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A message from our outgoing GSC president, Zachary Rondinelli 

Dear Members of the GSC,


It’s very hard to believe that my almost two full years as GSC President is coming to an end. When I stepped into the vacated GSC President position in December of 2021, I was incredibly lucky to have a fantastic group of executives behind me. Together, we accomplished incredible things for the GSC and I can truly say that I believe that this organization is so much the better because of all the hard work and effort that we put in over the last two years. 


As I say goodbye to my time in this role, and welcome incoming President, Maite Urcaregui, to the position, I want to take the time to let all of you know about the work done on your behalf during my tenure. While the list is long, I want to do this for two reasons. Firstly, it is easy to forget that your GSC Executive works, all year round, for you. I sincerely hope that this letter will help to demonstrate for you some of the amazing opportunities that have been created for you by the GSC. I hope you will get involved and participate because there is so much that we can do and learn together, even if you’re not on the executive board. Secondly, transparency is very important to me and, since we work for you, we should be held accountable for that work. In order to do that, you need to know what we’ve done. 


So, please take a moment to review the following accomplishments of the GSC over the past two years that have been done to make your experiences as a graduate student member of CSS better:


  • In 2021, we began searching for a GSC Web Editor to fill the void left by our outgoing member, Jeremy Carnes (now CSS Webmaster). In 2022, we were incredibly pleased to appoint Austin Kemp to that position. Most recently, Austin completed the massive project of overhauling and redesigning our GSC website to better serve the needs of our members.
  • When the GSC Presidency was vacated in 2021, it became obvious that our Constitution, which had not been substantially updated since its creation in 2014, was in need of being revised. This led to a massive Constitution Review process spanning January-June 2022. The substantially revised Constitution was submitted to the membership in 2022 at the GSC Annual Business Meeting during the annual CSS conference at MSU and was approved unanimously by voting membership. If you have not had a chance to review the Constitution, it can be found on our website.
  • One of my personal goals as a GSC President was to increase our engagement with GSC membership. In order to make that a reality, we knew that we would need to prioritize and increase our social media presence. It became quickly apparent that this work was not something that could be delegated across the board as it was currently constituted. The executive felt strongly that this work required both a unified approach/vision and an officer whose primary focus was outreach and social media engagement. So, as a part of our Constitution Revision, we added a new member of the GSC Executive–the Social Media Specialist–to take on this work. We were incredibly pleased to welcome Katlin Marisol Sweeney-Romero as the inaugural Social Media Specialist following the 2022 Annual Business Meeting. 
  • During this process, it became apparent that the GSC did not have an identity separate from the larger CSS organization. This was understandable; we had few member-facing initiatives in place and no recognizable logo that separated us and reflected our uniqueness. So, with the support of the CSS board, we put out a call for Graduate Student Artists to create a new GSC logo design. We were so pleased to have the incredibly talented Melanie West create the two logo designs that you now see on all of our GSC related socials and merchandise.
  • In order to continue the process of increasing the GSC visibility to our membership and also begin the process of meaningfully fundraising for our efforts, the GSC launched our very own GSC Merchandise Shop (spreadshirt). This allowed us to begin selling merchandise that would assist us in creating and delivering programming to GSC members, while also showing off our pride in the organization. In 2024, we will be shifting from our current home on spreadshirt to the new Bonfire platform (more on that in the coming months).
  • Of course, if we wanted to begin offering our members important professional development opportunities, we knew that we would require some financial support. After preparing a proposal and discussing it with the CSS Executive Board, we were able to establish, for the first time, an annual GSC Budget. As a result, the GSC now receives an annual financial budget of $500.00 from CSS. This budget, entirely separate from travel awards and other financial support from CSS, is earmarked specifically for professional development and assists the GSC in offering important opportunities for the growth and development of our members. 
  • This budget has allowed us to begin offering the #DevelopingConversations Professional Development series to our members (all of which have been recorded and are available to watch on our GSC website). Since its inception, we have been able to run three exceptional events that have focused on extending our graduate student members’ understanding of the postgraduate world of comics and comics studies.
  • In keeping with our promise to continue member-facing work and community building, we have also been able to offer many social and community building opportunities. These have varied in their form and purpose, but have included the Ms. Marvel Episode One Watch Party + Discussion (2022) and the Summer Writing Community (2023).
  • Launched in 2020, the GSC Mentorship Program has been an incredibly important and valuable initiative that brings senior comics scholars together in a mentorship capacity with GSC members. While the program was unfortunately on hiatus in 2021, the GSC was proud to have revived it in 2022 and committed to its continuation by incorporating it into our revised GSC Constitution (7.1.4)
  • And, finally, we have continued to deliver on all of the experiences our members expect from us annually. This includes working on committees (Conference, Awards, and Outreach) alongside CSS Executive members, chairing and determining the winners of the Hillary Chute Graduate Student Award, and preparing the GSC Roundtable at the annual CSS conferences. 


