James Sturm – 2017 Creator Keynote Speaker

James Sturm, has garnered many awards for his work including a Xeric grant, an Eisner Award, and Time Magazine’s Graphic Novel of the year. He’s also a founder and teacher at the Center for Cartoon Studies and has worked for a number of comics publishers including Marvel Comics, Fantagraphics, First Second Books, and Drawn and Quarterly to name but a few.


Charles Hatfield – 2017 Scholar Keynote Speaker

Charles Hatfield, is the author of Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature (2005) and the Eisner Award-winning Hand of Fire: The Comic Art of Jack Kirby (2011), as well as many articles and book chapters. He is co-editor of The Superhero Reader (2013) and Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby (2015), and curated the US’s largest-ever Kirby exhibition at CSU Northridge in 2015. A longtime contributor to The Comics Journal and The Jack Kirby Collector, Hatfield has been writing about comics for more than twenty years. At CSU Northridge, he teaches courses that specialize in comics, popular culture, and children’s literature. Hatfield has served on the boards of the International Comic Arts Forum and the MLA Forum on Comics and Graphic Narratives, and is the founding President of the Comics Studies Society. He is now collaborating with Bart Beaty on a guidebook to comics studies and with Craig Fischer on a study of cartoonist Eddie Campbell.

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Adam Ferrishttp://adamferrisart.wixsite.com/alfa

Adam Ferris is a freelance line artist from Lansing, MI. He works mostly on independent comic books but has also done branding for several bars and restaurants. He’s smart, funny and extremely attractive, so please don’t hide around the corner and take picture. It’s very possible that this bio was not written by Adam himself. Fairly possible.

Andy Budnick www.facebook.com/budnickart

Andy is a Grand Rapids comic artist and illustrator. He is a graduate of Kendall College of Art and Design. Andy has designed numerous convention posters, worked on movie storyboards, and had work selected for review by Marvel. He is currently completing Bluster with writer Kenny Porter.

Blind Alley Comicsblindalleycomics.com

Producing comic books since 2009, Blind Alley Comics is the most unique and independent of indie comic labels (so far)! Based out of Lansing, MI, artists Rick Schlaack and Joe Haines have joined forces to create fantastic tales of adventure, humor, and horror. Their collaborative project, Die Katze #2, continues to combine their love of Lovecraftian horror, silent movies, and pets of the feline variety…don’t miss it!

Brandon Hankinscrownoffirecomic.tumblr.com

Brandon Hankins is a cartoonist and ink painter based in Michigan. He is the creator of the fantasy webcomic, Crown of Fire, about a half-angel child on a quest to forge his halo out of the fires of a dragon. The comic is an homage to classic RPG and adventure video games like Final Fantasy and The Legend of Zelda, but also delves into themes of cruelty vs kindness. A practitioner of Japanese ink painting, or sumi-e, Brandon strives to bring out the life of every line.

Britt Mondaydeadgravity.tumblr.com

Britt Monday is a Lansing-based comics creator and freelance artist. She specializes in slice-of-life, comedy, and horror. Her webcomic, Something with Knives, is about her adventures with her two cats (also knives) and can be found on Tapastic.

Bruce Worden www.sketchsketchsketch.com

Bruce Worden has big comic ideas, but no idea what he’s doing. His head’s in the clouds, but he’s stuck in a rut. What can he do? Why is he here? Stop by his table to find out. Or go to www.sketchsketchsketch to see more, if you dare.

Cailey Tervocaileytervo.com

Cailey Tervo is a children’s market illustrator, designer, and comic maker based right outta Columbus, Ohio, where she received her BFA in Illustration from CCAD in 2016. Clients include TATY Kids, New Moon Girls Magazine, Hallmark, The Sequentialist, CCAD’s Blog, Flower Crown Magazine, and JAW Magazine.

Canada Keck https://connectionscomic.wordpress.com/

Ruminera Comics, created by Canada Keck, is an on-going series of comics that look at both the darkness and the light in her experiences. Canada is a sociologist by training who started writing comics about five years ago, when she stayed up all night and wrote a 24-page comic in 24 hours. Since then she has self-published five autobio comics as well as having several short comics appear in anthologies. She has edited five anthologies for the Sunday Comix group, as well as curating exhibits of comic art for Wild Goose Creative, including the inaugural Comics vs Art show, with a follow-up show which will be up during September 2017. She engages in community outreach, hosting kids’ tables for creating comics at various events as well as teaching comics workshops for children. In her spare time, she makes the best cat toys in the universe, as well as a host of other tentacled creatures.


Capital City Comic-Con – https://CapCityComiCcon.com

The Lansing, MI Comic Convention with a dedicated focus on the comic book medium, the creators who invent these imaginary worlds and the collectibles they inspire—to both distinguish ourselves as a true comic convention, and to pay homage to the art form that sparked our imaginations as children and continues to inspire courage in us as adults.

Daniel J. Hoganhttp://clattertron.com

Daniel J. Hogan is an award-winning cartoonist from Lansing, Michigan (2015 Best Webcomic S.P.A.C.E Prize). In 2012, Daniel decided to put the voices in his head to good use and began publishing comics on his website Clattertron (found at clattertron.com). In 2016, Daniel started a new weekly all-ages fantasy comic story on Clattertron, called Foxes and Boxes. A life-long fan of cartoons, comics, and funny drawings, Daniel studied animation and film at Grand Valley State University before becoming a self-taught cartoonist. Follow Daniel on Twitter, @danieljhogan and Instagram, @clattertron.

Dean Stahlhttp://headlocksandheadaches.com

Born and raised in the downriver area, Dean has been a lifelong comics fan and also shows his love for wrestling in his webcomic, http://headlocksandheadaches.com

Deon Howard http://deonlhoward.wixsite.com/d-media

Deon Howard is a Cartoonist, Animator, Character Designer/ Illustrator/ Comic Book Artist/ Publisher. He’s also a recent alumni from Michigan State University.


Inspired by animated cartoons featured on Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Disney, he decided to one day create his own cartoons at an early age. He attended Michigan State with a desire to be able to create his own stories and characters and market them. He received his dual degree in Marketing and Communication Arts with a Specialization in Game Design. Throughout his time at Michigan State, he’s studied Studio Art, 2D and 3D animation and attended the Comics course taught by Ryan Claytor.


Professionally, Deon started with a position at the State News as a cartoonist from Fall 2014-Spring 2015. He also founded the MSU Graphic Novels Club to allow students to create stories, and create opportunities for them to be immersed in comic culture at Michigan State through networking, presentations, and comic conventions. Throughout his time, he published 4 anthologies, with help from dedicated members and his E-board, featuring student created stories, as well as his own.


Recently, he completed a children’s research project for Human Service Research, Inc. called Erika as the lead character designer/ illustrator, featuring over 8 character designs and 23 cartoon illustrations to be used for research questions. He self-published I’m Not Doing Inktober This Year, in celebration of the art challenge created by Jake Parker.

Gary Scott Beattyhttp://garyscottbeatty.com

Publisher, editor, writer, illustrator, colorist, and letterer Gary Scott Beatty offered five books on Amazon and Comixology in 2016 through Caliber Comics. Jazz: Midnight is a stand alone GN with story inspired by music and art inspired by ’50s album cover design. Worlds: Three Stories by Gary Scott Beatty is a 96 page collection of early work, unpublished art, in-depth articles, a jazz art gallery and more. Indie Comics #1, #2 and #3 feature promising newcomers and veteran independent creators, including Beatty’s own work. 2017’s digital-only project Strange Horror includes three tales of fright beyond the ordinary and an original music soundtrack performed by Beatty. http://garyscottbeatty.com/

James Anderson

By day James Anderson is a graphic designer, but by night he becomes the writer and illustrator of Ellie On Planet X, an online comic telling the tale of a little robot exploring a distant planet.


Jason Strutzstrutzart.com

Jason Strutz is the illustrator behind the The House of Montresor graphic novel with writer Enrica Jang from Action Lab Entertainment. He also publishes a variety of Make Your Own Comics, ABC books, and other comics. You can find more at StrutzArt.com.

Jay Jacotj2comics.blogspot.com

Jay, being an amalgamation of graphic designer, all around artist, and storyteller took up “comics” as a second language. He started out his comic career self publishing the now defunct Comics Obscura anthology which showcased many incredible creators and taught him many important lessons along the way. Since the downfall of that publication he’s been working on his own projects and helping others bring their comics projects to life. Jay lives in East Lansing, Michigan with his loving and supportive family.

Jay P. Fosgittwww.jayfosgitt.com

Jay P. Fosgitt has worked in comics since 2006, beginning with work on cartoonist Dave Alvarez’s YENNY (Alias Comics). In the years following, Jay has drawn many recognized properties, such as SESAME STREET and DREAMWORKS ANIMATION MAGAZINE (Ape Entertainment), MY LITTLE PONY and POPEYE (IDW), ADVENTURE TIME, THE AMAZING WORLD OF GUMBALL, and JIM HENSON’S LABYRINTH (Boom), BETTY AND VERONICA (Archie), ROCKET RACCOON AND GROOT, AVENGERS, GWENPOOL, WEB WARRIORS, CHAMPIONS and DEADPOOL (Marvel). Jay has also written and drawn his creator-owned titles DEAD DUCK AND ZOMBIE CHICK (Source Point Press), BODIE TROLL (Red 5 Comics) and NECRONOMICOMICS (Rue Morgue Magazine). Jay is also a member of The National Cartoonists Society. He resides in Plymouth, Michigan with his cat, Goonie.

Jeremy Stoll / Great Bear Comicswww.greatbearcomics.wordpress.com

Jeremy “Jaromir” Stoll is an author, artist, and folklorist who publishes comics and zines on the ineffable in life as Great Bear Comics, including the international Dogs! An Anthology of Comics (2014), the illustrated mystery The Color of Truth (2016), and the upcoming Dick Pic of Dorian Gray. Stoll also researches comics culture in India, with publications in The Routledge Companion to Comics, Marg: A Magazine of the Arts, and the forthcoming The Comics World: Comics, Graphic Novels, & Their Publics.

Jim McClainwww.solutionsquad.net

Jim McClain is the creator of Solution Squad, a self-published all-ages superhero comic with characters whose powers are based on mathematics. He is also a middle school math teacher with 30 years of experience in the classroom.

Jonathan J. Griffithjonthefamous.tumblr.com

Jonathan J. Griffith is an illustrator and author who lives in Ann Arbor, MI. Upon graduating college, he went on to become Creative Director of the Lansing based publication City Pulse until he quit in April of 2016 to pursue freelance art and creating comics full-time. He finds inspiration for his work in all manner of things, be it classic movies, the natural world, or the newest issue of Birds of Prey. Other than attempting to serve up vibrant and fun work, Jonathan can be found drinking obscene amounts of coffee, playing way too much Overwatch, and, if provoked, arguing with detractors about the magnificence of Aquaman.

Joshua Buchananjoshuadraws.com

Joshua is a graphic designer by day, storyteller and comic artist by night. Josh’s current work includes his own comic book, The Rocket and Scratch9: Cat of Nine Worlds.


More all ages books are being planned for future release. Josh lives in Howell, Michigan with his wife and two daughters.

Ken Leinaarwww.kenscomics.com

Ken Leinaar is a professional artist from Bay City, MI,. He’s been drawing comics for several years, having worked for publishers such as Cosmic Times, Creature Entertainment, Paperback Jack, and his own imprint, INKreMental Studios. Published works include: Spring River Wild, From Blood, Legends of Log, Pangea, Global Defense Force, and a horror novel, Midnight Eternal. Ken has also produced illustrations for Michigan State University, and countless graphics for advertising and businesses including ACTZ Cosmetics and D’Angelo’s Pizza. In short, Ken likes to draw a lot of stuff, and you can see more of his caffiene-fueled creations at www.kenscomics.com

Lisa Naffzigerhttp://lisanaffziger.crevado.com

Lisa Naffziger is a comic artist and children’s book illustrator from the midwest. In March of 2014, she graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Sequential Art. She is a full-time freelance artist, known for illustrating the graphic novel, Life’s Questions Answered and the children’s book, Ozzie the Courageous Otter. In addition to collaborative work, she also maintains a sad romance webcomic called Petrichor.


Be it Japanese monsters or goofy comics about David Bowie, Lisa draws them all. She has a habit of making things a tad too colorful, but that makes her work all the more eye-catching.

Matt Feazellwww.cynicalman.com

Matt Feazell comics and spot illustrations have appeared in Disney Adventures and Nickleodeon Magazine. His regular weekly series, The Amazing Cynicalman appears in the Hamtramck Review and Flint Comix & Entertainment newspapers as well as at www.cynicalman.com. He’s currently promoting his new project, Stick Figure Presidents.

MSU Graphic Novels Clubhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/MSUGraphicNovels/

The Michigan State University Graphic Novels Club is a student based group dedicated to writing, illustrating, and discussing graphic novels of all styles. Each year, we publish an anthology show casing student work.

Robert Hendricksroberthendricks.net/comics

Michigan based visual storyteller captivated by the bizarre, eccentric and troubled lives of human beings.

