Become a Patron!
Conventions have always been something I’ve always wanted to go to since I first heard of Comic-Con, MAGFest, PAX and E3 when I was a young teenager starting high school, but instead of going to a very major convention, I decided to go to FanFaireNYC for three reasons: it was closer to home, cheaper, and a majority of the All Ages Of Geek team was going to be there and I wanted to help out as well as meet them for the first time. So as a first experience with the convention, let’s start from the beginning as I tell you the tale on how my day went in my point of view.
I woke up at 7:30 in the morning thinking it was past 9 AM since my brain tends to have alarms thinking it’s late, but luckily I didn’t have to panic much since it was still early, and after about an hour of getting ready, I hopped out the house with energy, and an empty stomach. The train ride was quick and the weather was calm, but windy and cold when I got to Manhattan, since it’s basically an island, and it was just 10 AM when I got there. Now people who were getting ready to go in had to wait a while as they wanted every person of staff ready for this event, and it was completely understandable since there were already about 30 people waiting to get in, but also not wanting to be in the borderline Russian Winter of Manhattan. So after a few minutes, they let us in to pay for our tickets and hang up our jackets, and the first thing I went to do was find the team and give them a good ol’ “heyo”.
Unfortunately, that took an hour, but I’ll explain why.
When I walked in, I saw the AAOG poster next to this big revolving door, and I was thinking that maybe they’re upstairs where all the guests are. So I went upstairs by elevator and went to check it out, and I saw a lot of vendors that were just setting up or were getting ready to sell whatever it was they were selling. I hadn’t seen anyone from the team, so my first assumption, which anyone who’s gone to Community Day, I thought that maybe they were late in classic AAOG fashion, so I didn’t think too much about it since it was a tendency we had. So I went into the main vendor area where people were selling stickers, hats, art, pop vinyl, books, magazines, comic books, you name it, there was a lot of stuff. I kept roaming around waiting on if they were gonna have their own area, but I didn’t see any hints towards it so I started to question a bit, but not to the point of “maybe something happened for them to cancel.” After several minutes I decided to purchase a hat that has “YAOI” written on it with beads and has the LGBT flag on it, because who wouldn’t want some cool weeb swag that makes your dad question your sexuality? So now I have a SENPAI and YAOI hat, all I need is a hat that just says “FUTANARI” and I’ll just have all the key lewd hentai hats at that point.
After about a half-hour I decided to have one last roam around the main area, and I made a purchase of a Kill Bill sticker, since the Kill Bill movies are easily the best Quenten Tarantino movies I’ve ever seen, and a book that was written by Anthony Del Col called “Son of Hitler”. I wish I was joking, but the title alone along with the reasoning as to why Del Col decided to make a graphic novel about it was enough for me to drop a hearty 25 bucks on it. Plus I got a free selfie with him and he signed my book, so that’s an added bonus. I’ll review the book soon as I’m really intrigued by the story and the brief plot I was given as to what the story is about, but that’ll be sometime after Console Wars comes to a close.
So after 45 minutes, I finally had the sudden realization that they might be on the first floor where the massive revolving door was, but them being in the basement was also a possibility, in reference to us working in the basement with other stuff. So instead I went to the first floor because that’s where I saw the poster. I went into the room and was immediately struck by walls full of great artwork from the students of the high school this convention was held and pretty much was becoming more and more stargazed by the art that they made. Eventually, Ariel said something probably to get my attention, and that’s when I had one of those “hold up, I know who these are people are, but who’s gonna say something first” moments, so I said that I knew they looked familiar, and I said “it’s me, Dio!” and then they all had that moment of realization of who I was. I think the Yaoi hat is what made me unrecognizable lol.
I got to meet Ariel, Kat, Tat, Richard and his boyfriend for the first time at that moment and Evan would pop in a little while after I was conversing with them. Admittedly I was nervous as I usually am meeting people for the first time since I’m used to having voice chats with these people whenever it’s Community Day or a meeting of all folks on the team, but I felt a bit more relaxed as time went on since there was nothing to be nervous about anymore, and I also got a sticker, which I stuck onto the back of my Thunderbird bass since it was too big to fit in the front.
Stop laughing in the back.
I should’ve mentioned that I originally wanted to come as part of the press team, but I kinda forgot to speak up about it, and I also thought it might’ve been too late since the last time I hung out with Evan (although it was the first time) was at OS-NYC the week prior for the meet-up of local Twitch streamers. Either way, I still volunteered to be part of the press team and help out with any little thing that may have needed to be done for the day.
