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Comics Fest


October 2014

Comics Fest 2014 event schedule

Wednesdays, October 1, 8, 15 and 22

Auto-Bio Comics Workshop Series for Teens and Tweens with Eric Knisley

4:00 pm, Southwest Regional Library • 3605 Shannon Rd.

DRT-knisleyLearn to make comics with artist Eric Knisley in this 4 session workshop. Students will learn basics such as page composition, character design and story structure. Ages 8-14, registration required.


Friday, October 10drt-image

Visual Imagery and the Civil Rights Movement

12:00 pm, Bragtown Library Family Literacy Center • 3200 Dearborn Dr.

DRT-powellJoin Gail Williams in a  presentation and discussion of the impact of visual images from March: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell. Williams is an artist, educator and career counselor.
This program is co-sponsored by Durham Reads Together.

Saturday, October 11 drt-image

Film Screening: White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in Comic Books

3:00 pm, Stanford L. Warren Branch Library • 1201 Fayetteville St.

DRT-white-scriptsIn this thought provoking documentary, African-American Studies professor and filmmaker Jonathan Gayles discusses
the 40-year evolution of black superheroes in American comic books against the backdrop of American racial history and negative African-American stereotypes.

This program is co-sponsored by Durham Reads Together.

Thursday, October 23drt-image

Teen Auto-Bio Comics Workshop with Eric Knisley

6:00 pm, East Regional Library • 211 Lick Creek Ln.

DRT-knisleyJoin illustrator Eric Knisley for this creative event! Knisley will demonstrate and teach tweens and teens basic comic drawing techniques. In honor of the Durham Reads Together book, March: Book One, participants will draw a comic illustrating one important moment or event in their lives. Bring your doodling ideas, and join the fun! Refreshments provided.
This program is co-sponsored by Durham Reads Together.

Friday, October 24

Teen Costuming Workshop with Jared Axelrod

4:00 pm, Southwest Regional Library • 3605 Shannon Road


Get Halloween started with an easy, customizable mask in this workshop with costume designer and cartoonist Jared Axelrod!  All supplies proveded. Registration required: call 919-560-8590.



Friday, October 24

Durham Comics Project Book Release Party

7:00 pm, Cocoa Cinnamon • 420 W. Geer St.

Draw Your Life - Durham Comics ProjectCome celebrate the unveiling of the Durham Comics Project book, and buy a copy of the book and a t-shirt too! Learn more about the book, a collection of comics about big and small moments in our community, at

Saturday, October 25

Comics Fest 2014 – The Main Event!

11:30 – 5:30 pm, Southwest Regional Library • 3605 Shannon Road

Workshops, activities, prizes and author visits for comics fans of all ages!


12:00 pm: Workshop with George O’Connor
Learn how to make comics from Olympians author/artist George O’Connor. Mr. O’Connor will go over the elements that make up a comic and share a behind the scenes look at my process, from first sketches to finished books. Participants will make their own one page comic during the session.
Ages 8-14. Registration required – call 919-560-8592.

tools12:00 pm: Writing for Artists, Drawing for Writers
Join Jared Axelrod (writer, The Battle of Blood and Ink) and Brian Shearer (artist Doctor Who and G.I. Joe) for a conversation about creating comics from both sides of the table. Book sale and signing afterwards. (This talk is recommended for comics lovers of all ages.)

Princeless-cover1:30 pm: Writing Comics with Jeremy Whitley
Ever wonder how comics are written? Many comics are written and illustrated by two different people, join Princeless author Jeremy Whitley as he explains the writers side of the comic. (This session is recommended for kids, teens, and parents.)


hera-cover3:00 pm: Draw the Gods with George O’Connor
Learn to draw characters from George O’Connor’s Olympians series of comics about classical myths and legends. Paper and pencil provided, or bring your own sketchpad! Book sale and signing afterwards. (This session is recommended for kids, teens and parents.)

batman4:30 pm: The Many Faces of Batman
Join Jared Axelrod for an entertaining discussion about the many cultural transformations of the Caped Crusader, from a gun-wielding pulp character, to a campy TV action figure, to today’s brooding crime-fighter, and everywhere in between. (This talk is recommended for adults and teens, but kids are welcome too.)

