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Celebrate STAPLE March 5th & 6th

Celebrating Independent Media Makers
2016 STAPLE! Independent Media Expo Inspiring the Next Golden Age of The Indie Scene
Full Programming Schedule, Panelists Announced for Annual Weekend Geek-Out March 5th – 6th 2016

Austin, TX (February, 2016) – STAPLE! Independent Media Expo–a tastefully presented two-day convention featuring the best of independently produced comics, zines, art, crafts, games and more–is back for its twelfth annual event. As the premier show of its kind in the Southwest, the family-friendly event features over 100 exhibitors, seven hours of programming and off-site events.

Founded in 2005, STAPLE! was created after Chris ‘Uncle Staple’ Nicholas saw a void in the field of indie media conventions. “I wanted a place where people could showcase their work outside of the mainstream media, a place where people could connect with–and inspire–each other,” Nicholas said.

As the indie comic community continues to grow, this year’s program looks towards the future of the industry with creative workshops and panels that will inspire the next generation of comic enthusiasts and artists.

Highlights include: A Zine Workshop with Gatosaurio creator Inés Estrada; a panel on Diversity in Comics: Past, Present, and Alt Future; Live Comic Readings – where comics come to life with projections, voice and sound, with The Austin Chronicle’s Wayne Alan Brenner, Sophie Goldstien, Carl Antonowicz and Zach Taylor; Webcomics! a discussion of the present state of the art with artists Dave Mercier, Spike Trotman, Danielle Corsetto and Matt Melvin; a panel discussion on crowdfunding with Patreon; and It All Begins with Drawing! a 3-D drawing workshop with Emmy award winner Mark Kistler.

Not only will the expo be a feast for the eyes, there will be foodie treats galore, with food trucks provided by our friends at Rosarito Tacos and Elixer Coffee on site.
There will also be a Sunday Morning Mixer for LGBTQA creators, creators of Color and female professionals, with refreshments provided, before the fest opens.

If fans are still hankering for even more, STAPLE! will also host a few offsite events such as: a special edition of the Austin Books & Comics book club discussing Benjamin Marra’s book Terror Assaulter: O.M.W.O.T, March 1st (adults only), a Pre-Party meet and greet at Austin Books & Comics March 4th, and a live art show benefit for KOOP radio at Shangri-La March 5th.

STAPLE! is also happy to give its support to the Austin Chapter of Extra Life and Color Squad /Creative Action who will be present at the expo.

In its 12th year, STAPLE! continues to see the event grow and touch the lives of new audiences. “Every year I’m reminded why I put on this event,” Nicholas says. “People tell me how STAPLE! gave them a way to be seen or inspired them to pursue a dream and that’s what really motivates me to do this,” Nicholas states. STAPLE! has come a long way since its humble beginning with only a handful of vendors and devoted fans in attendance. Over the years, the indie media expo has grown to feature hundreds of artists and over a 1,000 guests for the annual weekend event. For more information, updates, expo schedule, roster of panelists, performers, and exhibitors, please visit

About STAPLE! 2016 Guests and Panelists

STAPLE! Guests

Benjamin Marra is the founder and publisher of Traditional Comics and co-founder of the underground illustration and design journal Mammal, Marra is the notorious, controversial and influential comic creator, of Night Business and Gangsta Rap Posse among other works. His art is beyond the cutting edge; his work is in the cut itself

Gene Ha is a four time Eisner Award winner, and the artist behind books like Fables, Justice League and Cyclops & Phoenix. His new creation Mae tells the tale of Mae Fortell, who follows her sister Abbie to an alternate world full of mad science and wonder. The book met its Kickstarter goal in just 36 hours and will be published by Dark Horse later this year.

Dave Mercier is a cartoonist and illustrator from Connecticut who lives on a farm and looks great in jorts. He’s in his fifth year creating MercWorks, a Super Mario/Happy Days crossover fan fiction comic – just kidding, it’s about a guy who wears glasses.

Emily Carroll is a writer and artist best known for the eerie comics she posts on the internet, as well as her debut collection of short stories, Through the Woods. She she won the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Artist, as well as two Eisner awards. Most recently she illustrated Baba Yaga’s Assistant, a children’s graphic novel written by Marika McCoola.

Spike Trotman is the founder of Iron Circus Comics, Chicago’s largest comics publisher, and is responsible for many titles such as The Sleep of Reason, the Smut Peddler series, and the webcomic Templar, Arizona. A Kickstarter early adopter, her projects have raised nearly half a million dollars in funding and earned multiple awards.

Danielle Corsetto is the creator of Girls With Slingshots, a dramedy webcomic that ran from 2004-2015. She’s also written three Adventure Time Original Graphic Novels and spent a year writing and drawing The New Adventures of Bat Boy for the Weekly World News. She lives in an old house in West Virginia with two cats and all of their fur.

Matt Melvin is one of the original authors of Cyanide & Happiness and an avid cheeseburger aficionado. He currently writes the webcomic The Last Nerds on Earth. Matt enjoys criticizing and complaining about movies and listening to music.

Austen Marie is a full time freelance illustrator and partnered twitch streamer. While not working alongside Matt Melvin on Last Nerds On Earth and drawing private commissions you’ll find her indulging in cheap tequila on the weekends for the entertainment of others.

Sophie Goldstein a graduate of the Center for Cartoon Studies, Goldstein has won an Ignatz Award for her mini-comic, House of Women, Part I and her second book The Oven, has won national acclaim by winning two Ignatz Awards in addition to being named one of Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2015.

Carl Antonowicz is a 2011 alumnus of the Center for Cartoon Studies. Last year, he debuted his first self-published graphic novel, The Pestle, to a wholly unprepared and unsuspecting populace. This year, he brings more disease-based horror to the table with Until the Blood Runs Black, a novella set during the Crusades.

Inés Estrada is a self taught illustrator, cartoonist, editor and designer from Mexico City living in Texas. She self publishes most of her work and also distributes other fun stuff through her label Gatosaurio.

Mark Kistler has taught millions of children how to draw in 3-D, over the past 35 years. Star of the hit children’s public television series The New Secret City as Commander Mark and Captain Mark, he deeply believes that learning how to draw in 3-D builds a child’s critical thinking skills while nourishing self-esteem.


About STAPLE! Founder Chris Nicholas
Chris “Uncle Staple” Nicholas is the founder and lead organizer of STAPLE! The Independent Media Expo, the Southwest’s premier convention for independently produced comics, zines, art, crafts, toys, games and animation, held annually in Austin, Texas. Chris also collaborates with artist David G. Lamplugh on two self published comics: You Chose Right The First Time, a crime noir graphic novel set in 60’s Chicago, and That Damned Cat, a supernatural black comedy inspired by the true story of the cat that knows when you are going to die.

For more info on STAPLE! visit and find them on Facebook at

February 26, 2016
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