Held every year on the beautiful campus of Michigan State University, home of the largest public collection of comic books, The Michigan State University Comics Forum is a multi-day event that brings together scholars, creators, and fans in order to explore celebrate the medium of comics, graphic storytelling, and sequential art.
The Michigan State University Comics Forum is generously supported by: Department of Art, Art History and Design, The Journal of Popular Culture, Gary Hoppenstand, The Department of English, The MSU Libraries Special Collections, The Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, MSU Muslim Studies, MATRIX: The Center for the Humane Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences Online, MSU Film Studies, and BRD Printing.
Ryan Claytor, Director
Ryan Claytor is a comics artist and professor living in Lansing, Michigan. In 2007, he earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from San Diego State University with an emphasis in multimedia, researching autobiography in comics. Claytor’s achievements have included a Cartoonist in Residence position at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, California, visiting lecturerships at the Dallas Museum of Art and Michigan State University, an internship with Marvel Comics in New York City, and judging the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing Award in 2007. In early 2009 the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco featured an exhibition of his work and Claytor began teaching the first “Comics and Visual Narrative” class in Michigan State University’s history. As a creator, Claytor is most widely known for his self-published, autobiographical, comic book series And Then One Day. Although the series has undergone several format changes and incarnations since its inception in 2004, And Then One Day readers are consistently treated with Claytor’s thoughtful and entertaining personal anecdotes immaculately packaged with a designer’s eye for production detail. Most recently, in the summer of 2008, he released a republication of his Master’s Thesis on autobiography in comics entitled Concatenations. For more information about Ryan Claytor or any of his work, visit his website www.ElephantEater.com
Zack Kruse, Panel Coordinator
Zack Kruse is a father of two, a husband of one, and currently a Ph.D. student at Michigan State University where he studies comic books and contemporary American literature. In addition to his academic pursuits, he is a comic book convention organizer and an occasional comics writer—his comic strip, Mystery Solved!, has appeared in Skeptical Inquirer Magazine.
He can be found at zackkruse.com and on Twitter at @zackkruse.
Jay Jacot, Artist Alley Coordinator
James “Jay” Jaycot is an amalgamation of Graphic Designer, all around Artist, and Entrepreneur working to create and provide a good story thrugh sequential art and visual imagery. Long hours and late nights have been his copilots on this journey. He looks forward to many more creations & endeavors in the future including a continued run of COMICS OBSCURA (http://www.comicsobscura.com/) & many more projects to come.
M. Sherief AbouElSeoud, Web Coordinator
Sherief is a Lansing based artist, writer, and co-founder of the Two for One Comics community. IT Professional by day, he spends his evenings toiling over bristol board with ink stained hands to make comics. He’s published a short story, drawn the comic series The Bait, and is currently writing and drawing an all-ages comic to be released soon.