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
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.
MSU Comics Forum – Director
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 Curses, The 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