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Comic Books and the Graphic Novel: A New Rhetoric
All free, public invited

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (March 5, 2012) – Tidewater Community College’s 11th annual Literary Festival features cartoonists and comic book writers. Each will share ideas relevant to the festival’s theme, Comic Books and the Graphic Novel: A New Rhetoric (full schedule).

The free, public festival launches with Scott McCloud, who will give the keynote talk on April 2 in the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center in downtown Norfolk.

A major figure in the expanding world of comic books, graphic novels and digital media, Scott McCloud is the author of Understanding Comics, a New York Times Notable Book, currently available in 16 languages. McCloud has lectured and consulted on comics and digital media for Google, MIT, Pixar, Sony and the Smithsonian Institution. McCloud has also authored Understanding Comics and Reinventing Comics, as well as the comic series Zot!

Noted below, in order of appearance, the event features seven authors, as well as campus faculty and student readings.

Vince White, the writer and illustrator of Will Power, the story of an African American teenage superhero, dabbled in the comic book industry before embarking on a career as a graphic designer. Returning to Virginia from California, he is back to work in the funny pages, producing comics as DarkLight Studios/Primal Paper Comics.

A panel discussion on the genre will offer insights from Mike Federali, Bob Frantz and Mike Kuty. A Virginia Beach comic book author, Mike Federali is the writer of the comics The Skyrocket and The Baku. Federali is co-founder of Primal Paper Comics and is artist/writer of the slated online series Wooden Teeth. Co-founder of Primal Paper Comics, Bob Frantz has written thousands of comedy bits for his former radio program, The Mike and Bob Show, and for his long-running podcast, Bob’s Boneyard. Editor-in-chief and co-founder of the independent entertainment/comic book company, Enemy Transmission Inc., Mike Kuty writes the company’s action comic, Valhalla Cindermane, as well as its mythology-meets-sci-fi comic, The Equation.

Writer and graphic artist Mark Wheatley has displayed his visual work in the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Huntington Art Museum, the Fitchburg Art Museum, the James A. Michener Art Museum and the Library of Congress, where several of his originals are in the permanent collection. While several of his graphic novels have been optioned for motion pictures, most recently Blood of the Innocent has been scheduled for development by Inferno Entertainment in Hollywood. Wheatley’s comic book creations include Lone Justice, Black Hood, Hammer of the Gods and Titanic Tales.

Nominated in 2005 for two Eisner Awards for his comic book series, Common Grounds, Troy Hickman is a comic book writer, as well as a teacher of creative writing and English at Ivy Tech Community College in Lafayette, Ind. Common Grounds has been optioned for an upcoming television series by Starz Media, while Hickman’s other writing for comics includes work on Twilight Guardian, City of Heroes, Witchblade, Turok and The Incredible Hulk.


For more information, call (757) 822-1122; for directions to campus locations, click here.

Monday, April 2

Keynote Address by Scott McCloud
7 p.m.
TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, Norfolk

Tuesday, April 3
Talk by Vince White
12:30 p.m.
Pungo Auditorium, Pungo Building, Virginia Beach Campus

Panel discussion with Mike Federali, Bob Frantz and Mike Kuty
7 p.m.
The Forum, Portsmouth Campus

Wednesday, April 4
Faculty/Student/Staff Readings
12:30 p.m.
Location TBA, Chesapeake Campus

Talk by Mark Wheatley
7 p.m.
Studio Theatre, Pass Building, Chesapeake Campus

Thursday, April 5
Faculty/Student/Staff Readings
12:30 p.m.
5th Floor, Martin Bldg., Norfolk Campus

Faculty/Student/Staff Readings
12:30 p.m.
Location TBA, Portsmouth Campus

Faculty/Student/Staff Readings
12:30 p.m.
Location TBA, Virginia Beach Campus

Talk by Troy Hickman
7 p.m.
TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, Norfolk


Laurie White

Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - served more than 46,000 students in 2010-11. The 16th highest associate-degree producer in the nation, TCC offers more than 150 programs including business administration, culinary arts, general studies, modeling and simulation, network security, nursing, and automotive technology. Among the fastest-growing two-year institutions in the United States, TCC was founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System. The college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in Norfolk’s theater district, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth, the Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake, and the Regional Health Professions Center and the Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach, as well as the Regional Workforce Solutions Center in Suffolk. Forty-five percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit