Comic workshop, film screening to bring LGBT comic artists into the spotlight

Justin Hall is a gay comic artist, the first Fulbright Scholar of Comics and associate professor of comics at the California College of the Arts.

Comic artists, members of the LGBT community and anyone in between are invited to attend a comic workshop and film screening at Wright State University that highlights the journey of LGBT comic artists. The film is produced by Justin Hall, a gay comic artist and scholar whose work has been featured in several collections and art museums.

The Wright State LGBTQA Center will host Hall for a screening of his film “No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics” and a workshop introducing anyone who is interested in the world of creating comics on Thursday, April 7.

Hall has created multiple comic series that surround the LGBTQA experience and community. He is the first Fulbright Scholar of Comics and is an associate professor of comics at the California College of the Arts. His work has been featured in galleries and museums around the world. He also organized the first museum show of LGBTQ comics at the San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum.

Hall’s workshop, “Life in the Gutters: A Primer in Comics Theory,” will highlight the technical skills involved in creating comics, as well as, in Hall’s words, “make the case for why comics are the coolest storytelling media ever.”

The free workshop takes place from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Atlantis Room (157) in the Student Union.

The workshop will appeal to anyone who is interested in comics, creating comics or the LGBT community, said Emily Yantis-Houser, the director of Wright State’s LGBTQA Center.

“There’s plenty of spots and plenty of room,” she said. “Whether you’re a comic enthusiast or interested in LGBTQA culture and history, all are welcome.”

A screening of “No Straight Lines,” will follow the comic workshop at 7 p.m. in 009 Student Success Center.

The film, which Hall produced, depicts the journey of five LGBT artists in their work to depict LGBT history and experiences throughout the ages. One of the artists, Alison Bechdel, visited Wright State in the past.

Yantis-Houser said “No Straight Lines” was a crowd-pleaser when was featured in the 2021 Dayton LGBT Film Festival. She has not yet seen the film and is looking forward to experiencing it.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the film,” she said. “I’m waiting until the screening so I can have an authentic reaction. This isn’t something we’ve done before, it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be unique.”

Hall is visiting colleges across the United States and through a personal contact, Seth Gordon, Ph.D., director of the Veteran and Military Center, was invited to visit Wright State before he travels to Columbus to screen his film.

Hall’s visit is sponsored by Wright State’s LGBTQA Center, Division of Inclusive Excellence and Veteran and Military Center.

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