- Frederick Luis Aldama
Frederick Luis Aldama (Professor LatinX) is the Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor of English and University Distinguished Scholar at The Ohio State University. He teaches courses in the departments of English, Spanish & Portuguese, and Film Studies on Latinx & Latin American cultural phenomena, including literature, film, TV, music, sports, video games, and comic books. Aldama is the author, co-author, editor, and co-editor of over 30 scholarly books. He is also the author of the book of fiction/graphic fiction, Long Stories Cut Short: Fictions from the Borderlands.
Aldama is the founder and director of the White House Bright Spot for Higher Education Award winning Latino High School outreach program, LASER. He is also founder of the Humanities & Cognitive Sciences High School Summer Institute. Through his teaching and publishing, Aldama seeks to advance, promote, and encourage the narrative and graphic arts, especially those by and about Latinos.
Aldama has been honored with the 2016 American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education's Outstanding Latino/a Faculty in Higher Education Award. In 2017, he was awarded the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching and inducted into the Academy of Teaching. That same year he was also inducted into the Society of Cartoon Arts.
Beating at the heart of his work is the singular drive to understand deeply how people create and actively consume all variety of planetary cultural phenomena. He has found useful insights from the cognitive sciences as well as history, cultural studies, and critical race, gender, and sexuality theory. He is particularly interested in exploring and analyzing an important slice of this bounty of culture. Much of his work focuses on excavating and examining pop cultural phenomena by and about Latinxers of the Américas.
- Jiba Molei Anderson
Jiba Molei Anderson is publisher of Griot Enterprises and creator of its flagship title The Horsemen. He is also the creator and curator of the 4 Pages 16 Bars: A Visual Mixtape anthology, which focuses on independent works from creators of color.
Anderson has worked as a graphic designer, illustrator, writer and art director for companies such as Onyx Path Publishing/White Wolf Publishing, The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, and Chicago State University.
As an educator, Anderson has had numerous one-man and group shows, and speaks about the representation of race & culture at various institutions including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Penn State Altoona and currently teaches at Chicago State University.
Recently, Anderson became the proud recipient of the Glyph Awards Lifetime Achievement/Pioneer Honor for his work in the comic book industry through the East Coast of Black Age Comics convention.
- Glenn Brewer
Glenn Brewer graduated with Honors and a BFA in Fine Arts from the Columbus College of Art and Design. He has created illustrations for numerous companies and publications including TSR Inc, Visionary Entertainment Studios, New Orleans Tribune, Frost illustrated, Tygeron Graphics, Graphic Classics, Mythworlde Media, Aramark, and Unchained Spirit Enterprises, a children's book publisher. Brewer is best known for the six-part comic series Askari Hodari, which he wrote, illustrated and published. Askari Hodari was nominated twice and eventually won the Howard E. Day Prize. Brewer was also nominated for a Glyph Award in the Best Self-Publisher category for his Askari Hodari series.
- Flor de Canela
Flor de Canela is a vivacious Latina woman who is a self-taught, degree certified artist with over 20+ years' experience in creating illustrations, graphic arts, & fine arts in various media. Her creative nature has fueled an enthusiastic passion for the arts and everything she does.
In 2016, she debuted her first comic series: Stuck-Up Unicorn Comics at the Columbus Independents Day Festival, solidifying her lifelong dream of becoming a cartoonist.
French Toast Press is a collaboration with her husband and studio mate, Max Ink (writer/artist of the Blink graphic novel series and Thinklings auto-bio comics). They are Creative Consultants for each other's works, and while Max is Flor's writer/story editor, she is his colorist/tone artist. French Toast Studios is also the entity which they use when they create original comics together and when they collaborate on freelance and commission works.
- Guy Copes
Born and raised in New York City, now living as a transplanted writer and artist in Los Angeles. A coast to coast creator whose influences span the spectrum of comics from superheroes to horror, to personal, biographical tales of lives, loves, and dreams pursued. Other influences that shaped the tone of his work include the gritty, multi-colored street canvases of the Harlem Graffiti scene of the late seventies and eighties, the works of Gustav Klimt, and the poetry of many other artists too great to list here.
When not speaking about himself in the third person, Guy can usually be found sleeping on his studio floor, a just finished script blinking from the bright light of the computer screen above and a half painted canvas acting as both bed and pillow while he rests up for the next art show or collaborative project lurking just along the horizon.