Also for the reasoning as to why I was so nervous at FanFaireNYC and not OS-NYC is a bit of an easy reason. When I went to OS-NYC, I was only meeting Evan and everyone else I had no clue who was who. I did get to meet new people that I’ve never met before and we all talked about our love for gaming and streaming, as well as celebrating someone’s birthday that same night. FFNYC on the other hand, I kinda felt like I needed to set a bit of the kind of a first impression of thing since I’m basically meeting up with my bosses for the first time, and I’m the scrappy little intern wanting to help out as much as I can, but I also have a walnut for a brain. I guess it’s probably natural to feel a bit out of place when everyone else is a whole lot more experienced, and hopefully, over time I can get over that feeling whenever the next convention will be.
The primary thing I helped out with was the stuff relating to the Q&A panels that would happen in the basement with people like the co-creator of Ren and Stimpy, a show that was my childhood at 2 AM on NickToons, a popular tattoo artist and a group of women who helps New Yorkers become PA’s. And it was at this point that my weirdness started to show along with my endless references, but it was pretty subdued since I still wanted to remain somewhat professional. This is what happens when my brain goes full dumb dumb mode. You never wanna go full dumb.
Some of the dumb things I said was “the screen looks like boiled soup”, “can the skeleton of a comic be boneless?”, “my brain is singing Feliz Navidad”, me playing with a light while also saying “I’m trying do Morse Code”, having my hand up to a light and saying it’s hot while Kat and Tat ask why do I have my hand up there, replying with “because my hand got cold”, and me staring off into space as if I’m trying to find Polaris. I’ve also never had Chipotle, so I went to McDonald’s instead. I also bought Ariel an “UwU” hat at the vendor place I bought my “YAOI” hat. We went full weird by the end of the whole event.
By the end of the event, Kat, Tat, Ariel, Evan and I were packing up all of our stuff and was also taking a gander of the retro and Japanese imports of Famicom, Super Famicom, Game Boy, Game Boy Color and N64 cartridges that were on sale in the same basement we were recording the Q&A panels at. We had our last conversations for the night while we were packing the stuff up in Evan’s car, and I gave everyone a hug before I waved goodbye heading to the train station.
FanFaireNYC was probably the most fun social experience I’ve had since the OS-NYC Twitch meet-up, and it really feels like 2020 finally started while January felt like a bit of a wet fart to start the year off, with me working a pretty crappy job, only having to quit it two days after my 20th birthday. It really has been feeling like an enjoyable time meeting the people I work with when it comes to writing articles or helping out with networking or any other thing, I really enjoyed my time at the convention. For a minute I thought the day would end a bit flat because some lady was being a Super Weenie Hut Jr. but I (and the others) didn’t want that to bother us since we all had an enjoyable day of interviews, Q&A’s and our randomness.
It makes me happy that I’m part of All Ages Of Geek.
We are happy to announce All Ages of Geek will be attending and covering Fanfaire NYC as press and a production crew this year on February 8, 2020. The team will be interviewing guests, filming panels and hanging out with cosplayers, artists and more.
Fanfaire NYC is an annual two-day festival featuring over 125 artists and vendors selling comics, prints and swag. Award-winning guest speakers provide insights about their careers and creative process. Additionally, fans and aspiring artists attend costume contests, panel discussions, workshops and portfolio reviews.
Legendary Artist | Owner of Continuity Studios & Gallery | Alumni
Neal Adams is an American comic book and commercial artist known for helping to create some of the definitive modern imagery of the DC Comics characters Batman and Green Arrow and Marvel’s X-Men; as the co-founder of the graphic design studio Continuity Associates, which became a publishing company and now a gallery in Manhattan, NY; and as a creators-rights advocate who helped secure a pension and recognition for Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
Adams graduated from The School of Industrial Arts, know known as Art and Design High School, in 1959. After graduating he unsuccessfully attempted to find freelance work at DC Comics, and turned then to Archie Comics, where he wanted to work on the publisher’s fledgling superhero line, edited by Joe Simon. At the suggestion of staffers, Adams drew “three or four pages of [the superhero] the Fly“, but did not receive encouragement from Simon. Sympathetic staffers nonetheless asked Adams to draw samples for the Archie teen-humor comics themselves.
Christopher Allo, founder of Magnus Arts Agency, boasts two decades of experience boosting the careers of promising comic book talent.
