!
Click on guest photos for their bios!
Comics and Story Artist
Meg Adams is a comics and story artist based in Seattle, WA. On rainy days, you can find her bundled up with her dog, sipping hot cocoa and working on a variety of projects ranging from comics to illustrations. From the joys of marrying your best friend to the bizarre musings of a twelve-pound pup to the humor and heartbreak of mental illness, Meg’s all-too relatable comics leave no stone unturned. Dorky and downright hilarious, ARTBYMOGA explores what it means to make fun of oneself and find laughter in the little things.
Aside from art, Meg loves playing video games with her husband Carson, binging crime docuseries on Netflix, cooking buttered noodles and parmesan with Food Network in the background, and taking her sweet pup Boedy out on adventures. She has recently picked up embroidery and is terrible.
Hélène Alexander is a Fashion Design Teacher at the High School of Art & Design. With a decade as a designer in the fashion industry, she brings her garment design, illustration, and construction expertise directly to her students.
A graduate of the School of Visual Arts where he majored in Cartooning. A caricaturist and humorous illustrator, Ray's work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, books and on TV. Ray is a contributor to Mad magazine, earning him the status of one of "The Usual Gang of Idiots".
The last few years have seen Ray venture into the world of animation and storyboarding where he worked on an updated version of "Speed Racer", Disney Kid's "Transformer Rescue Bots" and Showtime's "Our Cartoon President"
Ray won the National Cartoonist Society Reuben award for Best Magazine Illustration – 2009 and has had his original artwork hung in numerous art galleries including the Museum of Comic and Cartoon art.
Ray has returned to his alma-mater as an instructor in the Animation department at the School of Visual Arts.
Over the last few years Ray has been involved in volunteering his talent to help brighten the lives of those that are recuperating from life threatening medical procedures. He is a director in The Ink Well Foundation – a group of cartoonists and artists that travel to pediatric wards to draw for sick children.
In 2010 Ray became active volunteering for the USO. He has made numerous trips to various Veteran’s Hospitals across the country and has traveled abroad to draw for our troops. In this capacity as an entertainer for the USO, Ray has gone to Germany, Kuwait, Turkey, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, and most recently, Afghanistan.
Cecilia has a long history as a performing artist in NYC. She has worked with the NYC Kids Project for 24 years. She has served as actor, teacher and mentor for the 52nd St. Project, a company producing plays written by youth in economically underprivileged Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan. Cecilia has also worked with The Floating Hospital Children’s Theatre, the Directors Company, and the Phoenix Ensemble Theater. She hosted a PBS show called “Backyard Safari” for 12 episodes, which explored science and nature from the eyes of a child. Cecilia has performed/sung in many languages, travelling with La Mama Company’s YARA Arts to Buryat Mongolia and Ukraine. She also taught puppetry and theatre to educators with the L’Arche Foundation in Krakow, Poland with the Kids Project. Cecilia has studied with Uta Hagen, Robert X. Modica and Wynn Handman. Mr. Handman directed her in a one-woman version of the book Dreaming in Cuban.
Taewook Cha is a registered landscape architect and founding principal of Supermass Studio, a landscape architecture practice based in New York City since 2011. With over 20 years of experience both in the United States and internationally, Taewook has devoted most of his career to the innovation and advancement of public spaces in complex urban environments.
Taewook’s primary interest lies at the intersection of landscape, urbanism and ecology with a focus on “opportunistic diversity” and “unorthodox creativity.” He sees opportunities in every project and brings out the best of each opportunity in an innovative and unconventional design approach.
His recent projects at Supermass Studio include Wisconsin Riverfront Park in Wisconsin Rapids, WI, Mulberry Commons Park in Newark, NJ, and Concourse Parks at LaGuardia Airport’s New Terminal B in New York, NY. Taewook’s past project experience prior to founding Supermass Studio includes notable projects such as High Line and Coney Island Steeplechase Plaza in New York City, Aria Hotel Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, and Hengchun Tropical Botanical Garden Master Plan in Kenting, Taiwan.
His work has been recognized with numerous awards including design awards from American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), American Institute of Architects (AIA), Architizer and World Landscape Architecture (WLA).