Looking back on these accomplishments, I can hardly believe how productive 2021-2023 has been for the GSC. But, I also want to be clear; while this message to you all marks my last act as President of the GSC, the accomplishments outlined here are in no way mine alone. They are a reflection of a collective effort made by every single member of the GSC Executive over the past two years: Samantha Ceballos, Sydney Heifler, Frida Heitland, Nicole Huff, Austin Kemp, Katlin Marisol Sweeney-Romero, and Maite Urcaregui. I can’t tell you all how privileged I have been to work with this group. No one did anything alone. We never once abandoned each other to work on projects in isolation, but supported and offered assistance to each other when needed. We collaborated as a team on nearly every single project whether it was our new initiatives, Constitution revisions, or member appointment processes. In this way, we made sure that no single executive member had to bear an unbearable load and, as a result, we were able to accomplish so much together. 


This group was special and each member has shown, time and time again, incredible dedication to CSS and to you, our graduate student colleagues. So, to the Executive members that I have worked with these past two years, thank you so very much. I could not have done this job without you. I am pleased to know that the GSC is in the hands of not just incredibly capable scholars and colleagues, but life-long friends, as well.


I’d also like to take this moment to welcome the new GSC Executive Committee: Maite Urcaregui (President), Marissa Zerangue (Vice-President), Frida Heitland (Secretary/Treasurer), Samantha Ceballos (Member-at-Large), Nicole Huff (Member-at-Large), Katlin Marisol Sweeney-Romero (Social Media Specialist), and Austin Kemp (Web Editor). Good luck to you all! I’m so looking forward to joining and participating in all of the wonderful work that you do as the 2023/2024 GSC Executive Committee.


Finally, to all of you; members of the GSC. I am so thankful that you all put your trust in me and allowed me the opportunity to contribute to this community that I love. I certainly hope that I have helped, in my own way, to make the lives of my fellow GSC members a little easier through the service that I gave to the GSC and the larger CSS community. It has been a pleasure meeting so many of you at our social events, professional development, roundtables, and even just across the various social media platforms we use to keep in touch. Working for you all has been an honour and a privilege that will always maintain a special place in my graduate student journey.


Good luck and best wishes to each and every one of you as you begin, continue, and soon complete the academic journeys that you are all taking. I look forward to being a member of this community for a long time and can’t wait to present alongside and learn from you all in the coming years.




Zachary J.A. Rondinelli

It’s time to mobilize!

The CSS listserv has moved to Mobilize in an effort to foster connectivity and consistency for its members. For GSC members, this is an opportunity to interact and come together in our academic exploits, professional goals, and general passion for comics. Mobilize offers a variety of benefits:

  • Social media-style engagement through
  • Post features including Polls and Opportunities for various ways to engage with one another
  • Individual notification settings so you can engage via email if you prefer
  • A mobile app to keep connected on the go


2023 Inks editorial fellowship recipient Announced!

Inks is pleased to welcome Kay Sohini as our journal’s inaugural Editorial Fellowship recipient! Kay is a comics maker and comics studies scholar based in New York. A recent PhD graduate in English from Stony Brook University, she drew her doctoral dissertation, “Drawing Unbelonging,” as a comic that will be published by Penn State University Press. As an Editorial Fellow, she will help to provide administrative support for Inks, while learning about the procedures of a refereed scholarly journal from manuscript to publication.


