2014 Guests



shannonwheelerLAST MINUTE ADDITION! Shannon Wheeler is the creator of the comic (and opera), Too Much Coffee Man. He has contributed to various publications including the New Yorker and The Onion. Portland OR is his current home with cats, chickens, bees, girlfriend, and children though he misses Texas. His website is tmcm.com and he embarrasses himself on twitter as @MuchCoffee.


Francesco FrancavillaFrancesco Francavilla is a NY Times best-selling author, award-winning storyteller, writer, artist and illustrator who has worked on a wide variety of projects, most recently Afterlife with Archie for Archie Comics and his creator-owned pulp hero Black Beetle for Dark Horse Comics.

Get more Francesco at:






Chip ZdarskyChip Zdarsky has quickly become one of the “must know” artists in creator owned comics. His current Image Comics project Sex Criminals (Time Magazine’s #1 Comic of 2013!), with writer Matt Fraction (Casanova, Satellite Sam, Hawkeye, etc.), is among the most talked about debuts of 2013. With massive critical acclaim and sold out print runs, it’s easy to see why. Beautifully illustrated, it’s also funny, awkward, strange, haunting and sexy.


Zdarsky hails from the vibrant Toronto comic scene and has been a professional illustrator, writer and humorist for over ten years. He produces a self-illustrated satirical column Extremely Bad Advice under the alias Steve Murray for the National Post, where he’s a staff writer/artist. His comic strip Prison Funnies ran in theIndependent Weekly and Too Much Coffee Man Magazine. Sex Criminalsis his first ongoing title with a major comic book publisher.

Get more Chip at:



J HauseJ Hause is a freelance illustrator and concept artist, currently haunting Austin Texas with his wife. He received his special ghost training at Swindon College School of Art (and ghost stuff) in the UK and has since been working freelance for various indie games.

In his spare time, J runs SketchBomb Austin, a monthly sketch group and is developing a steampunk comic called The Grove. He has four dogs, three of them are pretty great but the other one is just awful.

More J at these links:




Rob Harrell created, wrote and drew the syndicated daily comic strip Big Top from 2002 through 2007.  A Big Top collection was published in 2005 by Andrews McMeel Publishing.  Currently, he writes and draws the long-running daily strip Adam@Home, which appears in more than 140 papers worldwide.

His all-ages graphic novel, Monster on the Hill, was released by Top Shelf Productions in 2013, to many rave reviews and accolades.

Harrell is currently writing and illustrating a series of middle-grade books called Life of Zarf for Penguin Books.  The first of the series will be out in Fall ’14.

As a freelance illustrator, he has worked with clients including Mad, Simon and Schuster, American Greetings, Time, Inc. and Volkswagen. Harrell’s figurative paintings have been shown around the country, including solo shows in San Francisco, Austin and Indianapolis.

He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Amber and their two dogs, Cooper and Kasey.

More Rob at:



paulbPaul Benjamin is a New York Times bestselling author who has written and produced comics and video games for diverse properties including many Marvel characters such as Hulk, Spider-Man, and Wolverine, as well as Star Wars, Star Trek, Starcraft, World of Warcraft, the Muppets, Monsters, Inc., G.I. Joe, and more. His first prose short story appeared in The Protectors anthology. His original manga series Pantheon High was a YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens nominee.


Hirsch-PortraitAndy Hirsch is a Dallas-based cartoonist whose work can be found all around Kaboom! Studios. He is the regular artist of Garfield, the incoming cover artist of Regular Show, and a contributor to Adventure Time, Peanuts, and more. Did you read The Royal Historian of Oz from SLG? He drew that too. And lots of self-published stuff. Oh, just go visit his table.

More at:
bioJessi Jordan grew up in Houston, Texas. Her wandering led her to Colorado where she earned BFAs in Illustration and 2D Animation from the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. She currently works as a freelance illustrator, writer, and hibiscus hybridizer.
Jessi is currently working on The Adventures of Marni & Edward, Musings, and the webcomic The Class. She’s had work published in Denver’s 24 Hour Comic People and Space City Nerd. She also won a coloring contest when she was nine.

Rosales headshot1Meghann Rosales is a cartoonist and nail artist in Austin, TX. A former teacher, she also teaches on the subject of comics in the classroom. She received a BA in creative writing with a focus on graphic novels from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, MA and an MST in English education from Fordham University in New York, New York, where she participated in the university’s first Graphica Conference. Meghann is the owner of Nails Y’all, a nail art business specializing in parties, events, and painting the teeniest, tiniest, craziest things on your fingertips. She’ll be hosting a Kid’s Comics Corner on Sunday at STAPLE!, where kids can create and take away their own mini zine!

Nails Y’all: http://nailsyall.tumblr.com/ 
Nails Y’all Instagram: @nailsyall
Jug Wine (my comics): http://jugwinecomix.blogspot.com/

Jeremy The Artist (JTA) is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, preferring the title of “Doodler Extraordinaire”. JTA currently works as host/web comic artist for the spectacular, infamous comic site My Talking Head, where he posts weekly web comics. JTA moonlights as a caricaturist for local musical, artistic and special events throughout the year as well.