Mimi is a lawyer-turned-illustrator and designer who has collaborated with clients such as Disney, Samsung, and Adobe. She also served as the in-house creative director of a popular children's apparel company. There, she developed everything from the original characters to the branding design and led the illustration artwork for licensing partnerships with Marvel, Star Wars, Disney, and Dreamworks.
Mimi currently owns and designs for her independent studio, Mimochai. She has published three picture books and is currently working on her next book project. She is passionate about sharing art and stories to encourage creativity and mindfulness in all ages. Mimochai supports children's arts education and environmental conservation causes through its retail art business.
Joyce Clemente is a NYC based Fashion Designer with an extensive background designing for several leading brands including DKNY, Columbia Sportswear, Weatherproof, Reebok, Diesel, and Marc New York to name a few. Joyce’s creations have been sold at all levels of retail from specialty chain stores to department stores and even big box retailers. As a versatile design leader, she has designed for all age ranges and genders from infant & toddlers to kids & juniors to adult women and men in her career.
As a young girl, Joyce knew exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up. Upon graduating from New York’s High School of Fashion Industries with a CTE Diploma, she was accepted into Parsons School of Design where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Fashion Design and has been working in the industry ever since.
Elizabeth Daggar studied graphic design at Pratt Institute and lives in Brooklyn. She’s the Design Director for NYC & Company, the tourism marketing organization for New York City, where she oversees and crafts design and illustration for print, digital, event, and motion projects in service to the city she loves. Prior to this position, she worked as an independent one-woman studio under the name Electrofork. She’s also a visual artist of the drawing, painting, and etching sort.
Lisa Di Napoli sees the world in vivid color, has never met a color swatch that did not inspire,loves curating visual stories, and maintains a childlike curiosity. All this has served her well as design leader and children’s industry expert. After attending Parsons School of Design, she went on to lead teams at Tommy Hilfiger, Gap Kids, Best & Co., and H.M. Woggle Bug, a luxury childrenswear company she founded. Her talent is not isolated to the world of fashion; however, she is a constant beauty seeker who loves to entertain and share her creativity with others.
Koray Duman is the principal of B-KD (Büro Koray Duman), a research-driven architecture and design studio based in New York and Istanbul. Established in 2013, the firm completed projects for American Society for Muslim Advancement, Finnish Cultural Institute NY, and aritst Richard Prince.
In 2016, the firm won an invited competition to design an Art and Archive Building for the Noguchi Museum. In 2017, Architizer honored B-KD as Emerging Firm of the Year for ‘its forward-thinking for the role of the architect and the desire to disrupt the stigma of the practice’. Among several recognitions, the firm received the 2017 Design Award of Excellence by Society of American Registered Architects, and 2020 & 2015 Best of the Year Awards by Architects Newspaper. The firm's work has been featured in publications like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, New York Magazine, Surface Magazine, Cultured Magazine, Interior Design Magazine and Dwell.
Koray is originally from Turkey where he earned a BArch from Middle Eastern Technical University and furthered his studies at UCLA with a Master’s degree in Architecture. He previously worked as the lead architect on several U.S. west coast museum projects. He served as the chair of the New Practice Committee at AIA NYC Chapter, and a board member of the Clemente Center in the Lower East Side. He is on the advisory board of American Society for Muslim Advancement and ProtoCinema. He is an adjunct professor at Pratt and New School and a registered architect in New York State and Turkey.
Fine Artist/ Educator
I was born in New York to Spanish parents and divide my time between New York and Valencia. Since graduating from the Cooper Union, where I received a full merit scholarship, my artwork has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Ireland, and Japan.
In addition to exhibiting in galleries and at universities, I have shown in unconventional and unexpected spaces, including the botanical gardens of Villa Monastero (Aletheia, 2019) and the Former Church of San Nicolau (Blu, 2016).
I have also had my work projected onto the façade of the Organization of American States (Art after Dark, 2015), in public transport corridors in Japan and NYC (Toride International Video, 2014 and Under the Subway Video Art, 2012-13), and onto homes and public spaces as part of the Digital Graffiti Festivals (2012-15). My work is part of numerous collections including the Hispanic Society of America, Fundación Bancaja, and the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos.
