Visiting Artist Spring 2009

Stephen R. Bissette won many industry awards in his quarter-century in comics as a cartoonist, writer, editor and publisher. A pioneer graduate of the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon & Graphic Art, he is best-known for Saga of the Swamp Thing, Taboo, 1963, Tyrant, co-creating John Constantine, and creating the world’s second ’24- Hour Comic,’ invented by Scott McCloud as a challenge for Bissette. His comics efforts fueled many films (Constantine, From Hell, TMNT II: Secret of the Ooze, etc.), and he and his son Daniel created the comic that appears in the award-winning indy feature Head Trauma. He illustrates books and has authored fiction (including the Stoker Award-winning novella Aliens: Tribes) and non-fiction (co-authoring Comic Book Rebels, The Monster Book: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and solo articles/essays for film books, magazines and his own book series Green Mountain Cinema). His previous work in education includes lecturing at Yale, Dartmouth College, Duquesne University, Smith College, Marlboro College, etc., and Middlebury College’s Breadloaf Young Writers Workshop. His papers reside in the Special Collections of HUIE Library at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

Calista Brill’s first job in publishing was at the Disney Book Group, where she edited many books and comics about Princesses, Fairies, and Pirates, to name a few fantastical demographics. She also acquired Kean Soo’s graphic novel Jellaby for Hyperion Books for Children. Since 2008, she has been working at First Second acquiring and editing graphic novels for people of all ages, tastes, and temperaments.

Peggy Burns is the Associate Publisher of the world renowned, Montreal-based graphic novel and comics arts company Drawn & Quarterly. At D+Q, Burns works with the world’s best cartoonist including Lynda Barry, Adrian Tomine, Seth, Chris Ware and CCS co-founder James Sturm. Previously, Burns was the Publicity Manager at DC Comics where she spearheaded publicity campaigns for Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, Kevin Smith and Stan Lee.

Since receiving her BFA in Sequential Art, Robyn Chapman has been independently producing, publishing and printing her own comics and zines. In 2000 she received a Xeric Grant for her first comic, Theater of the Meek. Robyn’s work has been featured in several anthologies and publications, including Scheherazade, Stuck in the Middle, and the NY Metro. In 2004 Robyn was a featured cartoonist in The Comics Journal’s young cartoonist issue. In 2005 Robyn became CCS’s first Fellow, in 2008 they awarded her with an honorary MFA. In addition to CCS, Robyn has taught cartooning in after-school programs, workshops, and at the New School in New York City.

Jeff Danziger an independent political cartoonist whose work appears in hundreds of newspapers around the world via The New York Times Syndicate. He draws from six to ten cartoons a week on a wide variety of subjects, from international folly to Hollywood hubris. Danziger started his career in 1975 at Vermont’s Rutland Herald and still contributes a weekly serial titled The Teeds: Tales of Agriculture for the Young and Old. Danziger contributed cartoons to The Christian Science Monitor between 1987 and 1997. His books include Wreckage Begins with “W”, Blood, Debt & Fears and Used Cartoons. He was awarded the 2006 Herblock Prize, the 2008 Thomas Nast Prize, and is a decorated Vietnam veteran.

Liza Donnelly is a staff cartoonist for The New Yorker and has appeared in many other national publications, including The New York Times, The Nation, and Glamour. Donnelly conceived of and edited three collections of cartoons for Ballantine Books called Mothers and Daughters, Fathers and Sons and Husbands and Wives (the last two with Michael Maslin). Ms. Donnelly wrote a history of the women cartoonists of The New Yorker, titled Funny Ladies: The New Yorker’s Greatest Women Cartoonists and Their Cartoons. She has also written and illustrated a children’s series of dinosaur books for Scholastic, Inc. Her latest book is Sex and Sensibility: Ten Women Examine the Lunacy of Modern Love in 200 Cartoons. Donnelly is a participant in the Cartooning for Peace initiative, which has spoken at the United Nations and travels worldwide.

Chris Duffy is the Senior Comics Editor at Nickelodeon Magazine, where he has been writing articles and editing comics for 12 years. The Nickelodeon Magazine comics section was nominated for a Harvey Award for best anthology three times. Before Nickelodeon Magazine, Chris was an associate editor at DC Comics and before that he was a copy editor for several kids book publishers. He has written comics, including large swaths of DC’s Bizarro Comics anthology and its sequel, Bizarro World.

