From about 2003 on I've been a part-time teacher at Richard Hugo House, a sort of community-center-for-writers in Seattle. It's been based in an old house, a former funeral home, since 1997. The building is being torn down to make way for a condo/apartment (an ongoing story here), but the Hugo House will continue to exist on the ground floor of the future-building. Last Saturday night, Hugo House held a celebration and farewell for the original location. Everyone was allowed to write on the walls (since they are coming down in two weeks), so I decided I'd draw a comic about writers -- in the room that housed the last public location (so far) of ZAPP, the Zine Archive and Publishing Project.
This photo by Raymond Pompon
Facebook users have guessed nearly all of the writers pictured in the comic. Here is the roster:
Panel 1: Mairead Case, author, prison writing instructor, PhD candidate, and former Hugo House intern. She represents all the HH interns who went on to do great things in the world.
Panel 2: Sherman Alexie, literary titan. He represents all the literary titans who have been involved with Hugo House over the years.
Panel 3: Wendy Call: nonfiction writer, translator, and a fantastic writing instructor. She represents non-fiction writers and all the great teachers that have worked at HH over time (and will continue to!).
Panel 4: Anastacia Tolbert, HH writer-in-residence who gives powerful readings, here representing all the writers-in-residence, and all the great readers who've taken the stage, or shared their work in a classroom, at HH.
Panel 5: Stacey Levine, writer of short fiction and novels, with whom I read at the Lit Series a few years back. I took one of her classes at HH and it was great. This panel is about the writing community.
Panel 6: Sierra Nelson of Vis a Vis Society, and Typing Explosion. This panel is about taking poetry and literature in bold new directions! Huzzah!
Panel 7: The late Octavia Butler, who took science fiction in amazing directions, here representing writers in the NW who write diverse and sophisticated genre fiction that transcends the bounds of genre fiction.
Panel 8: Not a great likeness: This is Greg Stump, my frequent co-teacher of comics classes at HH. Greg represents comics/graphic novels' important presence in Seattle's Lit Scene.
Panel 9: RIchard Hugo, guiding spirit.