I'm an artist and animator based out of Queens, NY. I've been animating since I was 12 and have always been drawn to make my doodles move.
Most recently, I have been a storyboard artist for Our Cartoon President for Showtime Network and T.O.T.S. for Disney Jr.
Previously, I focused on animation and layout design for shows for Netflix, Adult Swim, Fox, Tru TV, and many others.
On top of all of that, I also volunteer for Women in Animation as a Co-Lead for the New York City chapter, something I am very passionate about.
In my free time, I make my own short films, cook fantastic meals, and bake beautiful cookies. I aspire to be a director in animation one day and to bring my own creative endeavors to mainstream media! I want the world to see my work.
Anne Fizzard is a NYC-based cartoonist and illustrator whose work has appeared in The New Yorker. She has also recently illustrated two virtual productions for Metropolitan Playhouse. Her past work includes advertising illustration for a specialty food shop in her hometown of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada-and illustrations for Sanibel Shell Shocked, a book of humor essays by Art Stevens about life on Sanibel Island in Florida.
As an actor/ writer, she is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, and a long-time member of the WorkShop Theater Company. Her current project is a comedy web series, Marigold & Martha, in which she plays identical twins stuck together in quarantine.
Gilbert Ford holds a BFA from Pratt Institute and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA. He is the author and illustrator of picture books Flying Lessons, The Marvelous Thing that Came from a Spring, and How the Cookie Crumbled. He is also the author and illustrator of his middle grade novel The Mysterious Messenger. He has illustrated many New York Times Best Selling middle grade novels and award winning picture books.
Comics Artist/ Writer
Simon Fraser is a Scots comics artist and writer living in Jersey City, NJ. His credits include drawing Judge Dredd, Kingsman, and Doctor Who. He created the Eagle Award winning character Nikolai Dante ( with Robbie Morrison ). He's worked for numerous UK & American publishers, including DC Comics, Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW, Millarworld and 2000 AD.
'Unfinished Business' co-created with Paul Levitz, will be available in May 2021 from Dark Horse Comics and 'Hershey:Disease' with Rob Williams, will be out this summer from 2000AD.
Laura Freeman is a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honoree. Her work has been recognized with an NAACP Image Award, reached the New York Times Best Seller List, been honored by the Society of Illustrators, the Georgia Center For The Book, and in the Annuals for Communication Arts and American Illustration.
In addition to illustrating books, Laura's art can be found on a wide range of products, from dishes and textiles to greeting cards, and her editorial images are frequently seen in the NY Times and other periodicals. She invites you to visit her website; www.LFreemanArt.com to discover more about her.
Flint Gennari was a self taught photographer lucky enough to get into the High School of Art & Design where he was able to utilize and expand on his skills. He has had numerous exhibits and shows around the world, including the Newhouse Center of Contemporary Arts, Founation Cartier pour l'art contemporain in Paris France, and his larger than life portraits are the first thing you see when you enter the new Museum of Graffiti in Miami, Florida. His photos and stories about him can be found in many of the modern art books out now. He is also a youtuber. Please subscribe to youtube.com/FineArtFotos.
Rachel Gitlevich is a 2D character animator and designer working in New York City. She has designed on shows like Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure Heart Valley, Harriet the Spy, and animated on projects like Monster at the End of the Story, Ballmasterz9009, Niko and the Sword of LIght, Home; Adventures with Tip and Oh; and many, many more.
Game Designer/ D&D Warlock
Ken is a marketing wizard and a D&D warlock. He's been playing and running role-playing games since the Prehistoric Age (pre-YouTube), and has written official adventures for Dungeons & Dragons. He lives in northern New Jersey with his wife and a teenage daughter who is obsessed with Genshin Impact.
Daniel A. Haskett is a High School of Art & Design alumni and veteran animator who, according to Variety, was one of a group of young animators trained by Disney's 'Nine Old Men' at the Disney Feature Animation Building in the 1970s.
Adrian Hayes is a Landscape Architect at the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.
