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2014 STAPLE! The Independent Media Expo Marks 10 Years of Weird Special Guests, Exhibitions, Presentations Slated for Annual Weekend Geek-Out
AUSTIN, Texas – STAPLE!, The Independent Media Expo, is coming back to the Marchesa Hall & Theatre for another action-packed burst of fantasy, graphics, DIY culture, and storytelling. Like clockwork, heaps of artists, writers and comic lovers flock to Austin each March to experience the best, the weirdest and the newest in the indie media multiverse. 2014 marks STAPLE!’s tenth anniversary as the premiere indie comics convention in the Southwest, showcasing all that’s fit to self-print: comics, mini-comics, webcomics, zines, art, crafts, games, podcasts, and beyond.
Among the panelists announced today are: Chip Zdarsky, artist of Sex Criminals, Time Magazine’s #1 comic of 2013; New York Times best seller Francesco Francavilla, creator of Black Beetle and artist on Afterlife with Archie; Rob Harrell, creator of Monster on the Hill, listed among the Best Children’s Books of 2013; and Stoic Studios, the indie creators of acclaimed tactical RPG The Banner Saga.
STAPLE! came to fruition in 2005 when founder Chris Nicholas realized there were no tastefully curated get-togethers for underground comic buffs and game wizards. Taking a cue from any good comic protagonist, Nicholas did the impossible and created STAPLE! to showcase “the folks who publish comics and zines, and possible literary masterworks out of their own apartments and homes.” Nicholas continues, “It was a natural step to connect the fans to the artists through a conference like STAPLE!” Ten years later, the event has grown mightily and has hosted indie greats like Tony Millionaire, Jim Mahfood, Kevin Eastman, Dean Haspiel and Stan Sakai.
In addition to the magic and wonder to be found at the tables of over 150 exhibitors, Staplers can attend panels on Comics, Webcomics, and Indie Game Design; listen to exciting tutorials and presentations; discover intriguing new favorites and revisit old classics, all while exploring the fascinating DIY niche of independent print.
More information can be found at www.staple-austin.org. A full roster of panelists, performers, and exhibitors to be released in February 2014.
STAPLE! Comics Panelists
Francesco Francavilla is a NY Times bestselling 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.
Chip 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.
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. He currently 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.
STAPLE! Webcomics Panelists
Jeremy The Artist 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. He also moonlights as a caricaturist for local musical, artistic and special events throughout the year.
Monica Gallagher is an indie creator with over 10 years experience creating comics and illustrations with a positive, feminist spin. She 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 late 2012 and was nominated for a YALSA award for Great Graphic Novel for Teens.
STAPLE! Indie Game Design Panelists
Moderator Scott Morris, aka “Tox” at CritsHappen.com, focuses on a balanced approach reviewing games from the designer board game industry. Taking a 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 has consulted on several successful game design projects.
Stoic Studio, Creators of The Banner Saga
Alex Thomas immersed himself in 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. 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 League for DC Comics. Eventually he became passionate about creating games, working on 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 six years old. After doing some work on the Hubble Space Telescope at NASA, he decided to apply his vast abilities to the game industry, eventually bringing his superpowers as lead combat programmer on Star Wars: The Old Republic to Stoic.