- Jaime Crespo
Jaime Crespo is a native Californian who has been a published cartoonist close to 40 years and has had his comics appear in several anthologies over the decades (Monkey Wrench, Buzzard, Backwoods, X-Ray Bagazine, Lampoon, White Buffalo Gazette, Deadbeat Magazine to name a few) as well as in many magazines and weekly papers. He is also part of the Latino Comics Expo, Sol-Con and the Latinx Comix Festival. Crespo primarily focuses on bio/auto bio stories (ala Harvey Pekar) but is not limited to this format. Crespo has had his comic strip, Slice O' Life (later shorted to Slices) in weeklies around the US. Crespo is currently self-publishing an on-going title, Tortilla. Currently, Jaime is in the midst of his much-anticipated first graphic novel, Turk Street Serenade, which focuses on his time spent as a janitor/maintenance man in a San Francisco Tenderloin District SRO hotel during the mid-1980's.
- Ewart Da-Souza
Ewart Da-Souza is a Brazilian/Guyanese American illustrator from Elizabeth,NJ. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts and Later the Columbus College of Art and Design, Ewart has managed to create works for multi-national companies Like Hasbro and Warner brothers as well as local and indepenent writers and companies like Freestyle Komics and Directions for youth.
Ewart lends his skills to the arena of character design anywhere he can, with his love for superheroes on full display in his comic War of the Gods.
His ultimate goal is to inspire better superheroes of every background, presented with the same awesome, sense of grandeur and quality as the original heroes from the big 2...no gimmicks.
- Corey "Roc Bottom" Davis
An ink and pencils maestro, Roc Bottom has garnered praise from hundreds for his stylistic and innovative approach to his craft. His creative works have been featured in The Underwire Online magazine with his creator owned comic, Lion's Den Revolution, the first comic to ever be presented in digital desktop format. Other comics credits include, Queen of Sin and Master's Devils for Legion Studios, and 803 from 803 Studios. Roc is also a member Truthful Comics where his titles include, Order, Shadowclub Karma, and Jet Boy: Dawn of K.R.O.N.O.S. , a comic/animated series.
- Philip Fleming
Phillip Fleming is a New York native comic artist. He earned his MFA in Comics at the California College of the Arts and his BFA in Sequential Art at the Savannah College of Art and Design. While working on original comics like Lost Jerusalem and Rooted, Phillip has worked as an arts educator. For the past five years, he has brought much needed diversity to art classrooms within the inner cities of Boston and Detroit, as well as Ocala, Florida, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and most recently Atlanta, Georgia. Phillip's comic work has been featured in exhibitions in Georgia, California, and Michigan. He also recently spoke on a panel alongside his peers at WonderCon in Anaheim, California.
- Alejandro Gamboa
Jandro Gamboa is a second-generation high school teacher. After years of talking about it, he finally started publishing a comic book series called “Monty Gomez Is the Luchador” through his Labishka Ink imprint. Working closely with long-time friend and accomplished artist Bernyce Talley, he has been slowly but surely releasing his story. He will have issues one through three available at Sol-Con and will be debuting issue four this weekend! Please check the Mini-Volume to see sample artwork from guest artist and recent college graduate Nathan Campos. It is a stand-alone flashback issue focusing on a Silver Age superhero team called Los Maximos. Jandro lives in Santa Maria, CA, with his very patient wife named Mary and a domestic shorthair cat named Jango Whartuth.
- Crystal Gonzalez
Crystal Gonzalez is a Chicana who resides in San Francisco and is best known for her indie published graphic novel, “In The Dark”. The series is about a man named Fibble and his demon named Sin, who embark on a wild journey through a Hell that has modernized itself to stay relevant in society. Fraught with demons who are addicted to Starbucks, use GPS, and love the internet; this dark comedy takes a satirical edge at religions, social mores, and modern culture. Her other works include animations and mini comics with characters Skitzo the 1920s Killer Bear and S.A.H.U the robot.