Chris Allo’s career at Marvel Entertainment spanned nearly ten years, starting with an internship in 1999 before joining the Talent Management team, where he remained until 2010. Throughout his Marvel tenure, he assisted in managing hundreds of freelancers in various capacities, including scheduling assignments, staffing, career management and resource allocation. He hosted and reviewed portfolios for visiting art agents, as well as students from art schools such as SCAD, SVA and RISD. In addition, he conducted portfolio reviews at comics-centric institutions such as the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art, and The Society of Illustrators.
Animator @ Our Cartoon President, Transformers, Speed Racer | Professor @ SVA
A graduate of the School of Visual Arts where he majored in Cartooning. A caricaturist and humorous illustrator, Ray’s work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, books and on TV. Ray is a contributor to Mad magazine, earning him the status of one of “The Usual Gang of Idiots”.
The last few years have seen Ray venture into the world of animation and storyboarding where he worked on an updated version of “Speed Racer”, Disney Kid’s “Transformer Rescue Bots” and Showtime’s “Our Cartoon
Ray won the National Cartoonist Society Reuben award for Best Magazine Illustration – 2009 and has had his
original artwork hung in numerous art galleries including the Museum of Comic and Cartoon art.
Ray has returned to his alma-mater as an instructor in the Animation department at the School of Visual Arts. Over the last few years Ray has been involved in volunteering his talent to help brighten the lives of those that are recuperating from life-threatening medical procedures. He is a director in The Ink Well Foundation – a group of cartoonists and artists that travel to pediatric wards to draw for sick children.
In 2010 Ray became active volunteering for the USO. He has made numerous trips to various Veteran’s Hospitals across the country and has traveled abroad to draw for our troops. In this capacity as an entertainer for the USO, Ray has gone to Germany, Kuwait, Turkey, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, and most recently, Afghanistan.
I’m a NYC-based graphic novelist with a background in animation and have owned a couple of businesses, one being an art school back in Canada. I published IT’S A LIVING in December and it covers a lot of my entrepreneurial experience and offers great advice for aspiring freelance artists and creative professionals.
Program Director | Made In NY
Venus Anderson (Program Director) has been on staff with Brooklyn Workforce Innovations’ “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program since December 2011. Prior to her current position as the MINY Program Director, Venus was the Program Administrator; handling administrative duties for the program participants. She earned her BA in Mass Communication from The Ohio State University. A native New Yorker, Venus entered the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Program as a student in 2008. Upon graduation she worked as a Production Assistant on various shows including “Project Runway” & “America’s Next Top Model”. She was also an event coordinator on live events such as “The Revlon Run Walk”.
Director @ Cartoon Network | Professor @ CalArts
Abe Audish is a director and teacher based in the LA area. Abe attended and graduated the Joe Kubert School in 2004. He has worked on shows such as Rise of the TMNT, Power Puff Girls, We Bare Bears, Futurama and many more. Abe is currently working as a supervising director at Cartoon Network Studios and also teaches Story II at the California Institute of the Arts.
Assistant Editor | Disney Hyperion
Hannah Allaman is an assistant editor of middle grade and young adult fiction at Disney-Hyperion. In her five years at Disney, Hannah has worked with best-selling authors like Alexandra Bracken, Elizabeth Wein, Melissa de la Cruz, and Tamara Ireland Stone. Her graphic novel list includes the Descendants series, Brightly Woven: The Graphic Novel, and the upcoming Arden High series.
Graphic Designer @ Disney Hyperion
My name is Jamie Alloy and I am a graphic designer based in NYC. I obtained my BFA in Graphic and Interactive Design in 2017 from Tyler School of Art. I am currently working as a Junior Designer for Disney Publishing where I have the pleasure of working on brilliant picture books, middle grade novels, and young adult novels. If you’re interested in seeing some of my work, please check out my website JamieAlloy.com or follow me on Instagram @JamieAlloy.
Character Designer | Storyboard Artist | Writer | Director | Spongebob Squarepants | Ren & Stimpy
Camp started his animation career as a designer for animated series such as ThunderCats, Silverhawks, TigerSharks, and several other series produced by Rankin/Bass. He then worked as a designer on The Real Ghostbusters for DiC, and later as a storyboard artist on Tiny Toon Adventures for Warner Bros. Television.
