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About the Author
Cathy G. Johnson
Gene Luen Yang
Colleen AF Venable
Ellen T. Crenshaw
Graham Annable is an Oscar-nominated cartoonist and animator living in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, and two boys. When he's not huddled inside of his house creating graphic novels like Peter&Ernesto for early readers, he spends the rest of his time working on feature films, animated shorts, video games, and indie comic books. He's rather fond of hockey and sloths. But never the two combined.
MIKE CAVALLARO is from New Jersey and has worked in comics and animation since the early 1990s. His comics include “Parade (with fireworks)” (Shadowline/Image Comics), a Will Eisner Award-nominee; "The Life and Times of Savior 28” (IDW), with Eisner Award-winning writer J.M. DeMatteis; and the “Foiled” series with Jane Yolen and “Decelerate Blue” with Adam Rapp, both published with First Second Books.
Mike is an instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and is the Vice-Chairman of the Manhattan Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society.
Cathy G. Johnson is a cartoonist and educator in Providence, Rhode Island. The Breakaways is her third graphic novel, after Gorgeous (2016) with Koyama Press and Jeremiah (2015) with One Percent Press. Cathy has also published shorter comics work with publishers such as Silver Sprocket and Youth in Decline. In addition to creating artwork, Cathy works as an educator in the New England area, serving many local communities within schools and community centers.
Jason Viola grew up in small farm town in Massachusetts where he spent idle hours drawing comic strips about birds and cats. While his father's affinity for woodworking and storytelling encouraged his creativity, his mother managed a menagerie of pets which spurred an interest in animals that continues today. Continuing to find inspiration from biology and through the lens of pop culture, he has written about manatees, amoebas, and flowers with a modern, satiric twist. He's also written essays and reviews on independent comics, putting special emphasis on work that is often overlooked. Jason went to college in Buffalo, NY, where he met his wife Rebecca. They both help organize a Boston-area comics convention called MICE, and enjoy hiking together through the Middlesex Fells.
Jason is the co-author of Science Comics: Polar Bears.
Zack Giallongo is a professional cartoonist, cheese enthusiast, and amateur banjo-ist. His first solo graphic novel, Broxo, is about teenage barbarians and was published in 2012. It hit #4 on the New York Times Bestsellers list.
MK Reed is the writer of Americus, The Cute Girl Network, Palefire, and the Eisner-nominated Science Comics: Dinosaurs. She writes and draws About a Bull, a web-comic adaptation of Irish mythology. MK lives in Portland, Oregon, with her very tall husband.
Jonathan Hill is an Ignatz-nominated cartoonist who lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and cat. He was the artist on Americus and has had work in books from Fantagraphics, Dark Horse, and Roar. He also teaches comics in the illustration department of the Pacific Northwest College of Art.
Gene Luen Yang writes, and sometimes draws, comic books and graphic novels. As the Library of Congress’ fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, he advocates for the importance of reading, especially reading diversely. American Born Chinese, his first graphic novel from First Second Books, was a National Book Award finalist, as well as the winner of the Printz Award and an Eisner Award. His two-volume graphic novel Boxers&Saints won the L.A. Times Book Prize and was a National Book Award Finalist. His other works include Secret Coders (with Mike Holmes), The Shadow Hero (with Sonny Liew), New Super-Man from DC Comics (with various artists), and the Avatar: The Last Airbender series from Dark Horse Comics (with Gurihiru). In 2016, he was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow.
Mike Holmes has drawn for the comics series Secret Coders, Bravest Warriors, Adventure Time, and the viral art project Mikenesses. His books include the True Story collection (2011), This American Drive (2009), and Shenanigans. He lives with a cat named Ella, who is his best buddy.
George O’Connor is the New York Times–bestselling author of the Olympians, the ongoing series of graphic novels featuring the tragic, dramatic, and epic lives of the Greek gods.
His first graphic novel, Journey into Mohawk Country, pushed the boundaries of the genre as it used as its sole text the actual historical journal of the seventeenth-century Dutch trader Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert. He also illustrated acclaimed playwright Adam Rapp’s Ball Peen Hammer.George is also the creator of popular picture books such as the New York Times–bestselling Kapow! and If I Had A Triceratops. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Falynn Koch can be an illustrator, comic book artist, or storyteller, depending on when you ask. Born in Buffalo, NY, she then went everywhere, near and far, and wound up in Philadelphia, PA with her two dogs and fiancee. Falynn once owned a food truck, is fascinated by germs and microbes, and has drunk mountain water with life enhancing properties (so the locals told her) on three different continents, and hasn't died from it yet! She graduated with a degree in Sequential Art from SCAD, and Science Comics: Bats is her first graphic novel with First Second. Her favorite things to draw are illogical mythological creatures.