Joann Hill is Creative Director at Disney Hyperion in New York leading a team of amazing designers. During her career, she has been fortunate to work with some amazing authors and illustrators including Rick Riordan, Linda Sue Park, Dan Santat, Matthew Cordell, LeUyen Pham, David Wiesner, John Rocco, Nancy Carpenter, Javaka Steptoe and Victo Ngai.
Fashion Illustrator/ Designer
Deanna Kei is a New York native Fashion Illustrator and Apparel designer. She holds a bachelor's degree in fashion design from the Fashion Institute of Technology and has been working for over a decade in women’s wear design and illustration. Some of the brands she’s worked with include: Tommy Hilfiger, Betsey Johnson, Karl Lagerfeld Paris, Marriott Bonvoy and more. Her illustrations have appeared in magazines, tv commercials, newspapers, and publications. Through her work she aims to encourage style, confidence, and positivity.
Lucy Knisley is a critically acclaimed and award-winning comic creator who lives in Chicago. She specializes in personal, confessional graphic novels, and travelogues.
Her last name is confusing and has a silent K. It's pronounced kind-of like "nigh-slee.”
Cosplaying since 2004, he has won several awards in cosplay, was featured in the New York Post and was part of the 2014 NYCC Eastern championships of Cosplay. He is a graduate of the American Academy of Personal Training, an ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer with 10 years of experience training and developing fitness plans for his clients. He is also a former open-heart surgery survivor. In his down time he streams retro games on Twitch and YouTube under Kofitnessny.
Whitney Leopard is the Senior Editor at Random House Graphic, where she acquires and edits graphic novels for kids and teens. She is a frequent speaker at colleges and conventions all around the world. She has edited Best-of-Year books like The Magic Fish, Stepping Stones, and Séance Tea Party. Whitney was previously an Editor at BOOM! Studios, managing the KaBOOM! imprint that publishes middle-grade and young reader comics and graphic novels. She is known for her work on original graphic novels like series like Lumberjanes (a New York Times bestseller and Eisner Award-winner), and licensed comics like Peanuts, Adventure Time, Over the Garden Wall, and Steven Universe. When she is not editing graphic novels then she is most likely watching true crime shows with her calico, Eleanor.
Opal Lines, a.k.a. Luciannys Camacho, is an illustrator, filmmaker, and recent grad from the School of Visual Arts in NYC. She recently directed and created her short film 'Check Yes!' which has been selected for film festivals such as the NY Latino Film Festival, NFFTY, and New York Dominican Film Festival.
Sam’s recent credits as production designer include; JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (dir. Shaka King; Nominee - Best Picture, Academy Awards 2021), KAJILLIONAIRE (dir. Miranda July, 2020), UNCUT GEMS (dirs. Josh and Benny Safdie; Nominee - Best Feature, Independent Spirit Awards 2020), EIGHTH GRADE (dir. Bo Burnham; National Board of Review - Top 10 Films of 2018), VOX LUX (dir. Brady Corbet; Nominee - Golden Lion, Venice International Film Festival, (2018), GOOD TIME (dirs. Josh and Benny Safdie; Nominee - Palm d'Or, Cannes International Film Festival (2017), THE HUMBLING (dir. Barry Levinson, Official selection, Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival (2015), and Independent Spirit Award Best Feature nominee FRANCES HA (dir. Noah Baumbach, Nominated, Film of the Year, London Critics Circle 2012).
Lisenco was both designer and producer for filmmakers Joshua and Benny Safdie on the majority of their work since 2003 including feature GO GET SOME ROSEMARY (Breakthrough Award, Gotham Awards (2009), Cassavettes Award, Independent Spirit Awards (2010), Official Selection, Cannes Film Festival (2009), Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival (2010), International Critics Prize (2010). Additionally, Lisenco designed many of Lena Dunham’s early short films, as well as her first narrative feature, CREATIVE NONFICTION (Official Selection, SXSW Film Festival (2009).
New York born and raised, Sam Lisenco received his BS in Film at Boston University in 2005.
Tex Merquise is the stage name for Armita Pebdani. A structural engineer with a heart for art, Armita's backgrounds joined forces and have taken her through all aspects of fandom and pop culture from illustrating to cosplay, gaming and scale modeling where she has created a female-driven online community that encourages, supports and celebrates any and all creative women no matter the medium. She hosts Build Alongs: free make-and-take workshops for young children at conventions (currently virtually) who want to try their hands at creating something through scale modeling. Armita placed third in the New York City leg of the Gunpla Builder's World Cup in 2019 and has had her modeling work featured in FineScale Modeler and Newsweek.
