Melanie Gillman

Queer, nonbinary cartoonist who makes LGBTQ YA comics.

February 24–28

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MELANIE GILLMAN is a cartoonist and colored pencil artist based in Tulsa, OK. They are the creator of the webcomic and graphic novel As the Crow Flies, published in 2017 by Iron Circus Comics. As the Crow Flies has been named a 2018 Stonewall Honor Book, won the 2018 Excellence in Graphic Literature Award for Best Middle Grade Graphic Novel, and has been nominated for an Ignatz, Eisner, and Dwayne McDuffie Award. They are also currently working on Stage Dreams, a queer western romance graphic novel, which will be published by Lerner/Graphic Universe in 2019. They are also a senior lecturer in the Comics MFA Program at the California College of the Arts, where they teach classes about making comics and professional practices.

What sets Gillman’s work apart is their ability to show how we are othered by the people in our lives, and how that creates anxiety and isolation that can be nearly impossible to overcome, especially for young people. 


All events are free and open to the public and take place in Allen Hall, 1005 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana.

Sunday, February 24

7 p.m. Melanie Gillman: Be Gay Draw Comics (South Rec Room)
Melanie Gillman shows and discusses their work writing, drawing, and publishing LGBTQ comics and graphic novels.

9 p.m. – RPG Night (guest apartment)
A low-key one-shot tabletop RPG night for a small group, DM'd by Melanie! Open to the first 5 people who show up. Preference given to people who also come to the 7pm event. Snacks and tea provided.

Monday, February 25

7 p.m. – Colored Pencils 101 Workshop (South Rec Room)
Learn the tips, tricks, and tools of the trade for making art with colored pencils!  This is a hands-on workshop for all skill levels, and all supplies will be provided.

9 p.m. – Q hosts Tea-Time w/ Melanie (guest apartment)
Come chat with Melanie and Q, Allen Hall’s LGBTQA group. Snacks and tea provided.

Tuesday, February 26

7 p.m. – Zinemaking (South Rec Room) 
A collaborative workshop where participants will get to create, assemble, and print a small collective zine as a group.

9 p.m. – Tea Time: Zine reading and hangout (guest apartment)
Let’s look at cool zines and hang out. Snacks and tea provided.

Wednesday, February 27

7 p.m. – Contracts and Publishing 101 (South Rec Room)
Learn about effective strategies for contract negotiation for artists and how to break into the publishing industry. Covers the basics of copyright law for artists, how to protect your work online and in print, common red flags in artist contracts and how to avoid them, how to pitch to publishers, how to get an agent, how to manage a career as a freelance artist, and how to decide if self-publishing or traditional publishing is right for you.

9 p.m. – Tea time: Careers in the Visual Arts (guest apartment) 
Come chat. Snacks and tea provided.

Thursday, February 28

7 p.m. – One-Sheet Comics Workshop (South Rec Room)
A short hands-on introduction to writing and drawing comics.  Participants will be walked through the process of scripting, editing, penciling, and inking a short minicomic.