Chris Schweizer has been a college professor, a hotel manager, a movie theater projectionist, a guard at a mental hospital, a martial arts instructor, a set builder, a church music leader, a process server, a life-drawing model, a bartender, a car wash attendant, a bagboy, a delivery boy, a choirboy, a lawn boy, a sixth-grade social studies teacher, a busker, a janitor, a speakeasy proprietor, a video store clerk, a field hand, a deck hand, a puppeteer for a children's television show, a kickboxer, and a line worker at a pancake mix factory. But now he’s a cartoonist, and he likes that best. Chris is the author and illustrator of Maker Comics: Fix a Car! and The Princess of Rad Hats.
Colleen AF Venable is an author, designer, and maker. Her books include the YA graphic novel Kiss Number 8 (illustrated by Ellen T. Crenshaw), the quirky counting boardbook One More Wheel (illustrated by Blythe Russo). Her graphic novel series Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye (illustrated by Stephanie Yue) was nominated for an Eisner for Best Publication for Kids and awarded “Best Book” recognition from Kirkus Reviews, NYPL, Bank Street, and the Junior Library Guild. In 2017 she was named a Publisher's Weekly StarWatch Top 5 Finalist. In her day job she works as the Creative Director for Odd Dot/Macmillan, a new imprint devoted to creating playful non-fiction for kids.
Ellen T. Crenshaw is a cartoonist and illustrator for books, editorial, advertising, comics, and children's media. Her work appears in Beer Advocate Magazine and The Nib, and her other books include Test Your Baby and Test Your Toddler's IQ (both written by Rachel Federman). She lives with her husband and two dragons. Kiss Number 8 is her first graphic novel.
Kevin Panetta is a comic book writer. He has worked on books for properties like Steven Universe, Regular Show, Bravest Warriors, and WWE. His creator-owned series, Zodiac Starforce, is now on it’s second volume and his first graphic novel, Bloom, is published by First Second (2019). Kevin came to writing after years dedicated to comics as a reader, shop employee, and convention organizer. He lives in Washington, DC with his cool wife and two cool dogs.
Savanna Ganucheau is a comic artist from New Orleans, Louisiana with a BFA in Film from The University of New Orleans. She made her start in comics by self-publishing and selling her work in small comic book shops around New Orleans. Alongside creating the popular webcomic George and Johnny, Savanna’s artwork has appeared in notable publications including Jem and the Holograms, Adventure Time Comics, and Lumberjanes. Her first graphic novel Bloom is published by First Second.
Tiffanie DeBartolo is the author of How to Kill a Rock Star and God-Shaped Hole and the writer and director of the Columbia Tristar movie Dream for an Insomniac. She is the cofounder and CEO of San Francisco Bay Area record label Bright Antenna Records and lives in California’s Marin County with her two dogs, Kazoo and Dipsea, and her husband, Scott Schumaker.
Pascal Dizin is a comic book artist and illustrator. His first graphic novel City of Spies was published by First Second in 2010. His illustrations have appeared in Time Out NY magazine, as the covers for the Joey Pigza series, and more.
Lisa Reist is an illustrator and colorist based in New York City. When she’s not drawing or reading, she’s probably knitting.
Grace: Based on the Jeff Buckley Story is her first graphic novel.
Guillaume Singelin is a comic book artist and illustrator living in France. His books include the graphic novel series The Grocery (with Aurélien Ducoudray) and PTSD.
Alison Wilgus is a Brooklyn-based bestselling writer, editor and cartoonist who's been working in comics for over a decade. She attended the Undergraduate Film and Television program at the Tisch School for the Arts, and got her start working for Cartoon Network's "Codename: Kids Next Door" as a colorist and staff writer. Most of her professional work since then has been writing for comics, including the nonfiction graphic novel with First Second Books: Science Comics: Flying Machines, illustrated by Molly Brooks. In her spare time, she co-hosts a podcast about comics publishing called “Graphic Novel TK” with Gina Gagliano.
Lucy Knisley is the author and illustrator of beloved graphic novels about memory, identity, food, and family. Her Alex Award-winning graphic novel, Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, tells the story of her childhood steeped in the food industry. It was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into five languages. Her travelogues (French Milk, An Age of License, and Displacement) and web comic series (Stop Paying Attention) have been lauded by critics, and her combined work has built her a devoted readership for her honest and thoughtful true-life stories. Her graphic memoirs include Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride and Kid Gloves.
Box Brown is an Ignatz Award—winning cartoonist, illustrator, and comic publisher from Philadelphia. His books include the New York Times—bestselling Andre the Giant: Life and Legend and Tetris. Box Brown's independent comics publishing house, Retrofit Comics, was launched in 2011.