Gregery Miller is a freelance illustrator for comics, animation, and children's books. Last year, he helped design the backgrounds and worlds of The Midnight Gospel on Netflix. Check out his comics and characters at https://www.gregerymiller.com/
Cathy Nolan has been been drawing caricatures and interviewing people for almost thirty years.
Her credentials include working for clients such as:
● ABC News during the primary and election night of 2016 in Times Square, NYC
● The Emmy Award Winning show The Never Settle Show hosted by Mario Armstrong
● Ann Taylor
● American Airlines
● Dick Blick Holdings
● Makers Mark
● NY KNICKS
● VaynerMedia and many more.
As an entrepreneur and artist for over thirty years, Cathy has helped clients provide amazing illustration gifts for conferences and events. She has also collaborated with team leaders and presenters to help them facilitate and illustrate their concepts and ideas into memorable fun visual content. She also understands the power of engagement and has helped clients host virtual events that are entertaining, educational, and fun for their audiences. She teaches doodling and cartooning courses and you can find out more at www.cathynolanart.com
There is nothing more intimate than dressing the human body to meet both nature and the yes of the world. OUMLIL, which means the color "White" in Berber (Morocco’s native language), is a label founded upon a belief that we are here to celebrate life and that we often seek renewal, which empowers us forward.
Hisham Oumlil, a Moroccan-American designer based in New York City, launched Oumlil in 2005 by initially serving private clients through an intimate collaboration between Designer, Client and Tailors.
In the words of Jean Luc Goddard: “Style is the outside of content, and content the inside of style, like the outside and the inside of the human body, they cannot be separated.”
As of 2020, designer Sam Coffie joined Hisham as the Co-Creative Director for the OUMLIL Ready-To-Wear collections. Their approach is inspired by the rich Moroccan/ Moorish aesthetics and the minimalism of European tailoring: An expression of cultural crossing.
The company believes that beyond creating beautiful products, one must also be socially responsible. We have a passion for and care immensely for youth development and green spaces. With purpose and conviction we support the following non-profits and we kindly ask for you-dear customer to join us in supporting them when you can.
Artist/ Founder of Dwarven Forge
Stefan Pokorny Graduated A&D in 1985, he continues to paint, sculpt, and draw. He Taught Art briefly at Heron school of Art and Lyme Academy, was represented for over a decade by the First Street Gallery in NYC.
In 1996 he founded Dwarven Forge, a company that produces modular miniature terrain for RPG’s widely considered to be the finest in the world. At the time, it was the first such company of its kind. DF has funded 8 wildly successful KS’s totaling over 20 million dollars.
Stefan has been featured in 3 documentaries, including the now cult classic: “The Dwarvenaut”, a biography of his life which premiered at SXSW and was directed by Josh Bishop. Stefan has been mentioned or been the subject of articles in Forbes, NY Magazine, NY Daily news, The Brooklyn paper, The Brooklyn Ink, DNA-info New York, and has been invited to talk at the Barney school of business and AOL talks, as well as numerous pod casts, interviews and panels. He is a regular featured guest at various gaming conventions in the U.S. and around the world such as Gen Con, Gamehole Con, Gary Con, Hawaii Con, Lucca Comics and Games and others. His terrain was the only terrain featured at Gen Con’s 50’s anniversary museum show. (The largest and most prestigious gaming convention in North America).
He is the original creator of the fantasy world setting of Mythras and the City of Valoria. He has put forth the module: “Tapestry of Deceit” and published a book of Cartographic Maps for D&D and his world. He is currently involved in the creation of and to co-star in an upcoming TV project called: Destination Fantastic!
