Beyond the Panel: Comics and the Art of Visual Storytelling – with Frank Casey & Ethan Claunch

Frank Casey
Ethan Claunch
Artwork of Frank Casey
Artwork of Ethan Claunch

Thursday, September 26, 2024

6-7:00 PM PST


Artist Talk: Join MAC artists and visual storytellers Frank Casey (MAC Fellow) and Ethan Claunch (MAC Scholar) as they share about their work and process. Learn about the intricacies of what makes comics and visual storytelling work and how comics and visual narrative have influenced their individual styles. Hear about their unique approaches to visual storytelling (one-shot images versus sequential art), how they integrate text with visual communication into their work in order to communicate the plot and emotional subtext of a story through their work. 

Frank Casey is an artist and high school art teacher from Tacoma, Washington. Since 2005, he has been helping young people find their voice through the creation of art. He also works as a professional illustrator, creating book covers for authors and publishers, as well as selling his original works online and at trade shows and conventions. His work has been featured in nationally distributed literary magazines and podcasts. In 2021, Frank was awarded an arts fellowship with the Robert B. McMillen Foundation, which allowed him to publish his first art book, An Incompletely Peculiar Collection. He has since worked with the Foundation to recognize the talents of other upcoming artists.

Collaborative storytelling is a major theme of Frank’s work. He creates illustrations in want of a story, inviting the viewer to fill in the narrative with their own imagination and point of view. He believes that there is catharsis to be found in getting to finish the story on one’s own terms. Frank’s work has inspired works of fiction, poems, songs, other works of visual art, and stage performances. Frank often uses the genre of Retrofuturism to create allegories that explore social and intrapersonal issues, using subtext that ranges from tender to humorous, pensive to adventurous. His work speaks to ideas of discovery, acceptance, compassion, and empowerment.

Ethan Claunch grew up in small-town Montana and moved to Poulsbo, WA in 2009 to attend the Northwest College of Art and Design. He was the valedictorian for the graduating class of 2012 and has gone on to pursue a career as a freelance illustrator. Self-taught in the discipline of sequential art, he has worked with smaller publishers and local authors, and is constantly striving to improve upon his craft. Currently, Ethan is illustrating a series of covers for Battle Quest Comics while developing his own series, Ghosts in a Burning City. He still happily resides in Poulsbo with his partner, Danielle.

Upcoming and Recent Events