Schlow Centre Region Library

Celebrate books and authors at BookFest on Saturday, July 16, 2016.

Since its founding in 2009, BookFest has grown into an important community event that celebrates something many of us take for granted—the book!

With more than four years of celebrating authors of memoirs, local history, and fiction, it’s time to re-energize the event and to celebrate those who are working in an often over-looked medium, the comic.

What is a comic? Sometimes known as a comic book, strip, or graphic novel, sometimes simply as sequential art, it’s a format—or platform, if you will—to tell a story using pictures and words together to convey an author or team’s idea. They come in many genres. They can be non-fiction, history, biography, and yes, even fiction. You can find them online as web-comics, in magazines, in your local comic store, in your local library, and even in your local newspaper.

When published individually we call them a strip. When published as an issue, we call them a book, but in a collection, they become known as a graphic novel. These formats, using both the power of the written word and the power of the image, have inspired readers young and old to embrace new concepts, communicate life’s challenges, and celebrate the fantastic. From award-winning Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home to Art Spiegelman’s Maus, the comic is a medium that has influenced cultural perspective.

Join us in a daylong celebration of this graphic medium of storytelling. Meet authors and artists who have worked for Marvel and DC, as well as the independents who design their own path.

BookFest events will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Schlow Centre Region Library and the BookFest tent in the library’s parking lot.

Learn more about the participants by clicking on the + for each speaker and tent author below.



Collin Colsher

Collin Colsher

Collin Colsher describes himself as “a writer, a scholar, a teacher, a filmmaker, a political activist, and most importantly a comic book nerd.”

He’s the creator of The Real Batman Chronology Project, an Internet research project/labor of love that determines the correct chronological reading order for every published Batman comic book. In 2009, Collin founded The Chronology Blog (now re-named Discontinuity), a website that hosts various articles and commentaries about continuity in fiction, superhero narrative, fandom, comic art, and comic book culture.

Collin is also serving as a member of the jury that will decide the winner of this year’s prestigious Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize.

He’s currently co-writing and illustrating a comic strip called Moomin 2 and working on an article for Discontinuity about Bruce Wayne’s sex life. There are over 20,000 comics in his personal collection.

Collin studied film and journalism at Penn State before earning an undergraduate degree in English Literature at Temple University in addition to a graduate degree in cinema studies from New York University.

In his non-spare time, he also teaches a comic book workshop for kids (pre-k through 2nd grade) in Brooklyn, NY at the Co-op School.

Dave DeVries (will also be in the tent)

Dave DeVries is an award winning illustrator/publisher of the book, The Monster Engine, which answers the question, “What would a child’s drawing look like if painted by a professional illustrator?” The results are startling transformations of flat childlike imagery into fully painted illustrations.

This technique came from Dave’s illustration work, primarily in the entertainment field– specifically the comic book, advertising and video game markets. His clients include Dreamworks SKG, Lucasfilm, Universal Studios, Sega, Tor Books as well as Marvel and DC Comics, among others. His most notable comic works were in the trading card market, include the Marvel Masterpieces 95 set as well as work for both DC and Magic the Gathering card games. Recently, he completed a zombie Jughead painted cover for Archie Comic’s “Afterlife” series as well as multiple Sonic the Hedgehog covers.

Currently, he works as an art teacher and professor for Jefferson Middle School and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) respectively.

Robert Hack (will also be in the tent)

Robert Hack is a local Pennsylvania artist, comic book/sketchcard illustrator and eloquent hillbilly. Artist for Archie Comics’ Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. His credits also include cover artist for IDW’s Doctor Who and X-Files comics.

Darin Henry (appearance is tentative)

Darin Henry is a TV sitcom writer with credits on many series including Seinfeld, Futurama, The Ellen Show and the new Disney hit KC Undercover. Henry is launching his own comic book company called Sitcomics that combines original comic book concepts with his 20 years of experience writing sitcoms. Issues on sale will include, Blue Baron and Super Suckers.

Jay Hosler

Jay Hosler is the author and illustrator of science-oriented comics. He is best known for his graphic novels Clan Apis, The Sandwalk Adventures, and Optical Allusions.

Clan Apis, a Xeric Foundation Award winner, follows the life of a honey bee named Nyuki; the story conveys factual information about honey bees in a humorous fashion as Nyuki learns about each new stage of her life. The Sandwalk Adventures, an Eisner Award nominee, follows a conversation about evolution between Charles Darwin and a follicle mite living in his left eyebrow. Optical Allusions, funded in part by a National Science Foundation grant, explains the evolution of the eye and vision by following the story of Wrinkles the Wonderbrain.

Hosler’s books have been featured on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition as well as in The New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education and Science.

When Jay’s not found rolling around the floor with his sons Max and Jack and making goo-goo eyes at his wife Lisa, he’s toiling away as an entomologist and associate professor of biology at Juniata College.

Alitha Martinez (will also be in the tent)

Martinez started working in the comics industry in the 1990s as an assistant to Joe Quesada on Azrael & Ash and Daredevil, then as an inker’s assistant on Aquaman. She got her first headlining role as artist on Iron Man, then moved on to X-men: Black Sun, Marvel Age Fantastic Four, Black Panther and Voltron.[1]

In addition to her creator-owned work Yume and Ever, she illustrated three graphic novels for younger readers and teens for Graphic Universe: Kung Fu Masters, written by Evonne Tsang; The Quest for Dragon Mountain, written by Robin Mayhall; and My Boyfriend is a Monster #3: My Boyfriend Bites, written by Dan Jolley. Her former Iron Man editor Bobbie Chase brought her on as an artist on the Gail Simone-scripted Batgirl series in 2012. After Batgirl, she began work on New Crusaders from Archie Comics.