A Brooklyn-born, Jersey-raised Stand Up with the perfect blend of self-deprecation and
optimism makes John a dynamic and unpredictable performer that’s both engaging and fun
to watch as he struggles to make sense of himself and the world around him. John has been featured in The New York Times and the Asbury Park Press. He can also be heard on Sirius
Nick Prodromou is a freelance artist based in London, UK. After graduating from his graphic design course in 2017 at Camberwell College of Arts, Nick began his freelance journey focusing on digital art and design. Using the skills he learned at University, Nick has since worked to create art and logos for clients including Boomerang and The Slow Mo Guys. Towards the end of 2018, Nick began to shift his focus to traditional art. Since then, he has been experimenting with different medias such as acrylic, gouache, oils and resin. His paintings focus on shining a new light to pop culture characters. Each painting often reflects on mental health issues and finding peace within the chaos. Nick is currently working on a series of paintings that combine his newfound love for water and pop culture characters, both offering a new way to express ideas through his art.
Art Educator/ HSAD Principal
Maximillian Re-Sugiura is a life-long educator, otaku, and creator. He currently leads 1500+ of NYC's finest young professionals as the Principal of the High School of Art & Design to their bright futures!
“Strength is what appeals mostly to me in art. The work can be any medium, style, subject or size, however in the end the work must have power.”
David Reuss is a proud New York City native, born and raised on Staten Island and currently residing in Manhattan.
With over twenty-seven years experience in illustration and fine art my work encompasses an array of subjects, mediums and clients.
David is an award winning member of the Salmagundi Club where he also teaches painting and drawing.
In addition he is an Executive member of the Society of Illustrators, serving as Membership Chairman and Treasurer.
David holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts and earned his Masters Degree in Arts and Cultural Management at Pratt Institute.
Comic Book Artist
Stéphane Roux is a French comic book artist who is known mostly in America for his cover work for Marvel, DC and Semic comics.
Stéphane Roux' has worked on such titles as Witchblade: Blood Oath, scripted by Jean-Marc Lofficier, as well as Sibilla (scripted by Jean-Marc Lainé) and Strangers in the Semic pocket and comics publications.
His longest cover assignment was on Birds of Prey (issues #104 to 127), with notable covers on various titles including Countdown to Final Crisis, Savage She-Hulk, X-Men: Worlds Apart, and The Amazing Spider-Man Extra #2. He has been working on the DC comics series Zatanna, written by Paul Dini, and Star Wars: Agent of the Empire, written by John Ostrander. He is doing covers, fill-ins and short stories for all the majors comic-book companies. He did the poster for New York Comic Con 2013. He recently worked on a Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight story (issue # 41) written by Ray Fawkes. He also drew a Batman: Black and White story, written by Paul Dini called "Role Models", in the Batman Black and White issue #3, Jan 2014.
For French TV, he is one of the directors and the artistic director for the France 3 TV animated show Foot 2 rue, and does storyboards, character designs and Artistic Direction for animated productions.
Steve Saffel is a senior acquisitions editor at Titan Books, where he acquires and edits science fiction, fantasy, horror, media tie-in fiction, and occasionally illustrated books. His tie-in fiction includes Alien, Mass Effect, Predator, Marvel novels, and Gears of War.
Scott Christian Sava is an animator, illustrator, director, writer, producer, and part-time Hobbit! Over the last twenty years, Scott Christian Sava's work has brought some of the world's most beloved characters to life in film, television, comics, and games. From Casper the Friendly Ghost to the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to Star Trek and Spider-Man. Scott's unique talents and vision have been called upon by Disney, Universal Studios, Nickelodeon, and more. In 2000, he founded Blue Dream Studios, which has produced work for Star Wars, X-Files, Aliens vs. Predator, Spider-Man, and other franchises, in addition to creating its own line of kids graphic novels. The studio's first feature film, Animal Crackers, is now on Netflix and was the Summer of 2020's #1 animated movie in the world.
Scott and his wife and two kids live in Franklin, TN. Scott's mission, simply put, is to make "the world a kinder, gentler place, one story at a time.
Regine L Sawyer is the writer/publisher at Lockett Down Productions; a small press comic book company specializing in cutting edge Sci-Fi and Horror comics. She's also the coordinator and founder of the Women in Comics Collective International; an organization that focuses on highlighting the merit and craftwork of marginalizedpeople, especially that of Women and Non-Binary folks of color, working in the comic book industry.