Ryan Claytorhttp://www.ElephantEater.com

Ryan Claytor is a comics artist and professor living in Holt, Michigan. He is the head of the “Comics Art and Graphic Novel” Minor at Michigan State University and teaches several Comics Studio courses at MSU. Claytor’s achievements have included two 1st place S.P.A.C.E. (Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo) Prizes for best Mini-Comic/Short Story, a Cartoonist in Residence position at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, California, visiting lecturerships at the Dallas Museum of Art , The Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont, and The Savannah College of Art and Design, an internship with Marvel Comics in New York City, and judging the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing Award. He has also served as the Director of the Michigan State University Comics Forum, an event for scholars, creators and fans, since 2009, as well as Host/Producer of the MSU Comics Art and Graphic Novel Podcast (msucomics.libsyn.com). As a creator, Claytor is most widely known for his self-published, autobiographical, comic book series And Then One Day.

Scott Hallwww.rubbateets.com

Best known for writing his own autobiography in 1999 called I Like Con Air, So What?. But also known for making comics, illustrations and really strange web-comics. Has been seen eating pizza without a license and practicing white wizard spells from Final Fantasy 3. To date, none of these spells have succeeded. Currently, he is keeping the web-comic RUBBATEETS.com up to date as often as his baby hands can manage.

Sean Dempseywww.smdempseycomics.com

Sean Dempsey graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Sequential Art. His independent comics focus on curiosity and adventure through traveling or misfit characters. Whether in a comic, illustration, or cartoon, his 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.


Stephen Harrickhttp://steveharrick.deviantart.com/gallery/

Stephen Harrick is a writer and teacher living in Michigan. His work has been published by GreyHaven Comics and Ink & Drink Comics. His tastes are eclectic, and his comics range from horror, all ages and, most recently, the silent western Montana Sapphire, published by Ink & Drink Comics in 2016. He is currently working on an untitled comic project with artist John King.

Stu RasePrinceDelight.com

Stu Rase is a thirty-something high school teacher, freestyle rapper, and comic book writer. His most recent works include Teacher Strips, an auto-bio graphic novel about his experiences as a high school teacher available on Comixology Submit; Billy the Dark Elf, a humorous documentary comic about LARPing illustrated by renound fantasy artist Pat Loboyko; Refugee Road, a comic about the real cost of escaping poverty; and To Boldly Go, an award nominated, that’s right NOMINATED, mini-comic of a transgender father’s tribute to Leonard Nimoy.


Before becoming a teacher, Stu performed all over the country as an improvisational comedian. After becoming a teacher, he’s given up on most of his dreams, had a kid, and spends his free time huddled over an art board desperately clinging to his youth.

Suzanne Baumannwww.fridge-mag.com

Suzanne makes comics from her attic in Hamtramck, MI. Minicomic titles include the series As Eavesdropped (based on overheard conversations), Turtleneck Boy (she created the character & 25 cartoonists did their take on him), and Ball Point (doodles, tiny and free). She’s currently working on Sucker Street, an online graphic novel. Follow it at fridge-mag.com/suckerstreet.

Travis McIntirewww.sourcepointpress.com

Travis is an editor, producer, writer, and business owner. His published works include Bayani and the Nine Daughters of The Moon from independent publishing legend, Caliber Comics among several others. Travis is also the Editor-In-Chief and President of Source Point Press, a comic and book publishing company. He is also a founding member of the Michigan Comics Collective.


Travis is currently producer of the in-production feature film Rottentail and is involved in some level of development for at least 8 other properties, including development deals for both toy lines and board games.


Travis lives in Midland, Michigan with his wife and two children.

Trico J. Lutkinswww.tricolutkins.com

Trico Lutkins cofounded Source Point Press in 2012. Since then it has grown to be the largest comic book and graphic novel publish in Michigan (second only to Caliper Comics). Since then he has written for RIA Comics, Caliper Comics, and the Michigan Comics Collective. He has presented several lectures and workshop on writing, publishing and distributing comics. He’s currently utilizing his Masters in History to write comics based on historical events and producing a full length feature film based on a screenplay he wrote. He has projects in production with Evolved Comics, Source Point Press, Scapegoat Press, and Valiant Comics that are due to be released in 2017.

Tyler Sowleshttp://killustrationstudios.deviantart.com/

Tyler Sowles is a freelance artist and comic illustrator. He graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design in 2009 with a BFA in illustration. He currently lives in Grand Rapids, MI with his kids, Donovan and Violet.

Weston Notestinewww.westonnotestine.com

Weston Notestine is a comic artist and illustration living in Memphis, TN. His work is inspired by 80s horror, heavy metal, and bright colors.

Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.

The Michigan State University Comics Forum is sponsored by The MSU Department of Art, Art History and Design, The Journal of Popular Culture, Clem's Comics and Games, The MSU Department of English, The MSU Special Collections Library, Hollow Mountain Comics, Games & Collectibles, the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, MATRIX: The Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences, MSU Muslim Studies Program, and BRD Printing.

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