Lisa Picarille

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    Creator Spotlight: Diana Schutz

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    A Brief History of Diana Schutz

    Before retiring in 2015, Diana Schutz was a comics editor working with some of the biggest names in the business. For 25 years as an editor at Dark Horse Comics, Schutz helped guide some of the most influential comic creators including Frank Miller, Stan Sakai, Paul Chadwick, Dave Sim, Matt Wagner, Will Eisner and more.

    Her experience in the comics business started in 1978, when she dropped out of philosophy grad school and began working at the Comic Shop in Vancouver, British Columbia. She also  worked on newsletter called The Telegraph Wire and then with Comico before landing at Dark Horse.

    In March 2015, Schutz announced her retirement from Dark Horse. Her mission there was working with artists and writers to shepherd their vision into great comics.  She left to to continue and expand her role teaching about comics. In 2002, she began teaching a Comics Art & Literature course at Portland Community College.

     

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    Creator Spotlight: Wendy Pini

    Wendy Pini
    Wendy Pini

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    A Brief History of Wendy Pini

    Wendy Pini, along with her husband Richard Pini, is the comic creative team known as WaRP. They are responsible for creating the wildly popular Elfquest series.

    Through the mid 70s, Wendy Pini become infamous for appearing at comic conventions as an actress/dancer in The Red Sonja and the Wizard Show. This led to her first professional comics work, writing an issue of Red Sonja for Marvel Comics.

    However, she’s also written and painted two critically-acclaimed graphic novels based on the hit TV series Beauty and the Beast. Additionally, she created text and illustrations for Law and Chaos, an art book inspired by the writings of Michael Moorcock.

    And in 1997 Wendy Pini designed the elfin mascot for the Enclosed Laminar Flames investigation (ELF). This was an experiment performed in space by members of the crew of Space Shuttle Columbia.

    Subsequently from 2007 to 2010, she focused on her darker side. The result was an adults-only graphic novel based on the classic Edgar Allan Poe horror story Masque of the Red Death. Her animated web comic of the same name has received millions of views. It is currently available as a limited edition, 400 page hardcover collectors volume.

    In 2012, along with Richard, Wendy donated her entire body of work to Columbia University NY Library’s archives. Her artwork and writings are permanently available to students and the public for study.

    In addition, Wendy also completed the book and lyrics for a musical adaptation of Masque of the Red Death. In November 2014, two songs from Masque were performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

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    Creator Spotlight: Becky Cloonan

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    A Brief History of Becky Cloonan

    Becky Cloonan is an award-winning comics writer and artist. Born in 1980 in Pisa, Italy, Cloonan is best-known as the first female artists to draw the main Batman title for DC Comics.

    After attending New York’s School of Visual Arts, she was part of the Meathaus collective. She subsequently collaborated with Brian Wood on Channel Zero: Jennie One in 2003.

    Cloonan’s manga-influenced style has served her well. Her first solo graphic novel, East Coast Rising: Volume 1, was released by Tokyopop in 2006. That title marked Cloonan’s third Eisner Award nomination in 2007 (Best New Series).

    Her work on the 2004 twelve-issue comics series Demo was also nominated for two Eisner Awards in 2005 (Best Limited Series and Best Single Issue or One-Shot)

    She did the art for the series The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, written by Gerard Way and Shaun Simon. Cloonan also co-created and did cover art and stories for DC’s  Gotham Academy. Other works from Cloonan include Flight, Nebuli, American Virgin.

     

    In addition, in 2015, she was voted #3 of the top 50 female comics artists of all-time. She was also one of only two creators to make the list as both writer and artist. And she was voted #14 among all-time top writers.

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    Creator Spotlight: Karen Berger

    Karen Berger
    Karen Berger

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    A Brief History of Karen Berger

    Karen Berger is a comics writer and one of the most-influential editors of the last four decades.

    She began working in comics in 1979 as an assistant to editor Paul Levitz at DC Comics. She later became Levitz’s editor when he was writing Legion of Super-Heroes. Pursuing her interest in horror comics, she became editor of House of Mystery and was instrumental in nurturing Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing.

    She is credited as ushering in a wave of British writers including Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis and Neil Gaiman. Berger helped bring Gaiman’s work to a mass audience by having him write The Sandman. The success of works under Berger guidance led to DC’s creation of Vertigo in 1993, a line of mature-reader comics. Wildly popular titles under that imprint include Fables, Hellblazer, The Invisibles, 100 Bullets, Preacher, V for Vendetta, and Y: The Last Man.

    A New Chapter

    At the end of 2012, Berger stepped down as Executive Editor & Senior Vice President of DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint. In February 2017, she announced her return to the comic world. She is teaming up with Dark Horse Comics to create a new imprint, Berger Books. The new imprint will feature creator-owned work hand-picked and edited by Berger herself.

    In addition, she has won many prestigious awards including the the Inkpot Award in 1990, three Eisner Awards (1992,1994 and 1995), and the Comics Buyer’s Guide Award for Favorite Editor every year from 1997 through 2005.

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    Creator Spotlight: Marguerite Bennett

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    A Brief History of Marguerite Bennett

    Marguerite Bennett is a comic writer that has demonstrated the ability to touch on many themes, tones and styles. Born in Virginia, she is a self-described Nerdy Southern Belle. In DC Comics Bombshells, she re-imagines prominent female characters in the context of ‘40s WWII culture. Her work Insexts subverts historical expectations and Victorian literature for an twist. She is currently a writer for DC Comics, Marvel, Aftershock, BOOM! Studios, Rosy Press, and more. In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book for Angela: Queen of Hel. This year she’s nominated for her work on DC’s Bombshells.

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    Creator Spotlight: Kate Leth

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    A Brief History

    Writer and artist Kate Leth is widely-recognized as one of the top talents helping to shape a new generation of comics. Canadian-born Leth, who now lives in Los Angeles, gained notoriety for her work focusing on teen and all-age stories – for comics and graphic novels, as well at the screen.

    Leth attended Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University) studying photography before dropping out. Afterwards she started working at the Strange Adventures comic shop in Halifax, Nova Scotia, That’s where her interest in comics grew.

    She caught the attention of BOOM! Studios with her Adventure Time fan art on her Tumblr page. And that subsequently turned into graphic novel, Adventure Time: Seeing Red, which hit The New York Times Best Seller list.

    She is also collaborator on the podcast Less than Live with Kate or Die, and is the organizer of The Valkyries, a group of women who work in comics retail.

    NOTABLE WORKS

    •  comics at TFAW.com
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    • Spell on Wheels comics at TFAW.com

    • Adventure Time comics at TFAW.com
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