Nov. 15, 2021
The Richmond Indie Comic Expo, or RICE, an independent comics convention organized by Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts students, drew comics fans from across VCU and Richmond to James Branch Cabell Library on Sunday.
The convention featured art, comics and more for sale by VCU alumni, students and local comics creators, as well as panel discussions and presentations on a variety of comic arts subjects.
Among the panels was a presentation by Maggie Colangelo, a communications arts and environmental studies major, and Bernard Means, Ph.D., an assistant professor of anthropology in the School of World Studies in the College of Humanities and Sciences, about their comic “Founding Monsters” that tells the story of the Founding Fathers’ obsession with giant Ice Age animals.
A roundtable featured several comics creators including Bizhan Khodabandeh, an assistant professor in the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture in the College of Humanities and Sciences. Khodabandeh is a designer, illustrator, artist and activist who was the artist on the graphic novel “The Day the Klan Came to Town,” written by Bill Campbell.
Campbell, who runs Rosarium Publishing, also spoke on a panel with Chris Pitzer of AdHouse Books, on how to get comics published. Another panel, “So You Want to Make Webcomics,” featured Scott Wegener, co-creator and artist of “Atomic Robo.”
RICE’s mission is to share the joy of comics, promote local artists and VCUarts alum, and add to the thriving Richmond arts community year after year. As a student-run organization, RICE is also dedicated to giving special emphasis to VCUarts alumni and their work, while encouraging current students to get involved with the greater comics community.
Sunday’s event was the second expo to be held at Cabell, with the first occurring in 2019. VCU photographer Kevin Morley was on campus to capture scenes from the event: