Over the last two decades, the graphic novel has emerged as one of the most vital areas of publishing, a rare growth sector in bookselling. Yet as with all other forms of publishing, the graphic novel is being reinvented in the digital age. Web-publishing has given young cartoonists access to a far larger audience than ever before, with images easily linkable on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook sometimes getting tens of millions of viewers. A new career path has opened up as some artists first build their audience online and then sell their images as books, prints and tee-shirts. Yet digital publishing also presents problems: how to earn a living when images are expected to be free, and also how to reproduce images made for the screen into printed form (or vice versa).
Jeet Heer is a cultural journalist and academic who divides his time between Toronto and Regina. He's the author of In Love With Art: Francoise Mouly's Adventures in Comics with Art Spiegelman. He has written for many publications including the Globe and Mail, Slate.com, the Boston Globe, the Walrus, the American ProspectM, the Comics Journal, the Virginia Quarterly Review and the Guardian of London. He has co-edited eight books and been a contributing editor to another eight volumes. With Kent Worcester, Jeet co-edited A Comics Studies Reader (University Press of Mississippi), which won the Peter C. Rollins Book Award given annually to the best book in American Studies or Cultural Studies. He's been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. His articles have been anthologized in both The Best American Comics Criticism (Fantagraphics) and The Best Canadian Essays collection for 2012. With Chris Ware, Jeet continues to edit the Walt and Skeezix series from Drawn and Quarterly, which is now entering its sixth volume.
Ramona Pringle—Canadian digital journalist, television host, multiplatform media producer, actress and professor at Ryerson. Producer/Director/Developer of the project: Avatar Secrets, an interactive documentary being developed for TVO.
John Martz—cartoonist and illustrator, author of Destination X (Nobrow Press, 2013) and the upcoming collection of kids’ comics A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories (Koyama Press, 2014).
Ethan Rilly—cartoonist and illustrator, creator of Pope Hats; his comics have appeared in The Walrus, Maisonneuve, Taddle Creek, Canadian Notes & Queries, Carousel and Nobrow 7.