Ohio University

Diversity in Comics Panel Packed the Newly-Renovated Wilkes Gallery

Diversity in Comics Panel Packed the Newly-Renovated Wilkes Gallery
diversity in comics panel


Ohio University Lancaster’s Wilkes Gallery hosted Diversity in Comics, a panel featuring comic professionals and scholars aiming to excite others to study, write and draw more. Matt Wanat, English professor at Ohio University Lancaster, organized the panel with help from campus sponsors.


“What we’re looking at here is an hour of conversation.” Shares Wanat. “We have artists and scholars on the panel and what we’re hoping to do is talk about the issue of diversity in comics with the audience. On one hand, the history of comics is diverse, and on the other, it is not.”


The panel will run from 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. and will consists of five comic book specialists. These specialists are Shae Beagle, Victor Dandridge, Laura Fernandez, Nicole Pizarro and Peyton Del Toro.


A graduate of Columbus College of Art and Design, Beagle is a non-binary illustrator who currently serves as artist for the comic book series Moonstruck. Dandridge, a new voice for innovation within the self-publishing market, has found acclaim with his own imprint, Vantage: Inhouse Productions. Fernandez, Pizzaro and Del Toro, all currently grad students at The Ohio State University, are just as specialized in the domain of comics and have an equal amount of insight to share on the issue of diversity in comics.


The event began with Wanat introducing the panel to the audience and the panel had the opportunity to offer any preliminary thoughts. From there, the audience actively asked the panel questions and began a dialogue.


Wanat, excited that the event has finally come together, shares what he’s enjoyed the most about it. “I was interested in hearing the perspectives of the panelists. Some of them brought perspectives being younger than I am, some of them perspectives as artists, and some of them do this actual work. It was very interesting.” 


For more information on the event, contact Matt Wanat at wanat@ohio.edu