2017 Guests

HopeLarsonHope Larson is the New York Times bestselling author of eight graphic novels, notably her graphic novel adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), and FSG’s Four Points series. She is the co-creator of BOOM!’s Goldie Vance and the current writer of DC Comics’ Batgirl. Her short comics have been published by Vertigo, the New York Times, and in anthologies, including Kazu Kibuishi’s Flight, and DC Comics’ Gotham Academy Yearbook. She is the recipient of two Eisner awards and an Ignatz award, and has been nominated for cartooning awards in Europe and Japan. She holds a BFA from the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago. https://twitter.com/hopelarson 


keithknightKeith Knight is the award-winning creator of three comic strips His auto-bio multi-panel, The K Chronicles, the socio-political single panel  “(th)ink”,and  the daily syndicated “Knight Life”.  He has performed his lauded cartoon slideshow “They Shoot Black People, Don’t They?”, at colleges, universities, churches and comic cons worldwide, and is a co-author of the new children’s book series “Jake the Fake”. http://www.kchronicles.com/

FabianRangelJrFabian Rangel Jr is a coffee addicted comic book writer based out of Corpus Christi, Texas. He’s the writer/co-creator of Doc Unknown (Dark Horse Comics), Space Riders (Black Mask Studios), Helena Crash (IDW), ‘Namwolf (Albatross), and Blood Brothers: Hermanos de Sangre. He’s also worked on such properties as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mouse Guard, Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, and Lucha Underground.  http://fabianrangeljr.tumblr.com/

Alexis Ziritt, artist of this year’s Staplegator, is originally from Venezuela but has lived in Florida for the past decade. He’s been published in Complex Magazine, Heavy Metal, BOOM! Studios and Dark Horse Comics among others. His kung fu is strong.  http://www.aziritt.com/


UkazuNgozi_InStudio-webNgozi Ukazu is the creator of Check, Please!, an online graphic novel whose printing campaign remains the most funded webcomics Kickstarter ever. She graduated from Yale University in 2013 with a degree in Computing and The Arts, and received a masters in Sequential Art in 2015 from the Savannah College of Art and Design.  https://www.ngoziu.com/

paulbenjaminPaul 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. He spends his days as a Senior Writer at Daybreak Games and his nights writing comic strips featuring various Disney princesses for the aptly named comic book series Disney Princess.. More at http://paulbenjaminwrites.com/ 


bio-picNatasha Alterici is a writer and artist from Oklahoma. She earned her Bachelor’s in Art from Northeastern State University in 2009, and soon after found herself working on freelance illustration and comics projects. Her work includes Heathen, Dinosaur Project, Gotham Academy: Yearbook, Grayson Annual, The Lez Film Review, Mixed Signals, Lovers and Other Strangers, and more. When not drawing, she enjoys watching cooking shows with her girlfriend and their cat.  http://www.alterici.com/ 


Jake Wyatt has made (occasionally Hugo Award-winning) comic books for clients like DC, Boom, and Marvel. Currently he makes an online comic called Necropolis for himself, and writes, draws and directs animation for clients in TV and Advertising like Nickelodeon, Ubisoft, and Gatorade. He is currently a writer and director at Flight School Studios in Dallas, Texas, where he lives with Kathryn, his wife, and their tiny son. http://jakewyattriot.tumblr.com 



Kyle Starks is the writer and occasional artist for Oni’s RICK AND MORTY and the creator of Image Comic’s ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN.  His first book, Image Comics SEXCASTLE, was nominated for an Eisner and optioned for film by the Russo Brothers. 2017 will also include the debut of two new books: DEAD OF WINTER and KILL THEM ALL (both from Oni Press).  http://kylestarks.com



Kengo Hioki is a mural artist, painter, musician, and, as Peelander Yellow, is founding member, guitarist and vocalist for Peelander-Z. He currently has over 25 murals in Austin, TX. http://peelander-z.com/


RachelWeissRachel Weiss is a designer and comics-maker living in Austin, TX. She spends her days thinking about product design and donuts, and her nights thinking about comics and donuts. She’s also the co-founder of POMEgranate Magazine, a site for sensitive weirdos. She’d like to pet your dog.




TALA-HORIZ-LOGO hiresTexas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts (TALA) was formed in 1979 to meet the legal and accounting needs of artists and art nonprofits. Services include lawyer and accountant pro bono assistance for artists, patent pro bono assistance for inventors, dispute resolution services, and educational programs for the artistic and business communities. Programs are designed to help participants apply sound business practices to protect intellectual property, advance careers, and develop income.

Brooks Rice, TALA Board member,  runs a small law practice based in his hometown of Austin, Texas, focusing on the entertainment, intellectual property, and small business matters facing artists and creative entrepreneurs. Licensed in both Texas and California, Brooks helps his clients evaluate best practices for protecting their online and creative properties and assists artists in protecting and monetizing their artistic creations.


Comics in the Classroom Panelists

BramMeehanBram Meehan is a graphic designer and creative director in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has developed and taught comics-making classes for Santa Fe University of Art and Design and runs workshops at educational institutions. He serves on the board of 7000 BC, a nonprofit supporting comics creators and education in New Mexico, and provides lettering and design for independent comics publishers.  More at: http://brammeehan.com –  http://www.7000bc.orghttp://www.bramletters.com


Kevin Garcia is an Austin-area educator and a freelance writer who has worked with the Associated Press and on the Official Handbooks of the Marvel Universe for Marvel Comics. He’s given a variety of workshops, and welcomes feedback of all kinds.




Dan Rucker, aka The Comic Book Dad, has 20+ years of experience as a high school English teacher. With help from his two daughters, he provides activities and literacy instruction to children of all ages and their parents, through libraries, schools, and comic conventions. Part-time, he advises customers as a bookseller at the biggest comics and pop culture store in Central Texas. You can follow his mission to encourage fun and conversation through lifetime learning, at his website www.thecomicbookdad.com and on Twitter @dan_rucker and @ruckersenglish.

MeghannRosalesMeghann Rosales is an artist and business owner in Austin, TX. She has taught high school history, developed curriculum for K-12, and assisted young people across all levels in creating their own comics. She received her MST in Secondary English Education from Fordham University in New York City.