Camp was a co-founder of and director for Spümcø, the animation studio that created The Ren & Stimpy Show. He played a major role in the studio’s creative force until September 21, 1992, when he left to work for Games Productions (a.k.a. Games Animation), the animation studio Nickelodeon initially created to continue work on The Ren and Stimpy show series after Spümcø had been fired. At Games, Camp was promoted to creative director of The Ren and Stimpy show and supervised work on the episodes made. After Ren and Stimpy ended in 1995, Camp and former Ren and Stimpy writer Jim Gomez began developing a new series for Nickelodeon titled Kid Komet and Galaxy Gal, which was never picked up for a full series.
Camp currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
Graphic Designer + Illustrator @ Disney: Marvel + Star Wars, Star Trek
ILLUSTRATION, DESIGN & DIRECTION. BASED OUT OF NEW YORK CITY.
Anthony Del Col
Writer @ Marvel | Image | Dynamite | IDW
Anthony Del Col is a best-selling writer of comics, podcasts and stage. His comic titles include LUKE CAGE EVERYMAN (Marvel), SON OF HITLER (Image), NANCY DREW &THE HARDY BOYS: THE BIG LIE (Dynamite), and KILL SHAKESPEARE (IDW), which has been adapted into a board game, stage show and is in TV development with Universal Content Productions. He is also the creator of Audible’s found footage thriller UNHEARD: THE STORY OF ANNA WINSLOW, which debuted at #1 in the U.S. and U.K. in late-2017, and will be followed up by 2020’s ASSASSIN’S CREED: GOLD, a eight-episode fiction podcast starring Emmy Award-winner Riz Ahmed (Star
Wars: Rogue One, Venom).
Animator @ Titmouse | Professor @ SVA
Sachio Cook is an animation artist who was born in Japan and grew up in New York City. She earned her BFA in Traditional Animation from The School of Visual Arts in 2011 and has been working for Titmouse Inc. since, in a variety of roles; she has worked as a Clean-up Artist, Animator, Storyboard Revisionist, Director and Character Designer. She is a faculty member of the Animation Department at The School of Visual Arts.
Librarian | Expert in Japanese Pop Culture
Jillian Ehlers is the School Librarian at the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School, grades 6-12, in Queens. She is also the Cooperative Collection Development librarian for Japanese Culture & Manga. She has presented at both New York Comic Con and San Diego Comic Con on library programming and building a culture of reading. This year the MELS Library hosted its 6th Annual MELS Comic Con.
Animator @ Titmouse
I’m an artist and animator based out of New York City. I’ve been animating since I was 12 and have always been drawn to make my doodles move. My most recent work has been as an animator on Fox Network’s Son Of Zorn and I completed my newest short film Death Sentence in February 2017. I’ve also worked on several shows for Adult Swim, including Metalocalypse, Super Jail, and China IL. As well as cable television, I have worked on projects for Netflix, Amazon, and Youtube. I aspire to be a director in animation one day, and to bring my own creative ideas to the world.
Check out my website at – http://www.chrissyfellmeth.com
Publisher / Game Designer | Jabawok Game Publishing | Alumni
I’m a game designer based out of New York City.
Artist for DC Comics
Isaac Goodhart is a 2010 graduate of the School of Visual Arts with a BFA in cartooning. He got his start in comics in 2014 as one of the winners of the Top Cow Talent Hunt. After drawing Artifacts #38, he moved on to illustrating Matt Hawkins’ Postal for twenty-six consecutive issues. 2018 saw the release of Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale, written by Lauren Myracle and published by DC Comics.
Librarian | Expert in Japanese Pop Culture
Ashley Hawkins is the campus librarian at Tilden Educational Complex in Brooklyn, NY. Previously a copy editor and academic theorist, Ashley now runs the blog Gaijin School Librarian, which is focused on helping school librarians understand manga, anime, and Japanese culture so that they may make sound decisions about collection development.
Matthew Hawkins is a New York City based game designer, journalist, educator, and archivist. Matthew’s area of expertise is video games that originate from Japan; not just the games themselves, but the pop culture that contribute towards their creation, as well as the pop culture that is formed by the final product (anime, manga, toys, internet memes, even fashion).
Founder of Brooklyn Game Lab
Set out to learn 500 tabletop games in 10 years (nearly there).
Opened BGL in 2014 to focus on game design full time.
Has since overseen the creation and execution of a dozen unique programs from tabletop to RPG to LARP.
Has guided more than 50 lab-generated expansions.
