Four Weeks to Geek: Press & Creators

Used with Permission from John Shableski

I was going to save my second Weeks to Geek post for tomorrow, give you good folks a day off.  But tomorrow, I think I’ll wax poetic about being a late-bloomer where gym membership and physical fitness are concerned.

So this post will be two things.  First, It’ll give you spots to watch for additional press about the Con.  I’ll post more as they arise, and on the WCC Facebook Page.  Second, it’ll give you images and a quotation from some of the creators I’ve had the honor to interview so far.

Wildcat Comic Con Print Press Spots to be on the lookout for:

Webb Weekly: Early April
The Williamsport Guardian: Late March/Early April
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: March 22, and April 9, plus David Small Q&A Last Week
The Daily Item:  Soon


As I gathered these quotations, I was struck–as it seems I am at least a dozen times a week–by what an amazing event this Comic Con is going to be.  Following is just a smattering of the creators who’re coming to WCC, but each of these folks has an utterly unique perspective, and will add greater diversification to the already revolutionary discussion of comics that WCC has been designed around.

Anybody who’s close enough to Williamsport to come down for this would be a plain fool not to show up.  Register and buy your tickets now at


“I’ve had that account since I was twelve.  It’s not like I woke up one day and everybody knew my art, but [becoming internet famous] was still nice.”

Tracy White

My book was not therapy.  I’d already had therapy.” Read How I Made It To Eighteen

“I’m a story teller first and foremost.  I like to tell stories with words and images.  That’s the way I like to communicate my ideas.  When I first started making comics, I only made them online.  I started making comics in Graduate School.”

“in 1996, Netscape 1.0, I started thinking about how to put comics online.”

Dave Elliott

“Talking about the comics industry is a little like being the subverted  wise man that’s touching up the Elephant’s ass, not realizing that’s not the trunk.  It’s a much larger industry than people think.”

“Educational Comics Publishing is in a new place.  I’m old enough to remember twenty years ago when they made a push to get comics into the class room, and there was a lot of resistance.  Now educators are like, ‘if I can put something in front of a kid that makes him want to read, that is a good thing.'”

Dean Haspiel

“It started with desire, like with anything else.  Like when you dig something.  I grew up with comics.  I would go across the street to the news stand, when there were still news stands…They were my stories, my soap operas, for lack of a better term.”

“Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor that proved to me that you didn’t have to draw a company’s character–a Franchise Characters–you could write and draw and create your own characters and tell your own stories.”

Barry Lyga

“I wrote some comic books back in the ’90s, some very small press, nothing anybody would’ve heard of.  I grew up at the comic book stand, and I always wanted to write comics, but it’s a very different discipline, a very different set of skills than people think.”

“Colleen is Colleen Doren.  She is the artist on my graphic novel, Manga Man, which is the title that had John bring me to the Comic Con.”

Sari Wilson

“I’d have to say I’m kind of a proselytizer for comics in my consulting—in including them with all the other range of reading materials that can be used to teach literature and reading. Too often I hear comics referred to as material for “reluctant readers” and sometimes that can be true if the reader is a visual learner, but from my perspective comics are often a sophisticated and demanding literary form. My goal as an educational consultant is to empower teachers and administrators to become familiar and comfortable with the form that it can be used along with and side by side prose texts.”

Josh Neufeld

“I’m just very engaged with comics about real life. I always get a little thrill when I see comics — a medium so closely identified in our country with escapism and fantasy — that deal with the real world and real issues. My fascination with this end of the comics universe began with Art Spiegelman’s MAUS, was stoked by Harvey Pekar’s AMERICAN SPLENDOR, enthralled by Joe Sacco’s many works of comics journalism, and captivated by great comics memoirists like Alison Bechdel, Marjane Satrapi, and Howard Cruse. I think the medium has so much power to engage with real-life topics, and there are endless amounts of such stories still to be told.”

Come To My Workshop…N’stuff.
Ellen & Jon

 Come to my workshop.  Read all about it here.  It’s Tuesday night, Feb 21, Penn College’s Madigan Library.  I’m going to be talking about illustrated journaling.  The library staff bought journals and supplies, so if you come, you get a free journal.

TIME: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
PLACE: Madigan Library, Room 200
OTHER STUFF: Register Here, or just show up.  You get a FREE journal.  Snacks.
WHAT’S DIFFERENT?:  This workshop is more about process than about methodology, HOWEVER, we will discuss lesser-considered methods of “illustrating” for folks who are not blessed with drawing abilities.

Another Thing:

I’m giving workshops that start in March and this summer at Penn College in the Workforce Development and Continuing Education program.

Reading and Writing the Story is on Wednesdays March 7 to April 11.  It’s very inexpensive, and it’ll be great.  Just ask the testimonials up yonder.

Personal Narrative and Memoir, Going Deep is on Thursdays from March 8 to April 12.  This one’s going to be about telling your own story, including reading parts of other people’s stories, figuring out how to make your story one that other people want to read, and how to access it when going gets rough.

More thing:

My sweet sister is  getting married this summer.  I have seen wedding websites before, but they have never been as clever as this one.  My sister and her soon-to-be hubby are really classy people.  I read their site and got a little weepy and fully of pride.  So you should check it out.  Here’s why: maybe you yourself or somebody you know is getting married?  Tell them to make a website like this one, and not like these stupid ones.

Last thing:

This post is great.  Go forth, read it.  And Oh yeah, click around while you’re there, because my friend Jamie writes tons of great stuff about books.  Her end of year list of books that she linked from her site through the year is particularly happy.

ComixNite Illustrated Journaling Workshop

On February 21, I’m giving a workshop at Penn College about Illustrated Journaling.

In honor and preparation of this, I’ll be doing my own illustrated journal between now and then, and scanning the pages in to share with you.  So for the next 14 days or so, my blog will be a scanned, illustrated journal.

Be prepared for some multimedia awesomeness, and for a totally different experience.