BCAF X Guest Creator Bios

Alexis Ziritt

Alexis Ziritt is originally from Venezuela but has lived in the USA for the last 20 years. He's been published in Complex Magazine, Heavy Metal, BOOM! Studios, Adhouse, Floating World of Comics and Dark Horse Comics among others. Alexis’s illustration work includes Star Wars, Magic: The Gathering, Fortnite, Patagonia, and Heavy Metal bands.



Alina Chau

Alina Chau 周曉芬 is an award-winning filmmaker and artist. Her credits include the Emmy Award-winning Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, and numerous best-selling games. She illustrated The Nian Monster, which received the 2018 APALA Picture Book Honor. Having grown up in Hong Kong in an Indonesian-Chinese family during the British colonial era, her creative vision is strongly influenced by a diverse mix of cultures. She finds inspiration in her grandmother's stories, colorful sarongs, and delicate wooden sculptures from Southeast Asia, as well as in the aroma of stinky tofu, and the sound of Hong Kong tram bells chiming. Alina's unique cultural heritage strongly influences her artistic and storytelling voice. Her whimsical illustration style is highly sought after for art exhibitions worldwide. Her lyrical watercolors have garnered her a devoted fan base and the accolades of her peers. School Library Journal referred to her latest work, Marshmallow & Jordan, as “An enchanting graphic novel about a girl and her elephant with truly lovely artwork. Highly recommended.”   



Andrew MacLean

American comic book creator, Andrew MacLean, is the creator, artist, and writer of HEAD LOPPER, the Diamond Gem Award-winning series published by Image Comics. ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria for the End Times (2015, 2020), his post-apocalyptic sci-fi graphic novel, was published by Dark Horse Comics and was nominated for a YALSA award. Published in 9 languages, Andrew has also worked for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Warner Bros., Hasbro, etc. on a variety of projects in both comics and animation.  In addition, Andrew is a co-founder and Creative Director of the lifestyle brand, Laser Wolf Attack, where art and apparel meet the street. Andrew likes coffee, whiskey, and heavy metal, and lives just outside of Boston with his wife, Erin, and their adorable pup, Lola.



Boya Sun

Boya Sun is an illustrator and comics artist who loves to create imaginative, colorful worlds filled with playful characters. His work has appeared in animation, magazines, games, and books. Boya is the co-creator of the graphic novel CHASMA KNIGHTS and the New York Times best-selling graphic novel series 5 Worlds. In his spare time, Boya enjoys making new risograph prints, crafting cute toys, and plotting his next graphic novel.




Brian Schirmer

Brian Schirmer writes comics like Quests Aside (Vault Comics), Fairlady, and Black Jack Ketchum (Image Comics), as well as the self-published Ultrasylvania. In past lives, he's been a nightclub DJ, an improviser, and a university professor. More recently, he has been a semi-finalist for the Warner Brothers Television Writers' Workshop.




Chan Chau

Chan Chau is a cartoonist based in Washington with a BFA in Comic Art from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. They have worked on Scholastic’s adaptation of The Baby-sitters Club; #10 Kristy and the Snobs & #12 Jessi’s Secret Language. They worked on Minh Lê’s original graphic novel Enlighten Me published by Little Brown, coming 2023. They are a NYT Best Seller and two-time Eisner nominated short story cartoonist. Previously published in Eisner and Ignatz winning anthology ELEMENTS: FIRE, Prism winning anthology Heartwood, and Ringo winning JIM HENSON’S THE STORYTELLER: SIRENS. They’ve also worked on Daytime Emmy winning show Danger & Eggs. They love video games and the idea of camping.



Dani Colman

Dani Colman is a writer and educator from London, England. She plays the violin, dabbles in standup comedy, and is absolutely terrible at videogames. When she isn't writing comic books and novels, she teaches aspiring writers how not to annoy their editors. She currently lives in San Francisco with her husband (creator of many comic books), and two cats (creators of many hairballs).





Jess Smart Smiley

Jess Smart Smiley is a joke—seriously. He makes rad pictures with his bare hands and has helped thousands of children, teens, and adults around the world to create their first comics. Jess is the creator of Let's Make Comics!: An Activity Book to Create, Write, and Draw Your Own Cartoons, which debuted at #1 on Amazon in 4 categories. Jess loves sharing his passion for writing, drawing, and storytelling with schools, libraries, bookstores, and students of all ages and skill levels.




Joëlle Jones

Joëlle Jones is an Eisner nominated artist. Since attending PNCA in Portland, OR, she has contributed to a wide range of projects and has most recently worked on Catwoman and Wonder Girl for DC comics. She also wrote and drew the series, Lady Killer, published by Dark Horse comics. Jones has also provided the art for fashion designer Prada, and various projects for Marvel, Boom, Vertigo, Oni Press and The New York Times. She currently has projects with DC comics as well as continuing her series, Lady Killer.




Jorge Corona

Jorge Corona is a multiple times Eisner nominee Venezuelan sequential artist. Currently residing in Denver, CO along with wife and fellow artist, Morgan Beem, and their cat: Batto the Manslayer.



Josh Trujillo

Josh Trujillo is a writer based in Los Angeles, California. He writes official comics based on Hulkling and Wiccan, Blue Beetle, and Rick and Morty. He also writes for video games, on titles like Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy and Multiversus.




