LOS ANGELES, CA – Angie Wang walked across the bustling main floor of Comic Arts Los Angeles wielding a large megaphone.
- Diverse talent at Comic Arts Los Angeles
- Increasing number of woman and artists of color
- Hopes to inspire others to dare to dream
“Ron Wimberly is in the panel room right now,” Wang said to anyone within earshot.
Hosting more than one dozen speaking panels over a weekend with notable graphic novelists, it is Wang's job to wrangle subjects, moderators, and guests into the speaker hall.
Alongside fellow Comic Arts LA co-founders Jen Wang, and Jake Mumm, Wang helps organize the event every year.
“We have zinesters, we have cartoonists, we have storyboard artists, we have designers, and writers,” said Wang. “What brings them all here is that they’re all interested in independent comics.”
They started Comic Arts LA five years ago as a way to bring together independent artists. The event soon found an increasing number of women, and artists of color were hungry for such an opportunity. Immediately there was a huge audience ready to see the diverse work.
“The joy of indie comics is that they’re for everybody,” said Wang. “Anybody can do them at any time and that’s what makes them so special and that’s also what makes them as diverse as they are.”
Not everyone can say they have been in a comic book, but Wang can also add that to her resume. She is featured in a new graphic novel by Natalie Nourigat.
“Would you like for me to sign it for you,” asks Nourigat.
“Yeah, sure, that’d be great,” replies one of the many fans in attendance.
It is Nourigat's second in a series of life stories, and every signature includes a quick drawing.
“Thank you, I hope you like it,” Nourigat said as she hands back a signed copy of her new graphic novel.
A Portland native, she started drawing and writing her own comics at the age of 14. Three years ago, she decided to leave everything behind and move to Los Angeles to work as an animator. Nourigat’s life story is detailed in her new graphic novel, and events like Comic Arts LA helped made it happen.
“They really make an effort to make sure that it’s diverse so you can meet people color, you can meet LGBTQ artists and discover people you have never heard about, which is awesome,” said Nourigat.
She quickly nearly ran out of copies. It is a first run and Nourigat’s book will soon be available on Amazon. Now working as a storyboard artist at Disney, she hopes her book can help guide fellow animators or at least inspire them to dare to dream.