Visiting Faculty Fall 2010

Kate Beaton’s historical comics rapidly earned a devoted following on LiveJournal and at harkavagrant.com. Her cartoons have also appeared in The New Yorker and Harper’s Magazine, and her spontaneous line and attention to detail have made her a sought-after illustrator. Or as she would have it, she “was born in Nova Scotia, took a history degree in New Brunswick, paid it off in Alberta, worked in a museum in British Columbia, then came to Ontario to draw pictures.”

Dark Horse editor Diana Schutz has worked with renowned cartoonists such as Frank Miller, Dave Sim, Will Eisner, Neil Gaiman and Harvey Pekar. She dropped out of a graduate program in philosophy to work at a Vancouver comic shop called, of all things, ComicShop. She moved on to Comics & Comix in California, where she created The Telegraph Wire, a bimonthly publication with comics news, reviews and interviews. She made freelance contributions to various fan publications, such as The Comics Journal and Comics Buyer’s Guide and eventually worked as an assistant editor at Marvel, for four days. Diana moved on to the now-defunct indie publisher, Comico, and in 1990 landed at Dark Horse in Portland, Oregon. Anthologies she has edited have won several Eisners and a Harvey, and in 2006 she was given a Friends of Lulu Award for Women of Distinction.

Scott Dikkers made his first animated cartoon on Super-8 film in 1981. His second was produced on a computer, programmed on an Apple IIe in 1982. By 1983 he moved to multi-panel comic strips, winning first prize in a state Journalism contest for a comic strip he drew for his high-school newspaper. He went on to create and draw comic strips professionally. One of his comic strips, Jim’s Journal, appeared in 200 newspapers and spawned a bestselling collection published by Andrews-McMeel. In 1988 Dikkers helped create a new humor newspaper, The Onion. He served as editor-in-chief and launched it as the world’s first humor website. In the company’s second decade, Dikkers oversaw The Onion’s creative expansion into book publishing, radio, and web video. He resigned his post in 2008 to start Dikkers Cartoon Company.

Vanessa Davis is an illustrator and cartoonist originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, now living in Santa Rosa, California. Her first book, Spaniel Rage, was published by Buenaventura Press in 2005. Her second, Make Me a Woman, was released by Drawn & Quarterly in October, 2010. Her illustrations have graced publications such as The New York Times and Jane magazine, and she continues to publish mostly autobiographical and diary strips on her website.

Aaron Renier was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and went to art school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’s always drawn comics, and has always been searching for ways to put them out… contributing to school papers, making school papers when the school didn’t have one, and making his own mini comics. Since Milwaukee, he has lived in Portland, Oregon, where he drew his first book, Spiral-Bound, and Brooklyn, New York, where he drew The Unsinkable Walker Bean. He has recently moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he’s working on the second Walker Bean book. There is a very vibrant and supportive community of cartoonists in Chicago, and it is the perfect place for a Midwestern boy and his dog to draw and play fetch. Aaron is the recipient of an Eisner Award for Talent Deserving Wider Recognition, and a nominee for best Children’s Album in 2005.

Jerry Craft is the creator of Mama’s Boyz, an award-winning comic strip that has been distributed by King Features Syndicate since 1995. He is currently one of only a handful of syndicated African-American cartoonists in the country. Jerry is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts where he received his BFA degree in advertising. After working in the ad world for a dozen years as a copywriter, he got his first job as a cartoonist working with Barbara Slate on a variety of comic books and graphic novels for Marvel and Harvey Comics. This was followed by eight years at King Features Syndicate where he wrote sales brochures for some of the world’s most popular comic strips. When he is not at his drawing table, or spending time with his family, Jerry travels to schools, camps and libraries giving his popular cartooning workshops.

Laura Park lives in Chicago and invented molasses in the 15th century. She has tried and failed to get more sunlight and exercise, but we do what we can, right? She found art school was not for her and is mostly self-trained. Her comics are in Mome and in Best American Comics 2009; her artwork graces albums and posters from indie music label Asthmatic Kitten. She is currently at work on a book of comics and sketchbook pages.

Scott Campbell paints adorable little watercolor paintings that often times depict fantastical and pleasant creatures enjoying each other’s company.  They are meant to elicit a reaction of glee from people.  His paintings have appeared in numerous shows and publications around the world, as well as on CDs and DVDs, such as the cover for King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters and MC Frontalot’s record Final Boss.  He also creates comics, which include Hickee Comics and the stories Igloo Head and Tree Head appearing in the anthology Flight.  His daily web comic called Double Fine Action Comics lives at doublefine.com, home of Double Fine Productions, where he has worked as Art Director on games such as Psychonauts and Brütal Legend.  His newly launched site GREAT SHOWDOWNS showcases small watercolor paintings of pivotal moments in film history… one a day.

John Brodowski grew up in an “utterly unremarkable” New England town. Unfortunately this is also where he currently lives. During his brain’s most crucial developmental period he enjoyed watching many, many horror movies such as Rawhead Rex, Death Race 2000, and The Toxic Avenger. He also enjoyed staying up very late and eating 10-packs of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. He is currently battling a Pepsi addiction but can’t seem to make comics without it. His Curio Cabinet series of short stories is known for its blend of suburban blandness and twisted, funny horror, and gained him a spot in the over-sized Kramer’s Ergot 7.

Graphic novelist and comics instructor at the University of Cincinnati, Carol Tyler studied fine arts and went on to have a varied career in fields such as museum exhibit design and stand-up comedy. Her first published comic short was in Aline Kominsky Crumb’s Weirdo in 1987. Since then her work has appeared in The LA Times, Kramer’s Ergot, and the fabled female comics anthologies Twisted Sisters and Wimmen’s Comix. Two solo collections, The Job Thing and Late Bloomer, were published by Fantagraphics, and she is currently at work on a three-part memoir about her father’s experience in World War II.