Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo Returns

Press Release:

Boston Comics Roundtable (BCR) and the Art Institute of Boston (AIB) are proud to announce the third annual Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE). MICE is Boston’s only show dedicated to alternative comics, ‘zines, and web comics. The 2012 expo features talented regional cartoonists, including Ignatz Award-winning Box Brown (Everything Dies), veteran comics parodist Robert Sikoryak (Masterpiece Comics), and 100 more indie artists on the rise.

With free admission, MICE 2012 is a great opportunity for anyone interested in the local independent comics scene to get a first-hand look at thousands of unusual, entertaining and interesting comics, as well as meet the creators. Over 100 comics artists and small publishers will be exhibiting.  The show will include demonstrations with professional artists and panel discussions on topics central to comics and an exhibit of original art.

“There’s so much exciting work being done in independent comics these days, but it’s a rare opportunity to be able to see such a great sampling of it one place,” said Dan Mazur, a MICE organizer. “The great thing about a show like MICE is that so many local creators get to gather together and connect with their fans, and with potential readers.”

The popularity of last year’s show was reflected in the fact that exhibitor tables for MICE 2012 sold out within three hours of going on sale online.

MICE will present a day-long slate of panel discussions and creative workshops, on topics including Comics and Medicine, Comics and the Art World, Comics and Religion, Injury-avoiding Exercises for Artists, and others.

Another new wrinkle for MICE this year is the addition of the NECAC (New England Comic Arts in the Classroom) Symposium, as an associated event.  NECAC is an organization that promotes the use of comics as an educational tool in K-16 classrooms. The symposium will be a three-hour event, offering workshops and discussions specifically aimed toward educators. It will be held on the same morning as MICE, and in the same building, creating a unique synergy between a creator-focused and educator-focused approaches to the art of comics.

MICE occurs on September 29 at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. For more information, please visit www.masscomics.com.

ABOUT BOSTON COMICS ROUNDTABLE
Boston Comics Roundtable draws local cartoonists and writers to collaborate, workshop and socialize since 2006. BCR publishes Inbound, an anthology of Boston-area independent comics, Outbound, a science-fiction comics anthology, and the horror anthology, Hellbound. Visit bostoncomicsroundtable.com for more information.

ABOUT THE ART INSTITUTE BOSTON / LESLEY UNIVERSITY
The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University is a college of visual arts offering the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, the two-year Advanced Professional Certificate, and the low residency Master of Fine Arts degree. In addition, continuing and professional education, intensive workshops, and pre-college courses are all available.

ABOUT R. SIKORYAK
MICE 2012 Guest of Honor R. Sikoryak’s cartoons and illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker, Nickelodeon Magazine, Drawn & Quarterly, Raw, Fortune, Esquire, GQ, among many other publications, and on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He is the author of the graphic novel Masterpiece Comics (Drawn & Quarterly), and the co-author, with Michael Smith, of The Seduction of Mike (Fantagraphics), a comic book funded by the NEA. He was awarded an Artist’s Fellowship from The New York Foundation for the Arts for his comics adaptations of classic literature. He is in the Speakers Program of the New York Council of the Humanities. In his spare time, he creates performances, slide shows, and animation for downtown theater and independent films.

MICE 2011 Announces Schedule

The Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo has released the schedule for this weekend’s show!

Workshops & Artist Demos

  • 12pm – Foldy Comics! – Jerel Dye presents an innovative way of making a your own comic book from a single sheet of paper.  This is a kid-friendly workshop or for anyone just getting started in the comic craft.
  • 1pm – Watercolor Demonstration with Ellen Crenshaw
  • 2pm – Comic Lettering and Inking with David Marshall
  • 3:15pm – Creating Digital Comics – Walkthrough the software and techniques with webcomic artist Andy Wong.
  • 4:30pm – Coloring Comics with Braden Lamb

Panels

Comics & …! is a day-long program of panel discussions exploring diverse topics in independent comics.  Each panel will take place in University Hall’s Amphitheater, 2nd Floor.

COMICS & TEACHING: Beyond Maus and Persepolis

11:00 AM - Comics such as Spiegelman’s Maus and Satrapi’s Persepolis have found a solid foothold as legitimate classroom texts. However, there are many other noteworthy graphic novels that could also find their way into the K-16 curriculum. This panel will explore specific strategies for teaching comics and teaching with comics, looking past the “canonical” texts noted above.

MODERATOR: David Marshall PANELISTS: Michael Gianfrancesco, Director, New England Comic Arts in the Classroom; Educator, North Providence High School; Maureen Bakis, author The Graphic Novel Classroom; Alexander Danner, instructor, Emerson College Graphic Novel Program; Robert Shreefter, Professor, Lesley University.

COMICS & CHILDREN’S LITERATURE: Smart Comics For Kids

12:15 PM – This panel of writers, artists, and reviewers will discuss today’s comics storytelling for kids, the challenges of appealing to different age groups, and the changing roles of such “gatekeepers” as librarians, comic shops, publishers, parents, and digital portals.

MODERATOR: J. L. Bell, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators PANELISTS: Robin Brenner, creator of noflyingnotights.com, Jef Czekaj, author-illustrator. Gareth Hinds, author-illustrator, Shelli Paroline, artist, Colleen AF Venable, scripter and designer

COMICS & SOCIAL JUSTICE: Cartoons with a Cause

1:30 PM – Our panelists discuss ways in which the comics medium can be valuable in political discourse, and how independent comics can be an important focus of community activism as well as provide voices for — and representations of — minorities and other marginalized groups.

MODERATOR: Che Salazar PANELISTS: Rebecca Migdal, World War Three Illustrated; Colin Tedford, Trees & Hills Comics Group; Tak Toyoshima, creator Secret Asian Man; Anna Mudd, Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies

COMICS & FASHION : Project: Rooftop

2:45 PM – Since 2006 the Project : Rooftop website has examined the trend of independent illustrators redesigning superhero costumes, and now the discussion goes live at MICE! This panel will focus on a few comic book characters, looking at how they’ve been visually interpreted over the years by professionals and fans alike.

MODERATOR: Braden Lamb PANELISTS: Joe Quinones (Wednesday Comics, Amazing Spider-Man), Ming Doyle (Tantalize, The Loneliest Astronauts), and Jennifer Ngan (Instructor, Art Institute of Boston).

COMICS & COLLABORATION: Teamwork 101

4:00 PM – Many of the best comics and graphic novels are created through collaboration between a writer and artist. This panel will present several experienced teams of artists and writers, to share their insights on the pleasures and pitfalls of creative teamwork. How are comics partnerships formed and successfully maintained to produce the optimum results? What surprises have writers and artists encountered in the process of collaboration? What should less experienced creators seeking collaborators look for or be wary of?

MODERATOR: Alexander Danner PANELISTS: TBA

COMICS & TECHNOLOGY: Digital Comics

5:15 PM – Digital creation and distribution of comics are here to stay and will only get more important to the future of the medium. What are the best platforms – currently, or on the horizon — for the production and delivery of digital comics? How can artists and writers adapt themselves to new devices and software, and what improvements can be anticipated? What are the implications of these new technologies for the artist’s work and income?

MODERATOR: Dirk Tiede (Paradigm Shift) PANELISTS: Kevin Church (Writer, The Line), Christopher Baldwin (Little Dee) Box Brown (Everything Dies)