Justin Zimmerman

Justin Zimmerman, MFA in Film, is a nationally recognized comic writer, director, and professor. He's been the recipient of multiple grants and fellowships, contributed a story to the Eisner Award-winning graphic novel Love Is Love, and his script and comic work has been optioned on multiple occasions.          



Lee Durfey-Lavoie

Lee Durfey-Lavoie is a proud college dropout who was able to find a career in writing. He’s available for freelance writing projects (prose or graphic novel). He loves writing queer stories, stories about workers’ rights, and about all different types of fantasy. His hobbies include role-playing games and spending time with his cats. Just Roll with It is his debut graphic novel.



Leslie Hung

Leslie Hung is an illustrator and comic artist from California, best known for her work on Snotgirl (co-created with Bryan Lee O'Malley.)



Madeline McGrane

Madeline McGrane lives in Minneapolis and draws comics. Along with regularly self-publishing mini-comics, she has done work for Marvel Comics, Disney Publishing, and other clients. Her first graphic novel, The Accursed Vampire, was released by HarperCollins in 2021.




Mark Siegel

Mark Siegel was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and raised in France. He graduated from Brown and lives in New York.  Mark is the author and illustrator of several award-winning picture books and graphic novels, including Seadogs, Long Night Moon, To Dance, Moving House, and the NY Times bestseller Sailor Twain, which author John Irving called “a gripping novel with compelling characters, enhanced by haunting, erotically charged artwork.” Mark's recent collaborative graphic novel series—the NY Times bestselling 5 Worlds, is an epic science-fiction story for young readers. The New York Times Book Review hails it as “…a bang-zoom start to a series that promises to be epic in both the classical and internet senses of the word...this is a capital-S Saga.” The fifth and final volume of the series is The Emerald Gate.  His latest project is with his wife Siena Cherson Siegel—a teen graphic memoir called Tiny Dancer.  Mark is also the founder, and Creative & Editorial Director of First Second Books, Macmillan’s graphic novel publishing house. First Second offers an ambitious collection in every age category, in a wide range of themes and styles, with talent from all over the world. First Second has garnered an unmatched array of literary awards, starred reviews and bestsellers—including for the original works of National Book Award Finalist and Printz Winner Gene Luen Yang, and beloved bestselling titles such as This One Summer, Real Friends, Spill Zone, and many more. Mark has appeared before thousands of librarians and educators to speak about the graphic novel renaissance.  Mark has given lectures and workshops internationally and all around North America, for authors, artists, librarians, students, executives in many venues, at tradeshows, companies, Comic Cons, and animation studios, including Blue Sky, Dreamworks, Disney, and Pixar, for both creatives and executives.





Mat Heagerty

Mat Heagerty is a kids' graphic novel author living in Boise. He's the writer of Lumberjackula, Martian Ghost Centaur as well as Unplugged and Unpopular.




Matt Rockefeller

Matt Rockefeller makes comics and illustrations inspired by road tripping in the mountains, interpretive dancing with friends, and pondering the wonders of the universe. In addition to creating book covers and picture books, he also works in animation as a visual development and background artist. His debut solo graphic novel, Bright Oak, will be published by First Second in 2024. He lives in Portland, OR with his partner and a small dog that may or may not be a fox.



Morgan Beem

Morgan Beem is a freelance artist who works predominantly with ink and watercolor. Her work includes Crashing, Swamp Thing: Twin Branches, Wonder Woman Black and Gold, The Family Trade, Wolfsbane, and a number of anthologies.




Phillip Sevy

Phillip Sevy is a writer/artist who has had work published by Dark Horse Comics (Kepler, Triage, The House, Tomb Raider), Image Comics (The Freeze, The Tithe), and others (Phenomenocity, Paradox). When he's not at his computer working, he's planning one of the many D&D games he runs.




Rye Hickman

Rye Hickman (previously published as Jen Hickman) is a visual storyteller and a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design's Sequential Art program. Past work includes Lonely Receiver, TEST, Moth & Whisper, Jem and the Holograms, and more. They get really excited about dystopian fiction, good coffee, and drawing hands.





Sloane Leong

Sloane Leong is a cartoonist, illustrator, writer, and editor of mixed indigenous ancestries. Through her work, she engages with visceral futurities and fantasies through a radical, kaleidoscopic lens. She is currently living on Chinook land near what is known as Portland, Oregon with her family and three dogs.



Terry Blas

Terry Blas is the illustrator and writer behind the viral webcomics You Say Latino and You Say Latinx (Vox.com). He has written comics for Ariana Grande and the series Steven Universe and Rick and Morty. His original graphic novels are Dead Weight: Murder at Camp Bloom (Oni Press), Hotel Dare (Kaboom!), and Lifetime Passes (Abrams/Surely Books 2021). He is the writer for the Mexican, Marvel comics, super-hero series, Reptil. He lives in Portland Oregon with his husband and their dog, Alfie.       



Veronica Agarwal

Veronica Agarwal is a Cartoonist and Illustrator from NYC. She graduated from SVA in May 2016 with a BFA in Cartooning. She loves sunflowers, summertime, and dogs! Her work focuses on mental health, coming of age stories, and friendship. Most recently, she published Just Roll With It with her partner, Lee Durfey-Lavoie.



Xanthe Bouma

Xanthe Bouma is a freelance illustrator, comics artist and colorist currently soaking up the sun by the southern California beachside. Their work includes the 5 Worlds series, The Dragon Prince: Through the Moon, and new trilogy Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Club.




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