Panel & Workshop Descriptions

All of the presenter-led panels and workshops are listed here in alphabetical order with descriptions.

Anime Your Way: Techniques and Tips to Create Your Own Anime Drawing (3 PM – 4 PM)
blah blah. Have you ever wanted to learn to draw your own anime? Well, now you can! Colombian roots born, Los Angeles-raised artist and former Simpson’s TV show animator, Carlos Nieto III, will lead you through his step-by-step anime drawing program. Using simple shapes and easy to follow instructions, you’ll gain the knowledge and confidence to create your very own unique anime characters. Open to all drawing levels! Carlos Nieto III

Art Demo with Celebrated Graphic Novelist and Illustrator, Kazu Kibuishi (3 PM – 4 PM)
blah blah. For celebrated graphic novelist and artist, Kazu Kibuishi, a work of art is never done after the first attempt. Kibuishi is the creator of the bestselling Amulet series, popular webcomic Copper, and cover-illustrator of the Harry Potter books. Zooming to us from his home studio in Washington state, he’ll share his warm-up activities and art construction techniques, and maybe even a little of his personal story, growing up as a 4th generation Japanese-American, whose great grandfather opened the oldest Japanese grocery store in America. Kazu Kibuishi

Art as Activism: Lifting up Comic Creators of Color, Breaking Down Stereotypes (10 AM – 11 AM)
Meet the ultra-talented, Boston-based Black and Brown Comic Artists who started a movement to promote comics by and about people of color, and shatter stereotypes along the way. They are ace cartoonists, educators, performance artists, graphic novelists, and T-shirt and clothing designers, who love comics and nerding out with fellow artists and fans. They’ll share their comic art and talk about how they use their art and fandom to lift up fellow creators of color and advocate for racial justice. L.J. Baptiste, Cagen Luse, Barrington Edwards

Beyond Creation: Diversity in Writing (1 PM – 2 PM)
Writers, cosplay designers, and LGBTQ activists, Briana Lawrence and Jessica Walsh, are living the fandom dream! What started as a love of cosplay and fan fiction, morphed into telling stores at comic conventions worldwide, and, eventually, to successful careers writing and publishing anime, fantasy fiction, and graphic novels that feature diverse, LGBTQ, Black and multi-racial characters. Are you a writer and fan of fantasy fiction?  Briana and Jessica will talk about crafting stories and fantasy worlds where diverse characters and voices–human and supernatural—take center stage. Briana Lawrence, Jessica Walsh

Comic Lab: Take Your Comic Book Drawing to the Next Level (1 PM – 2 PM)
Please have pencil, paper, pen –or whatever inking tool you prefer– along with a ruler and one or more favorite comic books on hand. Coloring tools are great to have, but not required. Love to draw but still figuring out how to take your characters to the next level? Having any issues with creating unique designs for characters, or keeping them consistent panel-by-panel? Look no further!! Craft your reality in an engaging cartooning and comics-based workshop centered on building your own unique cast of characters and settings. In this workshop we’ll hone in on creatively engaging elements of the comics making process that have been utilized very effectively by professionals for both storytelling and character development. L.J. Baptiste

Cosplay Positivity: The Good, The Bad, The Self-Love (11 AM – 12 PM)
Briana Lawrence, Jessica Walsh

A First-Gen Immigrant’s Story of Breaking Into the Indie Comics Scene and How You Can, Too (11 AM – 12 PM)
Cartoonist, illustrator, and giant Manga and anime nerd, Maria Photinakis, knows firsthand that culture and language can be a source of strength, but also a heavy burden. In her art, she explores themes of sci fi, alienation, and identity. Her latest work in progress is a graphic novel about her life as a first-generation immigrant kid in a big Greek family outside of Boston. She’ll tell you how she broke into the indie comics scene, and share tips to help you get your comic art noticed, too: making and printing comics and pitching to an indie publishing house. Maria Photinakis