Join Rupert Kinnard for a teach-and-greet!

We will speak with Rupert about his comics, activism, and process! This is a space to ask questions, get feedback, and commune with one of the most incredible and influential cartoonists of our time. Sign up here!

We can’t wait to see you there!

Friday July 28, 3:00-4:15 CST
In-person at UNT Gateway Center and online via CrowdCast

This event is exclusively open to undergraduate and graduate students who have graduated within the last three years!


Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society is launching a new Editorial Fellowship Program for members of the CSS Graduate Student Caucus, which includes graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and members within the three years following the receipt of their degree. The recipient will receive a $6,000 stipend along with a waiver for the CSS annual conference registration for a term of one academic year, with an option to renew for a second year.

See the attached document for details about the program’s guidelines, eligibility, and application process. The deadline for priority consideration is May 12, 2023. The fellowship term starts in Fall 2023. You can also view the call online:

If you have any questions about the program or the application, feel free to contact Qiana Whitted at

Graduate Student Caucus Call for Nominations 2023

The Graduate Student Caucus (GSC) of CSS calls for nominations and self-nominations for positions on its Executive Board. The GSC Board meets virtually once a month, and GSC Board members serve on GSC committees as well as CSS Executive committees.

All graduate students and recent graduate (within 3 years of degree) members of CSS are members of the Caucus, can vote in GSC elections, and are eligible for positions on its Executive Board. To join or renew membership, please consult either the CSS or GSC websites under “Membership”.. The GSC Board will have four elected positions open this spring, to serve July 2023 to July 2024: Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, and two Members-at-Large.

GSC Vice President commits to a two-year term of office, serving first as Vice President (one year) then as President (one year) the following year.

GSC Secretary-Treasurer serves a one-year term.

GSC Members-at-Large serve one-year terms.

More information about each of these roles may be found in the GSC’s Constitution.

Please submit nominations and self-nominations to Nominees should submit a short bio (100-200 words) no later than April 5th, 2023.

Results of the elections will be announced in early May 2023.

Comics Studies Society 2023 Conference

Comics have long been associated with both literal and figurative margins—think underground comix artists who worked outside the mainstream or cartooning’s common categorization as an inherently disposable low art. The history of comics calls attention to marginalization as a formal structure, visual aesthetic, and sociopolitical position that shapes and reshapes culture, from racist and sexist caricatures that capture the anxiety of their moment to resistant narratives of marginalized BIPOC, queer, and disabled creators seizing their own graphic narratives. Comics likewise become legible and purposeful through the formal use of margins and gutters, sites that open up radical space for rebellious reading and meaning-making practices. At the same time, librarians and instructors at every educational level across the nation have had to contend with comic book bans that seek to marginalize certain cartoon narratives into nonexistence. 

The 6th Annual Comics Studies Society Conference seeks to make space for comics on the margins, and encourages participants to consider the formal, aesthetic, political, and social ways of seeing and reading cartooning’s relation to the marginal spaces, concepts, and peoples. In direct response to the troubling legislation in Texas and elsewhere in the US, we hope to use this conference as a site of resistance to the politics of the state. To that end, we encourage roundtables, panels, workshops, and individual papers that work to better understand how comics creators and cartoons reshape, resist, and reclaim the margins. This year’s keynote presenters—Frederick Luis Aldama, Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin, and MariNaomi, author of the forthcoming comic I Thought You Loved Me—reflect CSS’s ongoing commitment to supporting scholarship and cartooning by marginalized and underrepresented peoples.

Given the current post-Roe political climate, structured by anti-immigrant and antiblack violence and legislative attacks on LGBTQ+ identities, CSS recognizes Texas as a site of ongoing visible struggle against oppressive forces by marginalized scholars, teachers, librarians, and creators alike. In connection with the University of North Texas, a majority-minority Hispanic-serving research university serving 44,000 students in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, the 6th Annual Comics Studies Society Conference Committee will highlight comics art, scholarship, and pedagogy that resist marginalization, and is committed to intentional engagement with and support of regional BIPOC artists and academics.