Stories tagged Alumni

Cooper Whittlesey’s “Omens of Normal Living”

Omens of Normal Living by Cooper Whittlesey

Cooper Whittlesey (’16) is a multi-talented creator. In addition to creating comics, he is also a singer in a band and an actor. His most debut comic from Uncivilized Books is out now, Omens of Normal Living.

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Alum Spotlight: Another Starred Review for Katherine Roy’s latest Elephant book

September 20, 2017
3:30 pmto5:00 pm


How to Be an Elephant from Katherine Roy (’10) in September 2017 and is getting starred reviews from Library Journal and more! In this children’s picture book, she explores the childhood of an African elephant. As with her previous book, Neighborhood Sharks, she did massive amounts of research. She even traveled to Kenya where she was able to talk to elephant experts and see real elephants in the wild.

First sharks, then elephants. How do you pick your topics?

The idea to do a book about great white sharks initially came from my editor, Simon Boughton. During our introductory meeting, I told him that I’d spent a season teaching environmental education aboard a schooner on the Puget Sound, and one year later he asked if I’d be interested in doing a book on great white sharks, given my love of marine biology. There was no contract at the outset—it was just a prompt—but I ran home and got to work on a rough draft of what would become Neighborhood Sharks, which Simon bought about six months later. After turning in the final art for Sharks, he asked me what I’d like to work on next, and I told him that I’d always been fascinated by the social proximity between humans and elephants. A few months later, he bought the rough draft for How to Be an Elephant. So my topics all come from my personal interests, and I’m thankful to have an editor who listens and trusts me to follow those interests. Of course, he’s said “no” to a number of other topics I’ve pitched him, but always for good reasons!

"With Flapping Ears" spread in How to Be an Elephant

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Alum Spotlight:
Sasha Velour

Stonewall by Sasha Velour

Sasha Velour (’13) is the most recent winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, season 9!  And we all send her the biggest congratulations! Her thesis project back in 2013, Stonewall, is a graphic novel about the 1969 Stonewall Riots.

Stonewall by Sasha Velour, 2013 thesis project

On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in New York, and the patrons and other sympathizer rioted in a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations. Considered a turning in the history of LGBT rights, Sasha uses multiple protagonists in a variety of historical styles to navigate the complicated and elusive story.

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Industry Day 2017

Robyn Chapman, Calvin Reid, Sheila Keenan, Tanya McKinnon, and Kevin Czap.

Industry Day 2017 panel

This Industry Day, The Center for Cartoon Studies was treated to a wide range of industry veterans from agents and editors to publishers. From the big comics publishers, we had our own Robyn Chapman, currently an editor at First Second. Representing the publishing industry news reporters, Calvin Reid is the senior news editor at Publisher’s Weekly, a weekly news magazine about the international book publishing business. Representing the big publishers, Sheila Keenan is a nonfiction editor at Penguin Random House. A comics agent, Tanya McKinnon came from McKinnon McIntyre. And from the independent comics publishers, we had Kevin Czap from Czap Books.

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Alum Spotlight: Dakota McFadzean

Dakota McFadzean in a snowy winter

Dakota McFadzean is a Canadian cartoonist who graduated from The Center for Cartoon Studies in 2012. He went on to win a Doug Wright award in 2015 for for Don’t Get Eaten By Anything, a collection of his daily comics. Now he works for DreamWorks on Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh. He gave me (Angela Boyle ’15) a brief interview.

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A Slate 12 Panel Pitch by CCS Alum Joe Lambert


Read Endless Run: Romance in a hail of bullets on

Click here to see all 12 Panel Pitch stories published.

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CCS Alum To Watch: Donna Almendrala

She doesn’t work for peanuts– oh wait, yes she does! Peanuts with a capital P, that is. Hearty congratulations to class of 2012 alumna Donna Almendrala for joining the staff at Schulz Studios in Santa Rosa, CA. As a production artist, Donna will take on various tasks at the studio, including design approval for licensees, coloring, digital production, graphic and web design. “The job will grow into where my interests and skills lie as time goes on,” says Almendrala, who began work this week. Best of luck with this amazing opportunity, Donna!

You can see more of Donna’s personal work and other comics projects at her website:

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Two Eisner Nominations for Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller

The final book in CCS/Hyperion book series continues to excite readers and critics alike. Annie Sullivan has been nominated for Eisner Awards in the categories of Best Publication for Teens, and Best Reality-Based Work. Congratulations CCS alumni Joe Lambert!

See the full list of nominees here.


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Other Stories: Dakota McFadzean


Dakota McFadzean (CCS ’12) is known for his ability to combine classic comic conventions with the darkest modern humor, juxtapose the minutiae of the daily grind with the vastness of the universe, render the bleakest truths of human existence in the most charming, accessible style, and still get us to laugh day after day.  It’s very exciting to announce that his book Other Stories and the Horse You Rode In On, a collection of short works, will be available this fall from Conundrum Press. Bring on the lawn gnomes, the displaced faces, and the telekinetic pigeons! They’re all there, under a yawning Saskatchewan sky.


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CCS Alum Book is Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Book Prize

The 2012 Los Angeles Times Festival of Book Prizes ceremony honors the best books of 2011. This year, The Center for Cartoon Studies alum Joe Lambert’s I Will Bite You! is a Graphic Novel Finalist!  Buy a copy today!

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