Gaming with Black Oni: Where Passion Meets Purpose (3 PM – 4 PM)
Video gaming phenom, Will Wiggins, alias BLACK ONI, hosts a gaming livestream. Will combines passion and purpose, thrilling fans with his masterful game play and using his social media platform to facilitate discussion about racial justice and issues of “gaming while Black.” Will got his start in Boston as a young graphic designer and illustrator, and now runs his own Los Angeles based art and animation studio, where he combines Japanese aesthetics with western techniques. Will Wiggins a.k.a. Black Oni

¡La Borinqueña vive! Amplifying the Puerto Rican Voice (2 PM – 3 PM)
Self identified Nuyorican (New York raised Puerto Rican), Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez has made a career out of thriving in the super hero world. He’s written for Marvel Entertainment and acted as Editor-in-Chief at Daryl Makes Comics LLC. More recently, he became Art Director/Owner at Somos Arte and Studio Edgardo. He created the Puerto Rican superhero phenomenon with La Borinqueña, a female superhero who fights for justice and equality with her Puerto Rican pride and patriotism. Edgardo will talk about his work on La Borinqueña and how his roots and activism inspired his creative projects and endeavors.

Lettuce Taco ‘Bout Art – Taco Superheros and Drawing Basics (12 PM – 1 PM)
Springfield amateur comic book artist Carlos Henriquez and colorist Karriem Marius will teach drawing 101 basics, utilizing the form of unpublished comic book crime fighter Rocko Taco. They’ll teach basic methods of drawing human (and taco) forms and the art of color work.

Pursuing Your Dream One Step at a Time (4 PM – 5 PM Closing Keynote)
Myranda V. Peterson, Milena Braga

Putting Yourself Into the Story: How to Create Memoir Comics (2 PM – 3 PM)
blah blah. Award-winning cartoonist, local artist, and Manga and anime nerd, Maria Photonakis, draws on her Greek heritage and immigrant experiences in her art. These days, she is hard at work on a graphic novel about her family’s early years in the U.S, and has also begun drawing and sharing a comic diary of her pandemic life. Join Maria as she helps you find your own unique voice and make your personal story come alive through memoir comics. Maria Photinakis

Radical Play Institute: Elevate Your Gaming in Your Everyday (12 PM – 1 PM)
Gaming. It’s fun. A Friday night on Fortnite, ranking #1 in the match. It’s a joy all of its own. But gaming can be more than just a fun hobby. TreaAndrea, English Professor at UMASS Amherst and creator of Radical Play Institute, will guide participants in how to apply their game preferences and gaming style to their every day life including their future career. What does your gaming say about you? What strengths does it show? What does it say about how your brain works? Join TreaAndrea to find out!

So You Want to Be a Voice Actor: Breaking into the Gaming and Anime Industry (12 PM – 1 PM)
What’s it take to make it as a voice actor in the video game and anime industries? Our two super-star panelists have voiced characters in some of the most popular video game and anime films of recent years, from Gwen in the Final Fantasy VII remake, to Pokemon Anime XY. (Note to Melissa: Switch these titles out?) They’ll let you in on tricks of the trade and describe how they made it to the big time–starting with childhood fandom, tons of hard work, and overcoming obstacles in their way. Brittany Lauda, Danielle McRae

Voice Acting 101 with Brittany Lauda (2 PM – 3 PM)
Oh my Otaku! Join us for a lesson with the voice (Brittany Lauda) behind tons of anime shows and movies such as characters from My Hero Academia and Tokyo Ghoul:re! Learn from one of the masters to begin your explorations into voice acting 101.

Voice Acting 101 with Danielle McRae (1 PM – 2 PM)
Famous for voicing female characters with deeper voices, Danielle McRae has voice acted in various animations and video games such as League of Legends and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Learn from one of the masters to begin your explorations into voice acting 101.

World Building 101 (11 AM – 12 PM)
How do you build a 3-dimensional fantasy world in your stories so convincing that your readers feel like they inhabit it alongside the characters? Young Boston-area authors, artists, and friends, Myranda Peterson and Milena Braga, are both debuting new YA fantasy fiction this year. They’ll guide you through the process of creating a world and filling it with sights, sounds, flora, fauna, diverse creatures and characters that drive the plot forward, without getting bogged down in description. For fantasy writers and graphic artists of all levels! Myranda V. Peterson, Milena Braga

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