- Jorge Garza
Jorge Garza, (aka Qetza Art) is from Northwest Indiana. He has worked extensively as an artist for various entertainment projects. Jorge also has his own online shop selling his creations, which include original compositions inspired by Meso-American civilizations and his series celebrating his love of Azteca Culture and Pop Culture called, “Azteca Pop”. Recently Jorge fulfilled a life-long dream of completing his first comic book, “Wrath of the Giver”, and now has plans for the next. With major influences of comic book art, horror illustration, ancient cultural art of the Americas and screen printing, his work ranges from simple to highly detailed pen and ink.
- J.M. Hunter
J.M. Hunter aka The Indy Hunter is one-half of Angry Artist's Studios is the publisher of BAM TOO! (Big Ass Mini-Comic) and brings along with him a background of fine art, comics publishing and currently design, J.M.'s work can best be described as energetic, visceral and risk-taking. He currently resides with his family in Outside of Columbus, OH by way of Southern California (SoCal), and has been in production of his two newest strips, The Dad-Bod Chronicles and Chasing Ink.
- Arielle Irizarry
Arielle Irizarry is a Nuyorican artist currently based in Columbus, OH. She practices digital illustration, painting, and is very interested in textile art. Her work often features womxn of color, queer folk, and feminist themes. She hopes you drop by to see her work and chat with her at SÕL-CON.
- Jay B. Kalagayan
Jay B. Kalagayan (MeSseD creator, writer and publisher) has been an annoyingly consistent entrepreneur and arts advocate in Cincinnati for more than twenty years. A Xavier University graduate from Erie, PA, Jay is founder of Know Theatre of Cincinnati and a co-founder of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. He is a writer of plays, cartoon strips, reviews, articles, marketing collateral, fundraising appeals, and geeky event calendars. His major influences are his wife Jan and daughters Meggie and Fi.
MeSseDis the nickname of the Metropolitan Sewer District and features sewer worker Lilliput. She is our tour guide to the weird, wild and wet world beneath our feet.
Creating a comic book like MeSseD has been a lifelong dream. With two seasons published, featuring artwork from friend and collaborator Dylan Speeg, Jay tours the country promoting MeSseD. He just finished his People's Liberty project, the MeSseD Tunnel Tour, an immersive comic book experience taking place three stories underground.
- Lawrence Lindell
Lawrence Lindell is a cartoonist, zinester, musician and educator from California. He makes work for Black Women, Black People, People of Color, Folks With Mental Health Issues and Queer Folks.
- Robert Liu-Trujillo
Rob is a life long Bay Area resident. Born in Oakland California, he's the child of student activists who watched lots of science fiction and took him to many demonstrations. Always drawing, Rob grew up to be an artist falling in love with graffiti, fine art, illustration, murals, and children's books. In that order. Through storytelling he's been able to scratch the surface of an untold stories. Rob is the author and illustrator of Furqan's First Flat Top. He's a dad of a teenage boy and a brand new baby girl. He loves ice cream and gets to be a husband to a superwoman who laughs big and tires to correct his grammar every chance she gets. Down with the system and soggy french fries!
- J.N. Monk
J.N. Monk is a lover of comics, musicals and superheroes. They write/edit sci-fi and fantasy for all ages.
- The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center
The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center (NAAMCC) is nestled between two of the most celebrated HBCUs in the United States: Wilberforce University and Central State University. This sacred ground had made our museum the perfect setting to celebrate the rich history of Black Power in comics, and to validate its importance alongside the museum's renowned archival and mater ial collections.
Derek Pridemore has studied comics since childhood and once owned his own comic book store. In 2018, he co-curated the museum's Behind the Mask: Black Power in Comics exhibit as part of his graduate capstone project. He is now curatorial assistant at the museum.
Addison Pettiford has been a lifelong fan of comics. He is currently pursuing a Master's in History at Wright State University. As a student intern at the museum, he is working on his graduate capstone project: an exhibit about the impact of African American comedy performers.
- Breena Nuñez
Breena Nuñez (she/her/they/them) is a cartoonist living in Oakland by way of San Bruno, CA. She is a nonbinary womxn who creates autobiographical comics inspired by her lived experiences as an Afro Central American who experiences the awkwardness of embodying multiple cultures and not always feeling like she quite "fits in". But she hopes that her comics bring comfort to other migrants and first generation people who also feel like outliers within their culture.
