2014 Guest Speakers

Join us for Kenosha Festival of Cartooning 2014

Thursday, September 25, through Saturday, September 27.

Daily Schedule to be determined - Final Schedule will be announced in early September of 2014

Our Guest Speakers 
(scroll down for all speakers and bios)

Jeff Keane

Jeff was born in 1958. Two years later, his father Bil Keane started chasing him around begging him to do something funny. So began his career as a cartoon model for "The Family Circus." He now authors that comic, which appears daily in over 1,400 newspapers worldwide, making it the most widely syndicated panel in America today.

Raised in Arizona, Keane moved to California to attend the University of Southern California where in 1980 he received his BFA in Drama. After graduation, in an attempt to have a freer schedule for auditions, etc., he returned to his cartoon roots and began to assist on the feature. Jeff started out just answering mail and compiling books but, through years of his father’s guidance, has taken over the feature and is responsible for all aspects of creating the daily cartoon (writing, penciling, inking, coloring).

In 2007 Keane was elected President of the National Cartoonists Society. The NCS (founded in 1946) is recognized as the world's premier organization of professional cartoonists. He was re-elected in 2009 (becoming only the fourth two-term president in the NCS’s history). Along with a group of his NCS colleagues, Keane has done numerous trips with the USO visiting our troops in hospitals and military bases throughout the world (including both Iraq and Afghanistan).

Jeff and his wife Melinda live in Laguna Hills where they created three cartoon characters of their own (Spencer, Matilda and Olivia). Keane now chases his kids around begging them to do something funny. So "The Family Circus" keeps going around in circles.

Lincoln Peirce

“Some people call it a kids’ strip,” says Lincoln Peirce of Big Nate, the comic feature he created in 1991, “and some don’t.  To me, the labels aren’t important.  What really matters is that it’s funny.” 

Big Nate follows the adventures of Nate Wright, an energetic sixth-grade boy whose larger-than-life personality often lands him in hot water with his classmates and teachers.  “Nate’s school life is at the center of the strip,” Lincoln says.  “And schools can be hilarious places.”  Big Nate currently appears in over 300 newspapers, and in 2013 ranked among the ten most-read features on gocomics.com

In 2010, Lincoln’s characters reached a whole new audience when he began writing and illustrating Big Nate novels for children.  Each of the six titles has been a New York Times Bestseller; the seventh book in the series, Big Nate Lives It Up, will be published by Harper Collins in March of 2015.  There have also been numerous compilations from Andrews McMeel, including Big Nate:  I Can’t Take It! And Big Nate:  Great Minds Think Alike.

When he isn’t cartooning, Lincoln hosts a weekly radio show devoted to vintage country music.  He also plays ice hockey, enjoys cryptic crossword puzzles, and doesn’t understand his computer.   He and his wife Jessica live in the great little city of Portland, Maine, and have two children.

Scott Stantis

Scott Stantis joined the staff of the Chicago Tribune in 2009. Completing a sojourn that began at his birth in Kennedy era San Diego to a Chicago native television executive and a former concert pianist. His Mad Men childhood consisted of learning to make cocktails for his parents and their friends as well as junior and senior High school in Madison, Wisconsin.

Returning to California in the late 70’s in time for the AIDS outbreak Scott attended college where, as a pre-law major, he fell in love with cartooning and his wife.

Since then Scott has worked at numerous newspapers, (like The Orange County Register, The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tennessee, The Arizona Republic and The Birmingham News), and created a trio of internationally syndicated comic strips. (The middle one, The Buckets, had a gag chosen as one of the funniest cartoons of the century).

Scott’s editorial cartoons are syndicated to over 400 newspapers around the world. They have appeared in such varied places as Newsweek, US News and World Reports, Nightline and Guns & Ammo.

His current comic strip, Prickly City, was launched in 2004 and appears in over 120 newspapers.

He has homes in Chicago and Birmingham, Alabama. He is still married to his college sweetheart and they have two grown boys.

Denis Kitchen

Wisconsin native Denis Kitchen began his career during the “underground comix” movement of the late ‘60s. He still thinks of himself as a cartoonist first, but he wears way too many other hats to pigeonhole. He is perhaps most associated with Kitchen Sink Press, founded in Milwaukee in 1969, where he published primary works by legendary cartoonists Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman, Robert Crumb, Al Capp, Milton Caniff, and countless others for over thirty years.

