Comic Arts
Los Angeles

A convention of independent comic artists. Free and open to the public.

Dec 5 & 6 / 10 AM to 5 PM
Think Tank Gallery
939 Maple Ave 90015

special announcement

special announcement

Featuring Special Guests:

Noelle Stevenson

Noelle Stevenson is the New York Times bestselling author of Nimona, has been nominated for Harvey and Eisner Awards, and was awarded the Slate Cartoonist Studio Prize for Best Web Comic in 2012 for Nimona. A graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, Noelle is a writer on Disney’s Wander Over Yonder, the cowriter of Boom! Studios’ Lumberjanes, and has written for Marvel and DC Comics. She lives in Los Angeles.

Jaime Hernandez

Jaime Hernandez is the artist and writer who co-created the comic book series Love and Rockets, one of the first comic books in the alternative comics movement of the 1980s. A winner of multiple Harvey Awards, the Kirby Award, Ignatz Award, and Eisner Award, Hernandez put out the first issue of Love and Rockets in 1981 with his older brothers Mario and Gilbert. Since then, Jaime and Gilbert ("Los Bros Hernandez") have done Love and Rockets almost continuously. Although early issues included fantasy elements, Love and Rockets is best known for its realistic depiction of life in a Chicano neighborhood in southern California (modeled after Hernandez's hometown of Oxnard).


Think Tank Gallery
939 Maple Ave, Suite #200
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Driving Directions

From Anaheim/San Diego/Orange County

5 Fwy North to 10 Fwy West, exit on Los Angeles Street and make a right. Make another right on Olympic and a left on Maple Ave. An alternate route is 405 Fwy North to 110 Fwy North, exit on 9th Street and continue east. Make a right onto Maple Ave.

From Glendale/San Fernando Valley/Pasadena

5 Fwy South or 101 Fwy South to 110 Fwy South, exit on 9th Street and make a left. Continue east and make a right on Maple Ave.

From Santa Monica

10 Fwy East, exit on Maple Avenue. Turn left onto Maple Avenue.

Public Transportation

Take the Red or Purple Line to Pershing Square. Take the E bus to Olympic Blvd. Walk east and make a left on Maple Ave.


There are plenty of lots and metered parking in the area. Expect to pay around $8-10 for the day. We recommend surface lots at 9th/Werdin Pl., 825 Santee St., 818 Santee St., and 759 Maple Ave. for a $5 weekend flat rate.

For more info on the Fashion District, please visit:




David & Goliath: Indie Comics & the Animation Industry

SAT 11 AM - 11:45 PM

The tides have turned dramatically. Thanks to major animation studios like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, a growing number of indie comics artists are earning stable paychecks by producing cool art. It's a symbiotic relationship, to be sure, allowing both sides to flourish creatively and financially. Calvin Wong (Regular Show), Nick Sumida (Harvey Beaks), Kevin Lee (Nickelodeon), and Sarah Oleksyk (Star vs. the Forces of Evil) will talk to Phil Rynda (Nickelodeon) about the dynamics of this unlikely relationship, exploring both the highs and lows of joining a commercialized industry after years of working solo.

Now You See Me: The Artist's Responsibility to Social Justice

SAT 1 PM - 1:45 PM

Many cartoonists who don't see a place for themselves in mainstream culture have simply taken the matter into their own hands, creating the work they want to see through indie comics. But is it enough to draw what you love, or does amassing an audience and finding success come with certain social responsibilities? Join Lamar Abrams (Remake), MariNaomi (Estrus Comics), Madeleine Flores, (Help Us! Great Warrior), and Polly Guo (Houdini & Holmes) in conversation with Iris Jong (Comic Arts LA) as they try to figure out - what's an artist from a marginalized community to do?

Noelle Stevenson

SAT 2 PM - 2:45 PM

Spotlight on comics artist Noelle Stevenson (Nimona, Lumberjanes). Hosted by Shannon Watters (BOOM! Studios).

Everything Riso!

SAT 3 PM - 3:45 PM

Delve into the wondrous world of risography in this panel on the hottest method in DIY printing. Renowned riso experts Mickey Zacchilli (RAV), Ryan Cecil Smith (S.F.: Liquid Planet Beta-14), and Ryan Sands (Youth in Decline) will spill their secrets in this discussion led by John Pham (Sublife). Find out such scintillating insights as: what is riso, exactly? What makes risograph printing so special? And how might one get into this exciting way of life?


Kids Love Comics!: Writing For All Ages

SUN 11 AM - 11:45 PM

In the past few years, the broader reading public has come to embrace comics as a viable reading platform for kids. As the market has expanded, more indie cartoonists than ever are putting out work that readers of all ages can enjoy. Join Hope Larson (Solo) as she leads Cathy G. Johnson (No Dogs Allowed), Frank Gibson (Tiny Kitten Teeth), and Laura Knetzger (Bug Boys) in a conversation about the particularities of creating for various age groups, trends in all-ages comics, and what grand developments the future holds.

Jaime Hernandez

SUN 1 PM - 1:45 PM

Spotlight on comics artist Jaime Hernandez (Love and Rockets). Hosted by Sam Alden (Hollow).

Living and Working Healthfully: Self-Care for Cartoonists

SUN 2 PM - 2:45 PM

Being an indie cartoonist might seem like the life, but the challenges are many. There have been plenty of panels on how to gain financial stability, but what about maintaining your health and wellness throughout the process? Jen Wang (In Real Life) will lead Yumi Sakugawa (There is No Right Way to Meditate) and massage therapist Grace Ditsworth in a discussion on physical and mental health issues that cartoonists commonly face, and share their advice on how to achieve balance, peace, and comfort.

Creative Relaxation Corner: Read, Draw, Chat!

SUN 3 PM - 3:45 PM

After a long but satisfying day of browsing and buying, you deserve some time to chill. Cap off your day by joining us in the panel room for a relaxing activity or two: settle in to read the zines in your haul, channel your newfound inspiration to create your own mini-zine, or play the scribble game with a recently met comics mate. See you there!

Special Guest Signings

At the Secret Headquarters Booth

Noelle Stevenson

SATURDAY 2:45PM - 3:45PM

Jaime Hernandez

SUNDAY 1:45PM - 2:45PM


May I apply to be an exhibitor?

Applications won't be open again until late Summer 2016. In the meantime, sign up for our mailing list and like / follow us on social media!

How are candidates selected?

Very carefully! Applicants are selected based on a number of criteria at the discretion of CALA and its organizers. Preference is given to creators of comics over other creative fields, such as illustration, animation, fine art, etc.

How much space does each exhibitor get?

Half a table. That's 7.5 square feet, 3 feet long by 2.5 feet wide. You may request one additional chair if you really, really need it, but space is limited and unfortunately not everyone can have an extra chair.

I'm a publisher. Can I pay for more table space?

Unfortunately, no. Although we encourage publishers to apply, space is very limited and we want to fit in as many independent artists as possible.

Are there opportunities to help out with CALA as a volunteer?

We're already set for this year. To hear about next year's applications, sign up for our mailing list!

How many exhibitors can CALA accommodate?

Because we want to ensure that the event goes well for everybody, we aim for a smaller show than the likes of other comics fests. Think Tank can accommodate around 70 exhibitors, some of which will be collectives of multiple artists.


CALA is the talk of the town! Read all about us:
Comics Reporter
L.A. Taco
The Beat
Comics Grinder

Got a press inquiry? Please contact us at


Drop us a line:

For updates, sign up for our mailing list or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Comic Arts LA (CALA) is a free, public event promoting the appreciation of comics, graphic novels, and sequential arts among the broader Los Angeles public. CALA aims to engage the public and foster interactions among creators and readers alike by providing the community a space to connect creatively and discover new work. The second annual festival will take place December 5th and 6th, 2015 at Think Tank Gallery in lively Downtown Los Angeles.

CALA is organized by Jen Wang, Angie Wang, Iris Jong, and Jake Mumm.

Artwork by Lisa Hanawalt.