- Maxi Rodriguez
Maxi Rodriguez (KasutoProductions, pronouns she/her) is a plus size Latina artist from the ocean city of Long Beach, CA. She graduated from Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson, CA in 2014 with her BA in Graphic Design and is finishing the MFA Comic program at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She is currently the creator of the body positivity comic, “Chronicles of a ChubbyBunny” about a plus size Latina who tackles issues such as fatphobia, toxic masculinity and mental health within and outside the geek community as well as the Latinx community. Maxi is currently a member of a group of artists/writers called the Sketchy Bugs where the meetings are held at the Comic Bug located in Manhattan Beach, CA. When not drawing/writing comics, she is either painting, practicing animation or just hanging out with her three German Shepherds.
- Dr. Theresa Rojas
Dr. Theresa Rojas (Arte Rojas/DocTeeRoh Studios) is a writer, artist, editor, English professor, mentor, and Director of the Latinx Comix Festival at Modesto College, in California's San Joaquin Valley. A San Francisco native, she has published work on LA Ink, telenovelas, and Jessica Abel's graphic novel La Perdida. She also attended and taught at MIT. Her comic, “Melva” appears in Tales from La Vida: A Latinx Comics Anthology. Her chapbook of poems and illustrations, Don't Ask Me debuted at the Latino Comics Expo in 2019. She is currently editor and publisher of the new series, Calacas: Letting the Skeletons out of the Closet, which debuts at SOL-CON. Her work is collected internationally. IG: @DocTeeRoh Facebook: @ArteRojas
- Rafael Rosado
Born in Puerto Rico and based in Columbus, Ohio, Rafael is a seasoned writer, director and storyboard artist for the animation industry. Highly diverse, he has storyboarded on action, comedy and pre-school shows, shows as diverse as Scooby Doo, Transformers, The Batman, Looney Tunes and Curious George.
He's the co-creator and Illustrator of the graphic novels Giants Beware!, Dragons Beware!, and the upcoming Monsters Beware!, published by First Second Books. His work is featured in the latest edition of the Comics Squad anthology, published by Random House books, and the upcoming The Latinographix Collection, from OSU Press.
- Uko Smith
From his work on comics/concept art/ fantasy and his love of Prince, this is Uko's personal and professional culmination of work that he hopes you'll truly enjoy from orignals, artbooks and prints.
From his work in the sketch card arena to his sequential art in the graphic novel FX-The Lost Land published by IDW, where he both pencilled and inked the interior art. The Art of Uko Smith is awesome by his use of line, design and color. Uko has worked with companies such as Lucasfilm, UpperDeck, Hasbro, Heavy Metal, Marvel and DC Comics He has been teaching The Comic Book Illustration classes and Drawing for Entertainment and Design classes at The Columbus College of Art & Design. Uko's professional history and knowledge in the field of comics and art along with his creativity has been partly responsible for Columbus College of Art & Design to install Comics as a Major at the Institution and his teachings has started a CORE learning class for incoming freshmen.
Having worked with well known companies as Hasbro, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Lucasfilm, Upper Deck and others, his goals are still at aiming high. Known for illustrating women with his work, his commissioned art pieces have been getting global attention in the world of art and comics. Uko is getting attention in doing cover work for Independent publishers in the industry and has also produced quite a bit of work for gaming companies such as White Wolf and Green Ronin.
You can also find Uko doing drawing workshops at various comic conventions and has been a guest lecturer to students from other art schools. His artwork has appeared in many galleries across the country and the Columbus Museum of Art.
Currently, Uko is hard at work on his creator owned property titled “1500” and also working and producing art and sketchbooks out of his studio.
- Javier Solorzano
Javier Solorzano is the artist and writer behind the lucha libre comic book "Luchisimo" as well as the apparel line "Lucha Cat". Born in East LA and raised in Bell Gardens, CA, his work explores the world of lucha libre, gatos, latinx culture, and how they all intersect with the pop culture we experience in our daily lives. He also loves eating tacos and listening to heavy metal with his cats.
- Studio JS
Studio JS was founded in 2010 by Miguel C. Hernandez and Michelle Littlejohn, known initially as Penhitsthepad. Based in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, we specialize in making comics, designs, sequential art, and creative concepts. We are an artistic duo(siblings) that is full of spirit and much inspired by martial arts, 80's-90's anime, nature, and music. Together we can grasp and expand our imaginations to create inspiring stories and adventures for the world to enjoy. Stop by our table and say hello, we would love to meet you!