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NewsOct 25, 2018

A celebration of illustration at MICE

Annual comics expo returns to Lesley featuring new and local artists

Students and artists presenting at a comic book convention

More than 3,700 comic, graphic novel and illustration enthusiasts took to multiple floors of a transformed University Hall on Saturday, October 20, and Sunday, October 21, for the eighth year of the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE).

The annual event, founded by Lesley illustration alumnus Braden Lamb ‘11 and his wife, Shelli Paroline, welcomes artists to present their work at individual tables and through drawing demonstrations, workshops and presentations which are all free and open to the public.

A woman plays with a yellow balloon at a table of comic books
University Hall transformed into a world of comics.

In addition to Lamb’s Lesley connection, the university is well-represented each year as College of Art and Design students, faculty and alumni have the unique opportunity to share and sell their work in a setting close to home. View more photos from the expo.

From family-friendly workshops like “Frankenstein Faces,” where children learned how to draw facial features and swap body parts with their neighbor to create their own monster, to more topical presentations connecting the art of comics to issues including mental health and police brutality, there was something for every participant.

A man presenting a workshop on how to draw comics in front of a screen
Family-friendly drawing workshops were held at MICE on Sunday, October 21.

This year’s festivities also included a new collaboration with the MFA in Creative Writing program as the expo was the ideal place to promote their new Graphic Novel and Comics specialization and the writing program in general. Along with free writing seminars presented at MICE by faculty members Joan Houlihan, Sophie Goldstein and Barry Brodsky, the program had their own information booth amidst the artist tables.

Goldstein and writing faculty Pamela Petro spoke with prospective students and fielded questions from expo attendees.

“Sophie and I were really excited to be present at MICE 2018, representing the brand-new Graphic Novel & Comics genre,” said Petro. “We met with a lot of enthusiastic potential students, who will bring a wide range of talents and interests to the MFA.”

Two women at an information table at a comic book expo
Creative writing faculty Pamela Petro and Sophie Goldstein at the MFA table.

The creative writing booth was a natural fit for the event as aspiring writers and illustrators, inspired by the work in front of them, had a space to seek out information that might put them behind their own table one day.

Petro was encouraged by the response from MICE participants.

“We intend to make this a student-centered program, encompassing all kinds of word-image combinations, so it was thrilling to see artists and writers of all stripes interested in the genre."