J. J. Sedelmaier is an American illustrator, designer, author, and film director/producer, known for co-creating (with Robert Smigel) "Saturday TV Funhouse" that includes The Ambiguously Gay Duo and The X-Presidents on the TV series Saturday Night Live, the Tek Jansen series on The Colbert Report, the interstitial cartoons seen in the USA TV series, Psych, and over 500 other TV and advertising projects.
Jamel Shabazz is best known for his iconic photographs of New York City during the 1980’s. He has authored 10 monographs, and contributed to over three dozen other photography related books. His photographs have been exhibited worldwide and his work is housed within the permanent collections of The Whitney Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Fashion Institute of Technology, The Gordon Parks Foundation and the Getty Museum. Over the years, Shabazz has instructed young students at the Studio Museum in Harlem’s “Expanding the Walls” project, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture “Teen Curators” program, and the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. He is also the 2018 recipient of the Gordon Parks award for his commitment to documentary photography. Shabazz is a member of the photo collective Kamoinge. As an artist his goal is to contribute to the preservation of world history and culture.
Judy Stephens is a producer, cosplayer and world traveler, with ever changing rainbow hair color! Born in Detroit, she moved to NYC in 2003 to attend college and fell in love with the city. While at Parsons, studying photography, she discovered anime & manga and cosplay through attending conventions. Since then she has attended over 100 conventions across the US and Internationally as a photographer and cosplayer, plus cosplayed over 25 characters, including Captain Marvel. As a Producer, Judy worked at Marvel for 15 years where she created series like Marvel Becoming and the Women of Marvel.
Art Director/ Cosplayer
Hey! I'm Mickey Torres, or better known as miss.killjoy. I'm an Art and Design alumni who has done work recently for Netflix as an Art Director. I'm also the creator of the first Fanfaire mascot: The Con Artist!
J. L. Westover is the creator of the world’s sweatiest comic, Mr. Lovenstein. Very early on he realized that was a bad idea, but now it’s too late and he doesn’t know how to stop. He’s also the co-creator of the comic series, Neighborhood Land. This, too, was a bad idea. J. L. would describe his humor as “sad and pathetic, but in a funny way.” He failed art class. He cannot play any instruments. He is bad at all sports. He can draw a good dog, though. He currently resides in North Carolina with his wife and army of salukis.
J.L. Westover’s MR. LOVENSTEIN is a weekly webcomic with comedy inspired by overanalyzing day-to-day conversations, sayings, and daily life. The webcomic lives on Instagram, Tapas, and other platforms.
Alison Wilgus is a Brooklyn-based bestselling writer, editor and cartoonist who's been working in comics for over a decade. Their newest book, The Mars Challenge, is a non-fiction comic from First Second Books, illustrated by Wyeth Yates. Previous work includes Chronin, a queer SF graphic novel duology from Tor, and Science Comics: Flying Machines, published by First Second and illustrated by Molly Brooks. In their spare time, Alison co-hosts a podcast about comics publishing called “Graphic Novel TK” with Gina Gagliano. Alison tweets and Instagrams as @AliWilgus and you can find out more about their work at alisonwilgus.com
Jess Worby is an illustrator and full-time lecturer at UMass Dartmouth. His work often holds elements of absurdity and humor, with a visual emphasis on expressive, textural drawing. He received his MFA in Illustration from The School of Visual Arts. His art has graced the pages of The New York Times, a wall in the Brooklyn Historical Society, and a large window display for Taittinger champagne at Sherry-Lehmann. Honors and features include Best American Comics, American Illustration, and Society of Illustrators, as well as websites like Buzzfeed, Kotaku, and The Huffington Post. His literary work is represented by Ed Maxwell of Greenburger Associate
Michael Young is a Street and Documentary Photographer based in the Bronx, New York. His love of light and shadow fuels his passion for creating his imagery. His work has been featured in The New York Times and Digital Photo Magazine. He has exhibited at The Bronx Documentary Center and Perspectives curated by Jamel Shabazz and Laylah Amatullah Barrayn for Photoville. Michael is also a curator and contributing photographer for the Instagram feed Everyday Black America.
We will continue to add more guests in the coming days.
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