Guests

SPECIAL GUESTS

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY • May 5, 2018

Ben Bishop: Artist. Ben has wanted to make comics since he was four years old and wrote to Marvel, at age eleven, asking for a job. Finding out it was not only illegal to hire an eleven year old, but that his skills weren’t QUITE there yet, Ben went back to the drawing board and to Mr. Morley’s 5th grade classroom. Ben later moved to Portland, Maine, to attend the Maine College of Art. After one great year and some loans that didn’t go through he was forced to leave. Ben then realized that if he really wanted to MAKE COMICS, maybe he should just MAKE COMICS. For the next four years, Ben worked at coffee shops and lobster shacks while writing and drawing his first graphic novel. In 2008 he released the 300 page, NATHAN THE CAVEMAN, which was soon followed by several other smaller works. In 2011, Ben illustrated the award-winning LOST TRAIL, NINE DAYS ALONE IN THE WILDERNESS, the graphic novel retelling of Donn Fendler’s famous true story “LOST ON A MOUNTAIN IN MAINE.” LOST TRAIL led to illustration work for larger companies like Archaia, IDW, Darby Pop, Action Lab, Nickelodeon and Hasbro. Ben also jumped at the opportunity to create comic cover art for some of his favorite characters like Batman, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, and G.I.Joe. After 7 straight years of commissions, work for hire, and freelance work, Ben was determined to get back to creating stories of his own. In 2015, he put together a KICKSTARTER campaign for his next big project, THE AGGREGATE. The book would be the first of a new kind of comic he’s calling, SPLIT DECISION COMICS. In this innovative new format, the reader makes decisions for the characters and ultimately dictates the direction of the narrative. With a goal of $10,000 which was hit in the first 24 hours, THE AGGREGATE book went on to raise 3 times that thanks to the demand and excitement of his friends, family, and fans.
Babs Tarr: Artist. Babs Tarr grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. She went to Bishop England High School, after which she studied Printmaking at Osaka University of Arts and Illustration at Maryland Institute College of Art, where she received her BFA in Illustration. Tarr worked as a game artist at MindSnacks. In 2014, her Japanese-influenced fan art caught the eye of DC Comics which hired her to draw a new Batgirl series. She later became the first long-term female artist to work on a Bat-Comic. Since then, she has been hired by Young Animal, Marvel Comics, and Image Comics. As her previous focus was primarily illustration, early issues of her work on Batgirl were sketched out by Cameron Stewart, and then passed over to Tarr to color, add details to, and enhance. Since then, Tarr has illustrated and done the covers for other DC Comics series, such as Black Canary and Gotham Academy. She has also worked for Hasbro, Disney, Boom! Comics, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, and Brand X. Her manga-inspired style has become more popular after Batgirl’s popularity in the comic book industry, and it has found its way into other comics that Tarr has worked on. Tarr’s Sailor Moon Motorcycle Girls illustration (found on her personal page) became very popular and ultimately inspired Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher to write two villains for Batgirl #36 based on Tarr’s illustration. In 2016, Tarr stopped working on Batgirl and moved on to work on Image Comics’ Motor Crush series where she worked as an artist and writer.

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