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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, 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 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

Event description coming soon.

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, a collection of comics about big and small moments of life in our community. Learn more about the book 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.

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.
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-photo (bio coming soon)




gayles-photoDr. Jonathan Gayles (bio coming soon)




knisley-photoEric Knisley (bio coming soon)




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


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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Durham Library Foundation logo


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