The creator of the largest youth mega game on the planet (1000+ kids over 10 months).
Has a mass market game (“Hilda”) hitting stores in 2020 with more to follow.
Currently working on two games for self publish this year: Spider Island and Ends of the Earth.
Creative Director @ Disney-Hyperion
Joann Hill is currently Creative Director at Disney Hyperion in New York which publishes everything from very young picture books to illustrated middle-grade and teen novels to graphic novels. During her career she has been fortunate to work with some amazing illustrators including Dan Santat, Matthew Cordell, LeUyen Pham, David Wiesner, John Rocco, Nancy Carpenter and Greg Pizzoli. Joann is always searching for talented illustrators working traditionally or digitally or in a combination of both.
iJam featuring DJ Berlin
Disc Jockey group
DJ Berlin has utilized her technical music skills on her own to aid her in starting her own business brand from the ground up. Her iPad only performance show titled “i-Jam Live,” is a well marketed innovation that is the first of its kind. It incorporates original content on the fly during her set, and nothing pre-recorded, as most DJs are known to do.
Artist for DC Comics
Apprenticed with Dick Giordano, first pro assignment was inking Black Panther over Rich Buckler in 1974.
Some Projects: Howard the Duck, The Defenders, The Avengers, Captain America, The Punisher, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Conan, Superman, Detective Comics, Batman, Dark Knight Returns, Dark Knight: Master Race, Von Freeze. Creator owned: Sacred Creatures at Image with collaborator Pablo Raimondi.
The DC Guide to Penciling Comics, The DC Guide to Inking Comics by Watson-Guptil Publications.Teaching Principles of Cartooning at School of Visual Arts since 1993. Developed and presented various workshops through the last two decades at Marvel, DC, Savannah School of Art and Design and at various conventions throughout America, Canada and Europe.
Awards: 1986 Eisner; 1986 Golden Apple; 2010 Inkwell; 2010 Harvey; 2011 Shel Dorf; 2012 Inkpot; 2013 Inkwell; 2016 Harvey.
1st Assistant Director | Directors Guild of America
Shelly Keiser began her film/tv production career over 20 years ago, as a Wardrobe Production Assistant on the feature film, A League of Their Own. This prompted a move from the Midwest to New York City, where she worked as a Set Production Assistant on such films and tv shows as The Associate, Thinner, The Juror, Searching for Bobby Fischer, Law & Order, and New York Undercover. After qualifying for entry into The Directors Guild of America union, Shelly became a Key 2nd Assistant Director working on a variety of projects including Sex The City, The Sopranos, The Royal Tenenbaums, and School of Rock.
Since promoting to 1st Assistant Director, Shelly has worked on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: SVU, Gotham, Shades of Blue, Seven Seconds, Happy!, Dietland, Modern Love, and the soon-to- be released Hightown and Season 3 of The Sinner.
What does fitness, nerd life and Cosplay equal? It is Kofitnessny Cosplay! Come meet pro cosplayer KOFitnessNY as he judges our Technical #Cosplay Contest Saturday and talks about #bodypositivity.
Graphic Designer | Jurassic Park | Spiderman | Batman
Chip Kidd is a contemporary American graphic designer, author and editor. He is best recognized as a book cover graphic designer. Being a huge admirer of comic books he not only wrote some of those for DC Comics but also designed their covers.
Artist | Cosplayer | Alumni
hello everyone I’m miss.killjoy or mickey. I’m a free lance artist that makes comics and what not. I’m an art and design alumni and designed the con artist for this con. I’ve also done a brief stint in voice acting. Have any questions? Ask!
Joker’s Harley Cosplayer
Alyssa King, also known as Joker’s Harley is a New York City based artist and cosplayer. In 2013 she debuted her now famous Harley Quinn costume at Wonder Con in Anaheim, California, and has continued to create a variety of creative cosplays for the character.
Alyssa has also been seen as Kiki (Kiki’s Delivery Service), Raven (Teen Titans) and Mello (Deathnote). She is an outspoken supporter of the “every-BODY-can-cosplay” sentiment, having hosted panels at several conventions discussing the issue, and encourages an atmosphere of love and support within the cosplay community.
