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Comics are For Everyone Panel

Comics are made for everyone, by everyone, in a variety of formats. Join us as our panelists, Randy Duncan, Jess Carson, Corbin Lawrence, and James Harris, discuss how Comics are for Everyone. We will begin with a short presentation about the wide variety of comics and the many places and formats you might not expect to find them in. Following the presentation, our panel will explore the phrase “Comics are for Everyone,” discuss the variety found within the medium and even a little bit about its lesser-known history. Comics, graphic novels, and sequential art; whatever form it takes, there’s more than meets the eye.

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Corbin Lawrence

Corbin received his graphic design degree in 2017 from Eastern Kentucky University. During his time as a student, he was in multiple juried art shows from a local to international level and won various awards. His focus now lies in illustration and he looks for ways to use it to promote equality, mental health awareness, and to challenge where its boundary lies with graphic design. He currently works for the local ed tech startup Apptegy.

The work he does at Apptegy floats between sequential art and editorial, empowering itself and the copy with slices of sequenced narrative. One of his personal projects is a graphic novel that tackles mental health issues for young adults.

Randy Duncan

Randy Duncan is the Ellis College Distinguished Professor of Communication and director of The Center for Comics Studies at Henderson State University. He has given talks about comics in New York, Paris, Athens, Passau, Toulouse, São Paulo, Belfast, Oxford, and Prague. He is co-author of The Power of Comics: History, Form and Culture (2009; 2015) and Creating Comics as Journalism, Memoir and Nonfiction (2016). He is co-editor of the Eisner-nominated Critical Approaches to Comics: Theories and Methods (2012) and the companion volume More Critical Approaches to Comics (2020). In 1992, Duncan co-founded the Comics Arts Conference, the first US academic conference devoted to comics. In 2010, he won the Inge Award for excellence in comics scholarship, and in 2012 Comic-Con International gave him an Inkpot Award for contributions to Comics Studies. Duncan is co-curator of the touring exhibition Marvel: Universe of Super-Heroes and co-editor of the Routledge Advances in Comics Studies book series.

Jessica Carson

Jess Carson is a Los Angeles-based Black Writer/Director who made her way into filmmaking in her hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas. In 2015, she decided to branch out to hone her skills in more saturated markets – first by way of Brooklyn, NY, where she was hired to write an Off-Broadway musical, Only Human, starring Gary Busey, and then settling in Los Angeles, CA in 2018. Her work spans genres and her focus is on well-rounded, character-driven narratives that resonate with audiences of all demographics as well as those that put society under a lens via undertones of societal commentary.

Currently, Jess is working on a wide range of projects. Jess is a staff writer on the CW’s THE FLASH where she was the first Black Woman to write an episode of the hit series. She is also actively developing a gritty, original limited series, DEAD RED, with Echo Lake Entertainment producing. She was included on Tracking Board’s 2019 Young and Hungry List.

Jess is represented by Kegan Schell, Lauren Williams, and Chris Davis at Echo Lake Entertainment.

James Harris

James Harris is an avid reader and comic book shop owner in Central Arkansas. James has been reading comics for a long time, picking up his first GI Joe comic at age 5. As a teen, he transitioned to the classic Chris Claremont X-Men comics run and was instantly hooked. As an adult James was a child psychotherapist for fifteen years, helping youth with a variety of issues. After some time he made the leap to opening his own comic shop, Retrograde Comics, in Hillcrest underneath a record store. James currently lives with his wife, a cat, and two dogs.