Visiting Artist Fall 2014

John Porcellino was born in Chicago, in 1968, and has been writing, drawing, and publishing minicomics, comics, and graphic novels for over thirty years. His celebrated self-published series King-Cat Comics, begun in 1989, has inspired a generation of cartoonists. Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man, a collection of King-Cat stories about Porcellino’s experiences as a pest control worker, won an Ignatz Award in 2005, and Perfect Example, first published in 2000, chronicles his struggles with depression as a teenager. King-Cat Classix and Map of My Heart, published in 2007/2009, offer a comprehensive overview of the zine’s first sixty-one issues, while Thoreau at Walden (2008) is a poetic expression of the great philosopher’s experience and ideals. According to cartoonist Chris Ware, “John Porcellino’s comics distill, in just a few lines and words, the feeling of simply being alive.” Porcellino’s work has been translated into French, German, Spanish, Swedish, Italian, and Korean. He currently lives in Beloit, Wisconsin.

Tara McGowan has been fascinated by all forms of picture-storytelling, East and West, since childhood. As a visual artist, who has lived and studied in Japan for many years, she brings to her performances and residencies an intimate knowledge of the language and culture. Her programs bring Japan to life through story, song, and image, and the artwork and artifacts she creates help students visualize the objects and landscape of everyday life. Tara graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Language and Literacy in Education division of the Graduate School of Education in 2012. She is revising her dissertation into a book that examines student performances of original kamishibai stories. Her earlier book on teaching kamishibai  storytelling in the classroom published by Teacher Ideas Press, an imprint of Libraries Unlimited, came out in 2010.

Ilan Manouach is a visual artist, a musician and a publisher. In 1998 he moved to Belgium to study visual arts and comics. Since then he has published many books, sometimes comic books, mostly in French. As a musician, his solo projects evolve from noise cut-up techniques to elevator deep techno aesthetics and he also works actively within a field recordings Phd proposal project. As a publisher, he works in Athens and publishes translations of alternative comics and other books that matter.

Harry Bliss is a cartoonist and cover artist for The New Yorker magazine and others. His first book A Fine, Fine School by Newbery Award winning author Sharon Creech, was a New York Times bestseller. He went on to illustrate many other books, including, Which Would You Rather Be? by William Steig; Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee; the #1 New York Times bestseller Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin; and Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DeCamillo. Harry Bliss lives in South Burlington, Vermont.

Peter Kuper’s illustrations and comics appear regularly in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, and MAD, where he illustrates SPY vs. SPY every month. He has written and illustrated many books including Comics Trips, a journal of an eight-month trip through Africa and Southeast Asia. Other works include Stripped – An Unauthorized Autobiography, Mind’s Eye, The System, a wordless graphic novel and adaptations of numerous short stories of Franz Kafka collected in Give It Up!. All of these are sampled in Speechless, a coffee table art book covering his career up to 2000. In 1979 he co-founded the political comix magazine World War 3 Illustrated and remains on its editorial board to this day. Since 1986 he has taught courses in comics and illustration at the School of Visual Arts and currently at Parsons in New York City and is also an art director of INX, a political illustration group syndicated through the web at Peter Kuper lives in Manhattan with his wife Betty Russell, and their daughter Emily.

Brendan Burford is the editor of King Features Syndicate, home to Popeye, Flash Gordon, Hagar the Horrible and Mutts, and many other wonderful comic strips. Brendan has had his own comics published in various magazines and anthologies, and he has independently published the work of many other cartoonists in his non-fiction comics anthology, Syncopated. After successfully self-publishing three volumes of Syncopated, a fourth was published by Random House, and was nominated for an Eisner Award. His entire life, Brendan has been immersed in all things comics — from comics strips to comics books, independent and alternative comics, and mainstream comics alike. He has a deep knowledge of comics history. He also loves collecting records.

After years of using stories to teach medical students at University of Vermont’s College of Medicine, Dana Walrath spent last year as a Fulbright Scholar at American University of Armenia’s School of Public Health and at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Science of Armenia. She is currently working on a graphic memoir that combines her observations on the experience of aging in this ancient culture with her award winning graphic memoir series, Aliceheimer’s. She is a co-author of one of the leading college textbook series in anthropology, and she has shown her art work in a variety of venues throughout North America and Europe. Her verse novel, Like Water on Stone, set during the Armenian genocide is forthcoming from Delacorte Press (Penguin Random House) in 2014.

Kevin Huizenga was born near Chicago in 1977.  He is currently drawing the comic book series Or Else for Drawn and Quarterly and Gangs for Fantagraphics Books. He grew up in South Holland, Illinois, went to college in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and now lives in a suburb of Saint Louis, Missouri, with his wife.

Warren Bernard is Executive Director of the Small Press Expo (SPX) independent sequential art festival, and is a comics-focused writer and historian. He co-authored the Eisner Award-nominated book Drawing Power, and has extensively researched and written about the 1950s Juvenile Delinquency / Senate Comic Book Hearings. A contributor to more than a dozen books, he often provides rare materials from his own extensive collection. Both the Library of Congress and The Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS) have hosted his lectures. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

Karl Stevens is a graphic novelist and painter. His first book, Guilty, was published in 2004 with a grant from the Xeric Foundation. He is also the author of Whatever (2008) and The Lodger (2010). His comic strips have appeared since 2005 in the alternative newsweekly the Boston Phoenix.