Owner of Vampire Realm
In 1984, I was the first woman to own and operate her own horror/comic book company: Vampire Realm. When the comic book industry was all men, Vampire Realm was launched with a small classified advertisement and has grown to be the largest organization of its kind dedicated to all things Gothic and vampire. Dedication and determination to succeed when everyone tells you it can’t be done is what drives me to be the best of the best. My advice to anyone starting out, is to take your craft seriously, and always enjoy what you are doing. The fun starts when you realize what you want to do, and you make it happen. The reward is when you see yourself succeed. I turned my love of horror into a lucrative business and launched a boutique marketing and advertising company. I’m also dedicated to giving back and am involved with a number of charities.
Luciannys is a current senior at the School of Visual Arts NYC in VFX. She has partnered as a demo artist for Wacom and Clip Studio Paint, as well as work on indie films such as ‘The HoneyMoon Phase’. She works as an illustrator and visual development artist while attending school. She is currently working on her senior thesis film titled ‘Check Yes!’ which brings the rich culture and people of Dominican Washington Heights to the superhero genre.
President of the Kubert School
Anthony Marques is a 2011 graduate of The Kubert School in Dover, NJ. He has excelled in his career as a freelance artist while maintaining and growing his contacts and relationships within the industry. Anthony Marques’s diverse catalog of freelance accomplishments include work for Dynamite Entertainment, IDW, and Dark Horse on titles such as Doc Savage, Red Sonja, Back to the Future, Vampirella, Green Hornet and Ghostbusters. He has worked as an instructor at The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Arts, Inc., an editor for Dynamite Entertainment and DC Comics on multiple titles, owns and operates the long-running Dewey’s Comic City store in Madison, NJ, and proudly serves as the new President of the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art.
Artist @ DC Comics + Marvel Comics | Professor @ SVA
David Mazzucchelli has been making comics his whole life. Known chiefly for his collaborations – with Frank Miller on seminal Batman and Daredevil stories, and with Paul Karasik on an adaptation of Paul Auster’s novel, City of Glass – he began publishing his own stories in 1991 in his anthology magazine, Rubber Blanket. Since then his short comics have been published in books and magazines around the world. Asterios Polyp is his first graphic novel, and has won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and been listed as a New York Times notable book.
World Renowned Tattoo Artist
Come meet world renowned tattoo artist and owner/operator of BANG BANG NYC, Keith “BANG BANG” McCurdy as he talks about his life, work, and rise to fame. Bang Bang has tattooed Rihanna in the tropics, Lebron James in his basement, Cara Delevingne on a roof, Katy Perry in Stockholm’s Abba Museum, and Justin Bieber on a plane at 30,000 feet.
We’ll have signed copies of his book, My Life In Ink, to give out which are filled with engaging personal stories and striking photographs that bring his bold, vibrant designs into detail, Bang Bang is a must-have for Bang Bang fans and tattoo lovers everywhere.
Graphic Novel Illustrator
George O’Connor is an author, illustrator and cartoonist. Above all, George is a Greek mythology buff and a classic superhero comics fan, and he’s out to remind us how much our pantheon of superheroes (Superman, Batman, the X-Men, etc) owes to mankind’s original superheroes: the Greek pantheon. Now he has brought his attention to OLYMPIANS, an ongoing series retelling the classic Greek myths in comics form.⠀
In his New York Times bestselling Olympians series, O’Connor draws from primary documents to reconstruct and retell classic Greek myths. But these stories aren’t sedate, scholarly works. They’re action-packed, fast-paced, high-drama adventures, with monsters, romance, and not a few huge explosions. O’Connor’s vibrant, kinetic art brings ancient tales to undeniable life, in a perfect fusion of super-hero aesthetics and ancient Greek mythology. George’s first graphic novel, Journey Into Mohawk Country, used as its sole text the actual historical journal of the seventeenth-century Dutch trader Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert, and told the true story of how New York almost wasn’t. He followed that up with Ball Peen Hammer, the first graphic novel written by playwright Adam Rapp, a dark, dystopian view of a society’s collapse.⠀
In addition to his graphic novel career, O’Connor has published several children’s picture books, including the New York Times best-selling Kapow!, Sally and the Some-Thing, If I Had a Raptor and If I Had a Triceratops.⠀
George lives in Brooklyn, NY with two terrible cats and one good one.⠀
Artist @ DC Comics + Marvel Comics | Professor @ SVA
For most of his 13 years at Marvel Comics, Carl Potts was an Executive Editor, overseeing 1/3 of Marvel’s publications.
When he should have been sleeping, Carl wrote and drew comics, covers and posters for Marvel. Among Carl’s projects was a celebrated run as writer/layout artist on Punisher War Journal and authoring Venom, Prowler and Shadowmasters. He created Alien Legion and was creator/artist on the Last of the Dragons graphic novel.
The Alien Legion screenplay Carl wrote was bought by Jerry Bruckheimer/Disney.
Top comics creators Carl discovered and mentored include Jim Lee, Whilce Portacio, Scott Williams, Art Adams, Larry Stroman, Jon Bogdanove and Terry Shoemaker. His mentoring also helped launch the careers of June Brigman and Mike Mignola.
DC/Watson-Guptill (Random House) published Carl’s book, The DC Comics Guide to Creating Comics: Inside the Art of Visual Storytelling.
Carl has given his seminar on the principles and techniques of sequential visual storytelling at Princeton Univ., Syracuse Univ., Google NY, The Society of Illustrators, BlizzardEntertainment, Blue SkyStudios, Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), SUNY Purchase, NYU, Tecnológico de Monterrey(MexicoCity), Comics Uncovered (Birmingham, England) Story Summit (Banff,Canada), Armageddon (Wellington, New Zealand) Ogilvy & Mather and Psyop. He teaches in NYC at School of Visual Arts and online for Academy of Art University. Carl’s teamed up with Bill Reinhold on his current graphic novel project, The Flying Column. It is based, in part, on his family’s experiences in the Philippines during WWII. It will be published by the Naval Institute Press.
Director of Community Outreach & Marketing @ Made in NY
Mara Prater is a talent acquisition and development specialist with over 14 years of experience recruiting New Yorkers for entry-level careers in television and film. A media educator and professional development trainer, Mara’s work centers around diversity and inclusion in the workplace and helping job-seekers obtain the resources and skills needed for entertainment careers.
Mara Prater joined the staff of the “Made in NY” PA Training Program in 2006 and aided in the development of the program during its infancy. She served as the Art Director for the program’s city-wide MTA print advertising campaign entitled, “Join the Production Crew” produced in conjunction with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.
Still a freelancer in the television and film industry, most recently, Mara has worked as Talent Coordinator, Assistant Director, and Production Manager on such productions of Sony Music’s “Lost in Music” concert series, Madison Square Garden & the New York Knicks’ “We are New York” promo, and Wu-Tang Clan’s music video entitled “People Say.” A resident of Brooklyn, Mara Prater holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Production from Spelman College and a Master of Fine Arts in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College, CUNY.
Artist @ Archie | Professor @ The Kubert School
Fernando Ruiz graduated with a BFA from Caldwell College, then attended The Kubert School in 1991. In addition to his work for Archie Comics, Fernando has also worked as a commercial illustrator with experience in toy design, book illustration, story boarding and much more. Fernando currently continues to write and draw for Archie Comics as well as teach at The Kubert School.
Art Director @ Disney
Marci Senders is the Art Director at Disney-Hyperion, overseeing the design for the Young Adult novels and eBooks. Marci received her BFA in Graphic Design from Tyler School of Art at Temple University and has worked at Alloy Entertainment and Randomhouse Books for Young Readers. She has designed and art directed the New York Times best-selling series The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Darkest Minds, Isle of the Lost and The Belles, She now lives in Queens where she loves to create her own artwork.
Geoff Spear has established a reputation as one of the leading still life photographers.
Best known for his lighting skills and graphic modern style. Over the span of his 30 year career Geoff has shot hundreds of Book Jackets, including covers for best selling authors including: John le Carré, Augusten Burroughs, Haruki Murakami, John McInerney, Vladimir Nabokov, and Donna Tartt to name a few. Geoffs’ personal passion is shooting and capturing superheroes! Including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel. His collaboration with life-long friend Chip Kidd on Batman Collected, the first of many coffee table books, drew raves from the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine, and ID, as well as The Art Directors Club NY and The Annual of American Photography. This “DYNAMIC DUO” recently finished Marvelosity: The Marvel Comics Art of Alex Ross, a massive retrospective look at the artist’s work.
Artist @ Marvel Comics
Nik Virella is a native New Yorker and School of Visual Arts alumnus. Her previous work includes The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones graphic novel, IDW’s G.I. Joe, and Marvel titles such as Return of the Living Deadpool, 1872, Hyperion, All-New Wolverine, Star Wars and Black Widow. In addition, she’s had her work featured in Marvel QuickDraw, VOGUE Italia and Entertainment Weekly.