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Comics Fest


October 2014

Friday, October 10

Art 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.

How to Get Here

Bragtown Library Family Literacy Center is located at 3200 Dearborn Dr. in Durham, NC:

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Saturday, October 11

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, interactive documentary film screening of White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in American Comic Books and community dialogue, Georgia State University professor of African-American Studies Jonathan Gayles critically discusses the contemporary societal relationships and 40-year evolution of black superheroes in American comic books. He examines how their portrayal is predicated on the longstanding backdrop of American racial history which often portrayed African-American men in overtly negative and stereotypical ways.  This program is co-sponsored by Durham Reads Together.

Thursday, October 23

Teen Auto-Bio Comics

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

Durham Comics Project Book Release Party

Time and location coming soon.

Come celebrate the unveiling of the Durham Comics Project book, a collection of comics about big and small moments of life in our community. Learn more at

Saturday, October 25

Comics Fest 2014 – The Main Event!

12:00 – 5:30 pm, Southwest Regional Library • 3605 Shannon Road

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

Full schedule and guest list coming soon.

How to Get Here

Southwest Regional Library is located at 3605 Shannon Road in Durham, NC:

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Additional parking is available in the side lot of the Carmike Wynnsong Theater at 1807 Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway:

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Sunday, October 26

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. This program is co-sponsored by Durham Reads Together and the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

How to Get Here

Southwest Regional Library is located at 3605 Shannon Road in Durham, NC:

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Additional parking is available in the side lot of the Carmike Wynnsong Theater at 1807 Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway:

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Jared Axelrod

George O’Connor

Brian Shearer

Jeremy Whitley

More info coming soon!

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


Raina Telgemeier runs a cartooning workshop for kids, 2013.


Raina Telgemeier demonstrates comics storytelling, 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.


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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Thanks also to our community and media partners: