Lebo Comics Festival: Learn, Make, Play

John Kelly and the Toonseum

Thursday, October 12, 7 PM

With the gigantic popularity of recent major studio films, comics and its characters have never been more popular. But the art form of illustrative narrative dates back to at least the Cave Man. John Kelly, the Executive Director of Pittsburgh's Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, will present an overview of comics history and how the ToonSeum, one of the very few museums of its type in the world, plays a role in this significant transformation of popular culture.

John Kelly, a writer and art historian, is the Executive Director of the ToonSeum, Pittsburgh's Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. John has written about the history of comic art for numerous publications and anthologies during the past 30 years. He is the former Senior Director of Communications at the National Basketball Association and studied fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University. A native of New York City, John moved to Pittsburgh in 2011. Two of his sons are Mt. Lebanon graduates and his youngest son is currently a sophomore at Lebo.

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Visible Pictures: Tales of Comics Script Writing with Yona Harvey

Monday, October 23, 7 PM

Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes when making a Marvel comic? What are the steps of telling a story in words and pictures? Until recently, poet and writer Yona Harvey wondered, too. She was a sporadic comics and graphic novel reader—off and on since her college years—and considered herself a fan rather than creator. Then Yona’s friend and author of Marvel’s current Black Panther run, Ta-Nehisi Coates, tapped Yona on the shoulder, asking her to try her hand at comics script writing for World of Wakanda. He thought a poet writing comics would be a fun experiment. Yona thought it would be madness. It turned out to be a little bit of both. Whether you’re a comics fan, zine maker, occasional reader or simply curious about comics, you’ll want to hear about Yona’s adventures. She’ll discuss what it’s like collaborating with accomplished female artists like Afua Richardson (All Star Batman, Mad Max, World of Wakanda) and Alitha Martinez (Iron Man, Archie Comics, World of Wakanda), Marvel’s decision to diversify its comics content and creators, her experience working on a Marvel creative team, the process of learning-as-you-go script writing, and more. She may not have all the answers, but she welcomes your questions and conversation. Join us!

Yona Harvey is the author of Hemming the Water, winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award in poetry. Her poems and essays have been anthologized in The Force of What’s Possible: Accessibility and the Avant-Garde and Writing Away the Stigma: Ten Courageous Writers Tell True Stories About Depression, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, OCD, PTSD & more. She contributed to Marvel's World of Wakanda, a companion series to the bestselling comic, Black Panther. She also co-wrote Marvel's Black Panther and The Crew. She is the inaugural winner of the Lucille Clifton Legacy Award in poetry from St. Mary's College of Maryland. 

Suffrage and Sappho: 75 Years of Wonder Woman with Wayne Wise

Thursday, November 16, 7 PM

Wonder Woman first appeared in Sensation Comics in 1942. Since that time she has been recognized as the foremost female superhero, influencing generations of creators and characters. Join us for a presentation of her history, the background story of her creation, and the ongoing story of her influence, both in comics and the world.

Presenter Wayne Wise is a comic book writer, artist, retailer, and scholar living in Pittsburgh. He has a BA in History and an MA in Clinical Psychology. He is a published author and pop culture journalist. He has taught classes on Comics and Pop Culture at Chatham University, and has taught seminars on Writing for Comics at Seton Hill and Point Park University. He serves on the Board of the Pittsburgh ToonSeum where he has presented numerous lectures and workshops.

Lebo Comics Festival: Learn, Make, Play

Saturday, November 18, 6:30-8:30, All Ages

Explore the history of comics with hands-on displays from Copacetic Comics and the Toonseum, get creative with comics and zine related art making and play with our green screen and face painting. Costumes admired but not required.