Kitchen also writes articles and co-authors books about the comics world. Recent examples include a biography of Al Capp (with Kenosha’s own Michael Schumacher), The Art of Harvey Kurtzman and Underground Classics (both for Abrams). He curates cartoon art exhibits in the US and numerous other countries.

Kitchen also edits and packages books. He founded the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit First Amendment industry organization, and chaired it for eighteen years. He is currently a partner in two literary agencies and a third art agency. A natural archivist, over 50,000 of Kitchen’s letters were acquired by Columbia University in 2014. 

A 2010 Dark Horse Books published a monograph titled The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen. In 2012 Kitchen was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters. An exhibit of his own original art, with other cartoons from his collection, will be open to the public in the Fine Arts Gallery of UW-Parkside, running concurrent with this year’s Kenosha Festival of Cartooning.

Todd Clark

Todd Clark has been drawing for as long as he can remember, probably the result of carrying a copy of MAD magazine with him at all times as a child…and then later as an adult.

 Since he began cartooning full-time in 1990, his cartoons have appeared in magazines ranging from Saturday Evening Post to Diversion to Disney Adventures. He’s recently begun selling regularly to the aforementioned MAD, fulfilling a lifelong dream. Besides full-time duties on his own syndicated comic of 15 years, LOLA, Clark also writes jokes for some heavyweight strips including Sherman’s Lagoon, Mother Goose and Grimm, Tundra, B.C., Wizard of ID, Baby Blues, Zits and Frank and Ernest, and has in the past contributed on Bizarro and Dennis the Menace. His first illustrated novel for children, The Ice Cream Kid, is due out next May, published by Universal’s AMP! Books For Kids.

Todd lives in Boise with his beautiful wife, Kelly, and youngest daughter, Rhiannon. Eldest daughter, Holly, has recently flown the coop. In his spare time, Todd enjoys writing about himself in the third person.

Rick Stromoski

Rick’s cartoons and humorous illustrations appear in Magazines, Children’s and Humor books,
National Advertising, Licensed Products and Network Television.
His nationally syndicated newspaper comic strip, Soup to Nutz, has appeared
in over 150 newspapers since 2000. He has been nominated for his illustration work
by the National Cartoonists Society thirteen times and has been awarded
the Reuben Division Award for Best Artist on three occasions.

Rick has illustrated childrens books for Macmillan, Harcourt Brace, 
Candlewick Press, Macgraw-Hill, Random House, Scholastic, Golden Books, 
Contemporary Books, Irena Chalmers Publishing, Workman and Andrews Mcmeel.

His hundreds of greeting card designs have been sold in the lines of Recycled paper greetings.
Renaissance cards, Marian Heath Greetings, Design Design, Paramount and West Graphics.

He is also an award winning amateur wine maker specializing in German varietals
winning medals in local, regional and national competitions.

Rick is a past President of the National Cartoonists Society as well as a member of the Society of Illustrators.

He lives in the historic district of Suffield CT with his wife Danna and
their dogs Lucy and  Rascal and fighting cats , Sox and Shoes.

Terri Libenson

Terri’s cartooning career began as a child when she started vandalizing her brother’s Archie comic books by rewriting the dialog (luckily, she respected his MAD magazines enough to leave them alone).

Later, she moved on to some original work.  Terri has been writing and illustrating humorous cards for American Greetings for over 20 years. She has won numerous awards for her work and even created a successful, long-running card line called “Skitch.”  She has also written online cards for AmericanGreetings.com, Egreetings.com, and BlueMountainArts.com.
In 2000, Terri got back to her comic roots and developed “Got a Life,” a weekly syndicated strip with King Features. It ran for two years before she decided to try her hand at a daily comic feature. Her dream came true when the internationally syndicated “Pajama Diaries” launched in 2006. It details the daily happenings of Terri’s alter ego, Jill Kaplan, a contemporary working mom trying to juggle it all -- work life, family life, and sex life (or lack thereof) -- without going bonkers.

Terri has two book collections: “The Pajama Diaries: Déjà To-Do” (2011) and “The Pajama Diaries: Having it all…and no time to do it” (2013). She also has a third comic book-style collection called, “The Pajama Diaries: Bat-Zilla” (2013), which features a recent Bat Mitzvah story line and Jewish holiday-themed strips.

Born and raised in Wilkes-Barre, PA, a much saner Terri currently lives with her husband and two daughters in Cleveland, OH. 

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