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Wrap-up: High School of Art & Design’s Pop Culture Fest

Students’ enthusiasm for graphic novels across Upper East Side campus

By Ryan Mita

Earlier this month, the CBC’s Graphic Novel Committee sponsored a panel at the High School of Art & Design’s Fanfaire NYC. The speakers on “Comics As a Career” were Papercutz’s founder Terry Nantier and the Editorial Director of Abrams ComicArts, Charles Kochman.

l to r: Terry Nantier of Papercutz, moderator Serena, Charlie Kochman of Abrams ComicArts

Moderated by a junior in high school, the panel took place in the library, to a full audience. Nantier outlined the benefits of illustrating comics and recommended young artists “develop a thick skin”. Kochman discussed the pitch process and working with Jeff Kinney on Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Afterwards, the two graphic novel editors reviewed portfolios.

The rest of the Pop Culture Festival was vibrant. The school basketball courts were made into an Artists Alley with tables of exciting, diverse artwork. There were colorful cosplayers. Wandering the cafeteria, one felt all the talented comic artists who attended before (Art Spiegelman, Neal Adams, and Papercutz’s EiC Jim Salicrup) and saw the ones in school now. It was a delight to collaborate with the next generation of graphic novel creators / readers!

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