Portfolio site at: www.jeremytheartist.com


Monica Gallaghe
r is an indie creator with over ten years experience creating comics and illustrations with a positive, feminist spin. monicaShe has self-published several mini-comics and books, including the webcomics Bonnie N. Collide, Nine to Five, and Gods & Undergrads. Her first graphic novel, Glitter Kiss, written by Adrianne Ambrose, was published by Oni Press in December 2012 and nominated for a YALSA award as a Great Graphic Novel for Teens
When she’s not perusing the cheese plates of restaurants or hunting down shades of red lipstick, Monica lives in Baltimore with her fiancee and their two dueling cats.

kennonKennon James is a freelance illustrator/cartoonist with over 65 years experience, whose work has appeared in a variety of mediums from movies to fictional breakfast cereal boxes. He is currently working on a series of Lovecraft-inspired children’s books and he’s also one half of the team that creates the webcomic Mohagen – a silly strip about a cosplaying goldfish (www.mohagencomic.com).

Kennon is based in the sprawling metropolis of Hutto, Texas where he lives with his dog, some fish, two stupid cats, and his four favorite people. Check out more of Kennon’s work here:


JasonBioJason Poland lives in Houston, TX. His comics and illustrations have appeared on the Internet and in real life. His webcomic is Robbie & Bobby, and you can read it at robbieandbobby.com




Scott - Headshot
Scott Morris is best known online as “Tox”, the man across the table at CritsHappen.com.  At Crits Happen, Tox focuses on a balanced approach reviewing games from the designer board game industry.  Taking a balanced and passionate approach to both big name publishers and crowd-funded designers, the focus is on quality, not quantity.  Tox previews many kickstarter projects for board game designers and publishers, and also has consulted on several successful projects in terms of the project and game design.  With a large and ever growing “Critical Community” of fans, Tox provides weekly videos on the Crits Happen Youtube Channel for all to enjoy and engage in lively discussion about! Scott will be moderating the Indie Game Design Panel at STAPLE!

stoicSTOIC STUDIO – Creators of The Banner Saga!

Alex Thomas immersed himself into the industry early and has done everything from 3D characters and environments to 2D animation, illustration, screenplay writing, game design and cinematics for games including Star Wars: The Old Republic and Shadowbane. His passion for character and environment design is reflected in the look, feel and physics of The Banner Saga.

Arnie Jorgensen began his career working on legendary comics such as Justice Leage for DC Comics. Eventually he became passionate about creating games, putting his gifts to work on such titles as Star Wars: Galaxies and The Old Republic as lead concept artist. In his shift to focus on The Banner Saga, his art goes beyond concept and directly into the game.

John Watson has been programming since he was 6. After doing some work on the Hubble at NASA he decided to apply his vast abilities in the games industry, eventually bringing his superpowers as lead combat programmer on The Old Republic to Stoic.


Aaron Image

Aaron de Orive is a fantasist (he loves that word) who has helped create several popular video games, including Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, Anarchy Online, and the award-winning Star Wars: The Old Republic. He is also the creator of the tabletop RPG Shard: World of the False Dawn. He enjoys writing screenplays and fantasy novels with a variety of amazing collaborators. He lives in Austin with his wife, daughter, and two very spoiled dogs.



Robert Garza is a co-founder of the two-man team of Terra Nova Games. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Terra Nova Games self-published their first game “Guile” this past November. “Guile” is a two player card game that uses memory and bluffing and takes about 15 minutes to play. Terra Nova Games is currently working on publishing their second game “Ophir”, from first-time Arkansas designers Jason D. Kingsley and Charles Wright, with an expected Kickstarter launch this summer.


bio pic matt

Matt Udvari is a video game designer and gamification/user engagement consultant based in Austin, TX. Currently, he acts as founder and creative director of Part Time Evil, LLC. PTE is a studio with a diverse project lineup; this includes the development of their own upcoming game, Puzzle Football, educational game design, providing game subject matter expertise for films, and consulting on gamification and incentives. Clients include digital agencies, indie film studios, startups, and video game publishers. Matt is an active playwright with several scripts released over the last decade, including the recent Reboot, which played in several regional theatres in the United States.




Chad Stewart

Chad Stewart is Co-Founder and President for Binary Solo, handling Programming, Business, and Marketing. He learned to program at Full Sail University, a rigorous, accelerated program and took digital media entrepreneurship classes from the Austin Technology Incubator. He is credited on over twenty slot machines as Programmer at Multimedia Games. As Lead Programmer at BioWare he shipped Star Wars: The Old Republic and the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion. Chad looks forward to developing both his programming and business skills.

Follow me: @BinarySoloChad

Zeb L. West

Zeb L. West is co-founder and creative director for Binary Solo.  He has been making games since age 12 when he first started to program on his Atari ST.  After earning his Theater degree at San Francisco State University, he gained experience developing stories and characters by spending the next five years creating original theater in the US, Canada and Europe.  He founded companies in New York City, San Francisco, and Austin TX.  Returning to his video game roots in 2007, he has since shipped eight titles includingXBOX 360: Supreme Commander, XBOX 360: Spider-man Web of Shadows, and BioWare Austin’s Star Wars: The Old Republic.   He continues to live a dual life in the theater, touring internationally with original works of theater and puppetry.

Follow me: @BinarySoloZeb



aftermidAfter Midnight is a traveling “shadow” cast based out of Houston, Texas. With a dedicated and versatile troupe of players they perform a variety of musical  shows all over the United States. Some of the shows they perform include : “Repo ! the Genetic Opera”,”The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, and “Dr. Horrible”.  Always making sure to leave the crowd wanting more, this is one cast you don’t want to miss!


More special guests and panels to be announced soon.