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About the Author
Cathy G. Johnson
Gene Luen Yang
Colleen AF Venable
Ellen T. Crenshaw
Oscar-nominated director Graham Annable is a cartoonist and animator living just outside of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, with his wife and two boys. Mr. Annable's unique voice has been consistently recognized in the mediums of film, games, and graphic novels throughout his career, garnering numerous awards and nominations along the way. When he's not taking his pugs on a walk in the woods he can usually be found doodling ideas for his latest project in the studio.
Mike Cavallaro is from New Jersey and has worked in comics and animation since the early 1990s. His comics include Eisner Award–nominated Parade (with fireworks), The Life and Times of Savior 28 (written by J.M. DeMatteis), Foiled and Curses! Foiled Again (written by Jane Yolen), Decelerate Blue (written by Adam Rapp), and the Nico Bravo series.
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 lives in Massachusetts, where he co-founded the Boston Comic Arts Foundation and helps produce comics festivals throughout the region. He is also the author of Science Comics: Elephants, Science Comics: The Digestive System, and Science Comics: Polar Bears. Jason lives outside Boston with his wife and son.
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. His first solo book, Odesssa, was published in 2020. 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. He was named a National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress in 2016, and advocates for the importance of reading, especially reading diversely. His graphic novel American Born Chinese, a National Book Award finalist and Printz Award winner, has been adapted into an original series on Disney+. His two-volume graphic novel Boxers&Saints won the LA Times Book Prize and was a National Book Award Finalist. His nonfiction graphic novel, Dragon Hoops, received an Eisner award and a Printz honor. His other comics work includes Secret Coders (with Mike Holmes), The Shadow Hero (with Sonny Liew), and Superman Smashes the Klan and the Avatar: The Last Airbender series (both 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 Olympians, the 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, using 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. He teamed up with writer Daniel G. Newman on Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy, the first volume in the World Citizen Comics series. 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. You can visit him at georgeoconnorbooks.com.
Falynn Koch was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. She has an MFA in sequential art from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta and is a graduate of the International Culinary Center in New York City. She loves to travel and explore the outdoors with her husband and occasionally her dogs. Her books from First Second include Science Comics: Bats, Science Comics: Plagues, Maker Comics: Bake Like a Pro!, History Comics: The National Parks, History Comics: The Wild Mustangs (with writer Chris Duffy), and Science Comics: Elephants (with writer Jason Viola).
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.
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.
Benjamin A. Wilgus is a Brooklyn-based bestselling writer, editor, and cartoonist who's been working in comics for over a decade. He is the author of the SF graphic novel duology Chronin (Tor Books), which NPR called “timeless in more ways than one,” and Book Riot called “magical,” and which has garnered a host of glowing reviews. His middle grade graphic novel Science Comics: Flying Machines (with artist Molly Brooks) was named one of the National Science Teachers Association’s Best STEM Books for 2018. He is also the writer of the YA graphic novel The Mars Challenge (with artist Wyeth Yates). Benjamin's New York Times bestselling work has been published by DC Comics, Dark Horse, Del Rey, and Scholastic, and he served as a script and story writer for Cartoon Network's "Codename: Kids Next Door." In his spare time, he 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.
Brian “Box” Brown is an Eisner Award–winning author whose comics have appeared in the New York Times, Playboy, and New York magazine. His books include the New York Times–bestselling Andre the Giant: Life and Legend, Tetris: The Games People Play, Is This Guy for Real?: The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman, Cannabis: The Illegalization of Weed in America, Child Star, and Accidental Czar (with writer Andrew S. Weiss). boxbrown.com