Joel Priddy

Joel Priddy’s first graphic novel, Pulpatoon Pilgrimage, tells the story of three friends – a minotaur, a goldfish in a robotic human body, and a humanoid plant – meandering through empty vistas on a gradually revealed quest, talking about life, nature, sex, parents, and much more. It won an Ignatz Award for Outstanding Debut and was nominated for an Eisner Award as the year’s best graphic novel.

His second work, Gift of the Magi, published in 2009 by Harper Collins, is a graphic novel adaptation of the classic O’Henry short story.

He received his B.F.A. in communication arts from Virginia Commonwealth University and his M.F.A. in illustration as visual essay, from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Priddy taught illustration and cartooning at Virginia Commonwealth University and at the Memphis College of Art, before joining the faculty of Penn State’s Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in 2011.

Chris Ring (will also be in the tent)

Chris Ring

Chris Ring has been a commercial illustrator for over 20 years. He got his start in comics by writing and drawing the humor strip “Behind the Eightball” for a seven year run. Next came the Superhero mini-series “CarbonKnight” which he wrote and drew for Lunar Studios. Through CarbonKnight he has made numerous convention, store signing and even television appearances. Following “CarbonKnight” Chris worked on variety of comic titles including Nevermore, The Perfect Victim, Blood Feud, and The Other Woman. Recently Chris has worked on two Star Wars Trading Card Series for Topps and illustrated the Children’s book “The Scariest Creature”.

Chris’s work can be viewed online through his art representative at or at


Tent Authors


A.Y. areyoshi

A.Y. areyoshi

A.Y. aka “areyoshi” is a freelance artist with a BA in Fine Arts from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Creator of the webcomics “Optical Disarray” and “Third Kingdom,” areyoshi specifically hopes to create an inclusive environment for all comic readers, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Additionally, areyoshi is one of the founders of “Stay Green,” a charity event in memory of the late Cambria GreenMan (who also happens to be areyoshi’s brother). Last year’s proceeds went to The Healing Patch and the Pittsburgh MS Walk, two of GreenMan’s favorite charities.

William O. Billman II

William O. Billman II

The driving force behind many of Tortoise & Hare Creation’s projects, William began the company by approaching Indi to illustrate Fern Sea Chronicles, a fantasy children’s book and comic series that put THC on the map. He followed this up by the modern noir comic Cobalt, published by THC the following year to rave reviews. In 2014, he released his geocaching-themed card deck, GoCache, following a very successful Kickstarter pre-release. He is currently writing the monthly superheroine webcomic Morel.

Chris Campana

Chris Campana

Fan favorite Chris Campana has been working as a professional artist for over 20 years. With work ranging from commercial story boards, video game concept design and comic books, Chris has made a name for himself as a story teller and creator. Beginning with his first work for Caliber in 1997, he has built a career that finds him now in the place he wanted to be in since he was 10…drawing comics for a living. With a long list of mainstream and independent credits, Chris has now decided to go the creator owned route and is currently the artist and writer on the hit fantasy epic-First World, a story that turns the genre on its head. Never one to settle, Campana is constantly pushing to be better, to tell a better story, and to make the page come alive.

Brendan Hykes

Brendan Hykes is a Pittsburgh-based writer of comics and speculative fiction. You can currently find the first two issues of his self-published mercenary drama Anonymous Nancy on ComiXology. He has posted numerous flash fiction stories on his Tumblr. Hykes is currently promoting his upcoming Kickstarter project, the dystopian political graphic novel Campaigners.

Jason Lenox

Jason Lenox

Jason Lenox, a graduate of The Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts, is an illustrator who specializes in penciling, India ink rendering and sequential artwork. His current project is the sci-fi fantasy adventure comic “Lords of the Cosmos” which will appear in his ongoing anthology comic book series – UGLI STUDIOS PRESENTS.

Jason also creates prints, posters and does freelance artwork. He has contributed material to Dark Horse Comic’s King Conan as well as several independent comics: En Tenebres, FUBAR: By the Sword, and Wyrlwynd’s Kantara.

Jason’s artwork is also featured in the role playing game modules:

  • Classic D&D: The Hanging Coffins of the Vampire Queen
  • TPK Games: The Bleeding Hollow
  • Arion Games: Beyond the Pit 2

Jason currently lives just outside of the Pennsylvania State University in scenic State College, Pennsylvania with his wife Crystal, his sons Blaine and Duncan, his cat Kix, and his attack dog Loki.

Indi Martin

Indi Martin

In 2011, Indi Martin joined forces with writing partner and idea-generator William O. Billman II to create Tortoise & Hare Creations, into which the two could pour their creative heartblood and – through alchemical equations and dark, rum-based magic – produce stunning projects.

Indi is best known for penning the Gina Harwood novels, a paranormal investigation series, as well as Dissolution: A Graphic Novel, a mature-content, experimental graphic serial. Together with William, she has illustrated and co-created the Cobalt modern noir comics, and the Fern Sea steampunk children’s comic world.

Indi has supplied paintings for multiple Pathfinder supplements, including the Book of Eight Restful Retreats and the Veranthea Codex. Additionally, she offers her original and fan art prints as well as commissions.

Mark McKenna

Mark has been a comic book artist for 29 years (check out the on-going Mark Mckenna comic book checklist), having worked for both Marvel and DC comics on the likes of The X Men and Spider Man to Batman and The Justice League. There are more than 500 comics that list his name in the credits and 8,000 plus pages that bear his ink lines on them.