Past Faculty & Guests
Zac Atkinson is a currently working professional screenwriter in the Los Angeles animation industry. He has written for TV series such as Transformers Rescue Bots and other Hasbro Studios projects. Zac also reads as a screenplay judge for several competitions including the highly regarded Austin Film Festival.
A former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship semi-finalist, Zac attended film school at the University of Texas at Austin. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from Boston University.
Prior to writing for animation, Zac worked in animation production as a production assistant and script coordinator. He was fortunate to spend time with many award-winning producers, artists, directors, and writers.
Kyle Pennington is a working professional screenwriter in the Los Angeles television industry. He has written for TV series such as Lost and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Kyle graduated from the Visual Arts program at UCSD and broke through in the television realm as a Post Production Assistant on the pilot of Lost. There he paid his dues through the first four seasons also working as a Writers Production Assistant and Writers Assistant before being promoted to Staff Writer.
During his time in the writers room there, he was fortunate to learn from many of the best television writers in the industry.
Diamond and Inkpot Award-winning artist Phil Jimenez (Infinite Crisis) has nearly 25 years of experience illustrating in the comic book industry. Jimenez’s art is well known for its density, its multi-panel design, and the “acting” of its characters on page. His artwork was featured in two of the top 10 single best-selling issues between 2000 and 2010.
From his early days as a George Perez “clone” to his modern work, now wholly his own, which mixes a classic approach to drawing with modern sensibilities of design, Jimenez approaches characters as actors, backgrounds as sets, and storytelling as a director does, using lighting, acting, location, design, and emotion to elicit the strongest possible reactions from his readers. He remains best known for his work onWonder Woman, Infinite Crisis, New X-Men, and The Amazing Spider-Man.
Alejandro Arbona is the editor of Casanova, Sacrifice and Invincible Iron Man. In his five-year career at Marvel, he also edited Osborn, Red Skull: Incarnate, Legion of Monsters, The Fantastic Four in… ¡Isla de la Muerte!–a series of one-shots set in Puerto Rico (where Alejandro is from), Spider-Man Noir, and others. He assisted on acclaimed titles like The Immortal Iron Fist, Daredevil, Thor, Dark Reign: Elektra, The Order, and many more.
From 2009 to 2011, Alejandro also worked under Ralph Macchio, Stephen Wacker, and Tom Brevoort at Marvel. He’s had the opportunity and good fortune to work with a ton of outstanding creators, including (in no particular order) Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker, David Aja, Michael Lark, Olivier Coipel, Zeb Wells, Sergio Aragonés, Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Greg Pak, Chris Samnee, and lots more. Before going to Marvel, Alejandro was a contributing editor at Wizard.
John Barber is Senior Editor at IDW comics as well as the writer of Transformers: Robots in Disguise and other comics. He started his career self-publishing and making webcomics before joining the Marvel Comics editorial staff in 2004. He worked on the Ultimate line of comics at the height of their popularity, and worked on the first Dark Tower series Marvel produced in cooperation with Stephen King. Soon after, Barber moved to the X-Men comics, where he edited the best-selling X-Force relaunch and the Wolverine line of comics, including the Eisner Award-nominated Old Man Logan series.
He helped bring the alternative-centric Strange Tales anthology to fruition before leaving Marvel to pursue a freelance career, including writing for the X-Men: Nation X series and penning several of IDW’s Transformers limited series, as well as writing and drawing the (now completed) webcomic Outside Infinity. But he was also the editor of the creator-owned hits Kick-Ass and Superior for Marvel’s Icon imprint, and Turf at Image Comics.
Born in Boston in 1960, Kurt Busiek started reading comics regularly at the age of 14, around the age most kids were giving up on them. Soon, he and his friend Scott McCloud began to write and draw their own comics, learning a great deal about the craft of comics, and Kurt decided comics was the place for him. So did Scott, but that’s another story.
By the time he graduated from college in 1982, Kurt had already sold his first comics script — a backup story for Green Lantern #162. Following that, he wrote Power Man and Iron Fist for Marvel for a year, and worked on such series as World’s Finest, Wonder Woman and Red Tornado. He worked as an assistant editor, as a literary agent and as a sales manager for Marvel, while co-creating such books as Liberty Project (at Eclipse Comics) and Open Space (Marvel).
In 1993, he and painter Alex Ross created Marvels, a commercial and critical smash and a breakthrough project for both writer and artist.
Since then, Kurt has divided his time between mainstream series, including Avengers, Untold Tales of Spider-Man, Conan, Superman and Trinity, and creating his own projects, including Thunderbolts, The Wizard’s Tale, Shockrockets, Arrowsmith and the multiple-award-winning Astro City. He’s worked with a long list of talented artists, including Brent Anderson, Mark Bagley, Carlos Pacheco, Stuart Immonen and Cary Nord. He’s currently focusing his attention on Astro City, Arrowsmith and a new series, Kurt Busiek’s American Gothic.
Kurt has won over two dozen industry awards for his work, to the point that he’s embarrassed at not being able to remember them all. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and two daughters.