Jules Feiffer’s internationally syndicated cartoon ran for 42 years in the Village Voice and won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for political cartoons. His cartoons have also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, Esquire, Playboy, and The Nation. In his early years, Feiffer was an assistant to Will Eisner on his acclaimed comic strip, The Spirit. In 1965, Feiffer wrote what is arguably the first critical history of the comic book superheroes, The Great Comic Book Heroes. Feiffer is also the author of numerous plays (Little Murders, Knock Knock, Grown-Ups) screenplays (Carnal Knowledge, Popeye, I Want to Go Home) and children’s books (Henry, The Dog With No Tail, A Room With a Zoo, The Daddy Mountain among many others). Feiffer’s cartoons have been collected into 19 books including Sick, Sick, Sick, Passionella, and Tantrum. In addition to his Pulitzer Prize, Feiffer has won an OBIE Award, an Academy Award for Best Animation, and the National Cartoonist Society Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award.

John Steven Gurney studied illustration at Pratt Institute and spent summers drawing caricatures on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. Since 1984 he has illustrated board games, advertisements, magazine stories and more. He is the illustrator of over 100 books for children, including Scholastic’s The Bailey School Kids series and Random House’s The A to Z Mysteries series. Dinosaur Train, published by HarperCollins, is the first book he has written and illustrated, and it was inspired by his son’s love of dinosaurs and trains.

Paul Karasik was the associate editor of Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly’s avant-garde international comics and graphics review, RAW. His graphic novel adaptation of Paul Auster’s City of Glass, done in collaboration with artist David Mazzucchelli, has been published in six languages and was named one of the best 100 comics of the century by The Comics Journal. Karasik edited the Fletcher Hanks collection I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets!, published by Fantagraphic in 2007. Another Fletcher Hanks volume, You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation! will be published in 2009.

Dave Kiersh’s books include Greatest Hits (2004), Last Cry For Help (2006) and Neverland (2008) published by Bodega.  His forthcoming full color collection of short stories, Dirtbags, Mallchicks and Motorbikes, was awarded a 2008 Xeric Grant.  Additional work by him has also appeared in the anthologies, NON, Syncopated, Meathaus and The Anthology of Graphic Fiction Volume 2.  Outside of cartooning, Dave has worked as a teacher, teenage librarian, illustrator and graphic designer.

Michael Maslin was born and raised in New Jersey.  In 1976 he graduated from The University of Connecticut with a major in Printmaking.  He has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1977.  Simon & Schuster published four collections of his work, and he has collaborated with fellow New Yorker cartoonist (and wife), Liza Donnelly, on a number of collections, the most recent being Cartoon Marriage, published by Random House in 2009. He continues to work on a biography of the late New Yorker artist, Peter Arno — a project begun in 1999.

Kevin Pyle has done illustrations for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Progressive, The Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal as well as numerous other publications. His illustrations appear regularly in the National Law Journal. He is a longtime contributor/co-editor of World War 3 Illustrated, America’s longest-running radical comic book. His docucomic, Lab U.S.A. – illuminated documents, received a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators. Lab U.S.A. is a history, in comic book form, of medicine and science in the service of racist and political imperatives. Pyle’s latest graphic novel, Blindspot, was published by Henry Holt in 2007.

Puppeteer, mask maker and performance artist Gabriel Q has baffled audiences since the 5th grade when he discovered the power of drag and improv during show and tell. Whether turning himself into a drooling baby in a stilt walking high chair or launching six enormous butterfly puppets in a Mardi Gras parade, this Vermont resident delights in parading his cabin fever for the entertainment of others.

Jim Rugg grew up in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, in a small town, south of Pittsburgh. He earned a BFA at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is the co-creator of Street Angel, The PLAIN Janes, and the Afrodisiac. His comics have appeared in New York Magazine, LA Weekly, Vh1, Meathaus, the SPX annual, Pornhounds, True Porn, Project: Superior, Project: Romantic, Popgun, 24/seven, Cinema Sewer, and the Society of Illustrators Annuals.  They have been published in Spain, France, Italy, and Serbia. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and three cats.

In his previous life, Brett Warnock was a swim instructor, lifeguard, and bartender. In 1995 he started publishing under the moniker Primal Groove Press, with the Top Shelf anthology as the flagship title. (Coincidentally, the first book he published, was the last one he actual drew himself. His dream of inking X-Men shattered.) In 1997 he changed the company name to Top Shelf Productions, and that fall Chris Staros came on board as a partner, and together they have survived and thrived as publishers of fine comics and graphic novels.