Plus prizes, activities, Durham Comics Project book and t-shirt sale, Durham Comics Fest t-shirt sale, the Comics Contraption and a host of local cartoonists in our Local Artist’s Alley throughout the event!

Overflow parking is available in the side lot of the Carmike Wynnsong 15 Cinema on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

Sunday, October 26 drt-image

Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Comic Book
that Changed the World

3:00 pm, Southwest Regional Library • 3605 Shannon Road

DRT-MLK-smallJoin Andrew Aydin, co-author of March: Book One, for a talk on the comic book that inspired John Lewis to write March. Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story was published in December 1957 by the Fellowship of Reconciliation. This comic inspired Lewis and many other young activists to join the movement and use the principles of nonviolence to battle racial discrimination. The comic has a long history of inspiring activists and has been used in South Africa, Uruguay, Vietnam, Egypt and Latin America. Book sale and signing afterwards. This program is co-sponsored by Durham Reads Together and the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

Overflow parking is available in the side lot of the Carmike Wynnsong 15 Cinema on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.


Featured Guests at Durham Comics Fest 2014

axelrodJared Axelrod is an author, illustrator, costume designer and more. He is the writer of The Battle of Blood and Ink: A Fable of the Flying City, illustrated by Steve Walker. Read more about Jared at


aydin-photoAndrew Aydin is Digital Director & Policy Advisor to Congressman John Lewis in Washington, D.C., and he is the co-author with Lewis and Nate Powell of March: Book One, this year’s Durham Reads Together title. Read more about Aydin at Andrew Aydin’s appearance was made possibly by Durham Reads Together.


gayles-photoDr. Jonathan Gayles is Associate Professor of African-American Studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the writer, director and producer of the documentary film White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in American Comic Books. Read more about Dr. Gayles and the film at Dr. Jonathan Gayles’ appearance was made possibly by Durham Reads Together.

knisley-photoEric Knisley is a cartoonist, illustrator and animator, and was a co-organizer of the Durham Indie Comics Expo as well as being a frequent contributor to the Durham Comics Fest.



oconnorGeorge O’Connor is the writer and artist of the acclaimed Olympians series, retellings of classical Greek myths, the illustrator of the Captain Awesome children’s book series, and the artist behind Journey into Mohawk Country, an adaptation of a 17th-Century travel journal. Learn more about George at and

shearerBrian Shearer is the creator of the ongoing webcomic William the Last, and has contributed art to IDW’s Doctor Who, G.I. Joe and Transformers comics. Read more about Brian at


whitleyJeremy Whitley is the writer of the Eisner-nominated Princeless, with artist M. Goodwin, and IDW’s My Little Pony: Friends Forever comics. Read more about Jeremy and Princeless at


Williams-Gail-photoGail Williams is a career counselor specializing in media and the arts, a working artist, and has been an art teacher and administrator from preschool through college levels. She has published numerous articles and has exhibited her art widely throughout the state. She is currently Adjunct Professor of Art at NC Central University and a Road Scholar with the NC Humanities Council. Gail Williams’ appearance was made possibly by Durham Reads Together.


Plus appearances by The Durham Comics Project, the Comics Contraption and a host of local cartoonists in our Local Artist’s Alley!

