Personal & Professional Enrichment

Comics, Art, Awards, and Professional & Personal Enrichment

By Dave Isbell

Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably still remember that the MSU Homecoming theme for 2013 was filled with Superheroes. What you might not know is that our comic, “Spartan Superhero Legends” (along with our posters and other materials) recently won the Gold ADDY award (which is like the advertising equivalent of an Eisner award, or an Oscar, or a Grammy!)

That project has led us to a few other things that you might be interested in taking a look at, including a recording of DC Comics’ Geoff Johns speaking at MSU’s Broad Museum, a Recording of Dark Horse Comics’ Stan Sakai’s keynote address at the MSU Comic forum, recordings of both the Homecoming game half time and the Homecoming parade, a few webinars that may hold some interest to artists, and an update on what the brilliant student and alumni artists who contributed to the comic have been up to since last October.

LiveStreamed Recordings:

Q&A with Geoff Johns at the Broad Museum

MSU Comics Forum 2014: Stan Sakai, Keynote Speaker

Homecoming Parade 2013

Homecoming Halftime Show, Honoring Geoff Johns

Free Professional Enrichment Webinars every 2nd and 4th Thursday from 12:30 – 1:30. A Few of our Recorded Webinars:

Licensing and Copyright Basics – Liz Storm, Attorney/Owner of MovieTrax & A Creative Storm a business development consulting firm.

The Entrepreneurial Artist –  Leslie Donaldson, Director at Interlochen

Small Press Professionalism for Artists – Ryan Claytor, Visiting Professor of Comic Art, MSU

An update on the artists who submitted work for the MSU Comic:
Kristy Cunningham completed her design work on the “Naviance College and Career Readiness Curriculum” software which has recently been released. She also has recently appeared at the Smudge! Expo and received a nice review of her artwork.  She is ramping up to attend both SPX and Baltimore Comic Con with the Square City Comics Group. And her web comic, Infinite Spiral, is about to make its print debut! Kristy can be found at:

Chris Jefferies is in his last semester at MSU and does freelance web and corporate identity design and can be contacted via (or for more information. He recently designed and developed the website for – the new comic store in East Lansing, MI. He is currently working on a multi-part military action thriller called Trident 120. Issue 0 will be for sale at Hollow Mountain comics soon, and issue 1 is in development. In the near future, Trident 120 will be available at

Diana Busby continues to add to her portfolio of delightful, zany, and adorable illustrations of pugs, people, and other furry creations. She can be found at:

Marie Lazar continues to work on her career in games. She is giving up her freelance lifestyle to start a new job in Hamburg, Germany, in April where she will be working for Goodgame Studios, making 3d art for casual games. I’m also working on an art/game collaboration with my composer friend Patrick O’Malley, but that doesn’t yet have a name or release date. You can find her work at:

Sara Mardeusz is currently using comics along side with sculpture and creating a large 3D scale comic that the audience can interact with as her final project to receive a Bachelor’s of Fine  Arts show from MSU. She is also in the process of doing another comic book with a friend. Her show, entitled “Adventures,”  will be at MSU’s Kresge Art Museum at MSU and will be on April 18th from 7pm-9pm. Sarah is developing a website, but for now can be found on Linkedin or at

Matt Dye has a new web comic, Pinnacle Island, that he will be launching at this year’s Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo in April. He can be found at

The motion-capture web comics: Spartan Superhero Legends:

Kristy Cunningham, Defining Destiny

Chris Jefferies, The Spirit of the Spartan

Diana Busby, Make Something Unusual

Marie Lazar

On a personal note, I just want to say thank you to Geoff and Sonia Johns for an amazing week of talking about comics with two people who are clearly passionate about the medium and their work within it; Ryan Claytor for being an amazing resource and collaborator; to each of the people within the MSU Alumni Association and in the larger MSU Community for being great collaborators and the best team in the world; to each of the comic stores who agreed to distribute these comics in large volumes around the country; and especially a huge thank you to each of the artists for sharing their talents with the Spartan community despite a quick turn around time and no financial compensation.

Yesterday, I gave a presentation at the Lansing Arts Council on collaboration, and used this project as an example. It was truly the most collaborative venture I’ve ever been privilidged to work on; it was also the most fun thing I’ve ever been paid to do! It is amazing how many opportunities, ideas, new relationships, and projects spun out of that one thing.

This blog post is my last official project related to the comic, and frankly, it has been such an amazing ride that I’m a little sad to put it to rest. Yet, at the same time, I’m excited about the people I’ve met and am working with and about other projects that are spinning around in my office and hope you will be too as they come to light!

Go Green!


Dave Isbell is the Assistant Director of Alumni Professional Enrichment in the MSU Alumni Association and is also the owner, primary writer, and editor of this blog and corresponding twitter account. His primary role in the MSUAA is to develop resources and manage projects that professionally enrich the lives of Spartan alumni. Dave is not able to accept individual appointments, but in developing programs and projects he does draw from his training as a Limited Licensed (Clinical) Social Worker and his background as a professional Career Coach since 1999. He’s also a self-professing comic geek who is in the process of plotting out his first comic book.

The opinions a views expressed throughout this blog are of the writer(s), and may not be the views and opinions of Michigan State University.

A Few Places You Where May Still Be Able To Get Copies of the Comic:

Clem’s   Comics
216 S. Washington Sq.
Lansing, MI. 48933
Challengers   Comics + Conversation
1854 N. Western Ave. 2R
Chicago, IL 60647
One   More Page Books
2200 N. Westmoreland St. #101
Arlington, VA. 22213
Top   Comics
516 East 8th. St.
Traverse City, MI. 49686
Game   On! Comics
310 Dominion Rd. NE.
Vienna, VA. 22180
Krypton   Comics
2819 S. 125th Ave. Suite 261
Omaha, NE. 68144
Comic   City
36931 Schoolcraft Rd.
Livonia, MI. 48150
Green   Brain Comics
13210 Michigan Ave.
Dearborn, MI. 48126
Silver   City Comics
538 Knox Abbott Drive
Cayce, SC. 29033
Capital   City Collectibles
2019 E. Michigan Ave.
Lansing, MI. 48912
Just   4 Fun Hobbies and Comics
300 N. Clippert St.
Lansing, MI. 48912
St.   Johns Book Exchange
121 N. Clinton Ave.
St. Johns, MI. 48879
Olympic   Cards and Comics
4230 Pacific Ave.
Lacey, WA. 98503
Vault   of Midnight
219 South Main
Ann Arbor, MI. 48104

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