Past Comics Fest Guests

appel-photoSara Appel (2011) is a Visiting Research Scholar in the Program in Literature at Duke University. Along with many other subjects, Sara has studied gender representation in comics as well as the class-related implications of the medium.


bolling-photoBen Bolling (2011) is a Doctoral Candidate at UNC’s English & Comparative Literature department, where he studies comics in a number of capacities, including serial narratives and the sociology of comic book conventions.


burger-photo Jan Burger (2013) is a graduate of The Center for Cartoon Studies, and the creator of such comics as Uitke and the Lucky Penny.



clough-photoRob Clough (2011) is a Durham-based comics critic who writes for the print and online editions of The Comics Journal and at



crilley-photoMark Crilley (2012) is the author and illustrator of the Akiko and Billy Clikk books series for children, the Miki Falls graphic novel series for teens, and the new Brody’s Ghost graphic novel series for adults, as well as the Mastering Manga cartooning guides.


dawson-photoWillow Dawson (2012) is the writer and artist of Lila & Ecco’s Do-It-Yourself Comics Club, an excellent introduction to making your own comics for kids and parents. Visit Willow’s online portfolio at


hampton-photoScott Hampton (2013) is a veteran comic book artist whose work includes Batman: Gotham County Line, as well as chapters of The Books of Magic (written by Neil Gaiman), Hellboy (written by Mike Mignola), and the Immortals graphic novel


hansen-photoWill Hansen (2011) is Assistant Curator of Collections at Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, which includes the Edwin and Terry Murray Comic Book Collection.



jarrett-photoJarrett Krosoczka (2012) is the author of the popular Lunch Lady graphic novel series, as well as many more books for children. Read more about Jarrett at



lutes-photoJason Lutes (2011) is the writer and artist of the acclaimed Berlin series and Jar of Fools, and the writer, with artist Nick Bertozzi, of Houdini: The Handcuff King. Jason teaches at The Center for Cartoon Studies.



powell-photoNate Powell (2011) is the writer and artist of Swallow Me Whole, Any Empire and The Silence of Our Friends (written by Mark Long and Jim Demonakos). His latest work is March, is Georgia Congressman John Lewis’ graphic autobiography, written with Lewis staff aid Andrew Aydin. Read more about Nate at


telgemeier-photoRaina Telgemeier (2013) is the award-winning cartoonist behind Smile, Drama and the Baby-Sitters Club graphic novels. Her latest book, due out August 2014, is Sisters. Read more about Raina at


tolpygo-photoKirill Tolpygo (2011) is Slavic & East European Studies Librarian at UNC Chapel Hill and maintains a collection of East European and Slavic-language comics at UNC’s Davis Library



towle-photoBen Towle (2013) is the artist behind the folktale collection Farewell, Georgia and the biography Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean. See more of Ben’s work at



vernon-photoUrsula Vernon (2013) is the writer and artist of the Hugo Award-winning Digger series for adults and the Dragonbreath series for children.


Photos from Past Fests


Attendees line up to have comics signed by Comics Fest guests, 2013.


Raina Telgemeier runs a cartooning workshop for kids, 2013.


Raina Telgemeier demonstrates comics storytelling, 2013.


Raina Telgemeier presents her work to fans of all ages before a book signing, 2013.


Scott Hampton discusses cartooning with workshop participants, 2013.


A cartoonist’s panel about taking comics from sketches and scripts to a finished project, featuring (left to right) Ben Towle, Scott Hampton and Jan Burger, 2013.


Comics Fest organizer Matt Wood cosplays Scott Pilgrim villain Gideon Graves, 2013.


Mark Crilley (far left) and Willow Dawson (second from right) with Comics Fest organizers Amy Godfrey and Patrick Holt, 2012.


Willow Dawson looks at work by a member of the Kids Comics Club, 2012.


Ben Bolling, Will Hansen, Kirill Tolypgo and Sara Appel discuss the place of comics in the university setting, 2012.


Mark Crilley demonstrates page design and panel layout, 2012.


Fans share their homemade Lunch Lady board game with Jarrett Krosoczka, 2011.


Jan Burger (left) and Jason Lutes sign books for Comics Fest attendees, 2011.


Jason Lutes with the winner of a sponsored prize drawing, provided by the Friends of the Durham Library, 2011.


Jarrett Krosoczka demonstrates character proportions with Lunch Lady, 2011.

Thanks to our Sponsors!

The Durham Comics Fest is made possible by funds from the Friends of the Durham Library with additional support from the Durham Library Foundation. Thank you!

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