Short Run celebrates and strengthens Seattle’s lauded comix and arts community.
Short Run focuses on the medium of comics as a coalescence of art and literature. We believe in the intimate experience of holding a book in your hands. That’s why we highlight artists from the Pacific Northwest and around the world who make alternative comix and self-published, small press, and handmade books of all kinds. We want to ensure that Seattle is considered a destination for small press artists, and a percolator of comics genius. We achieve this vision by:
Organizing events for Seattleites including our annual Short Run Comix & Arts Festival, which showcases both emerging and established artists, creating a space for discovery, inspiration, and above all, quality work.
Creating opportunities for artists to foster friendships and mentorships, grow their audience, dedicate time to making new work, fund projects, publish work, and make money as an artist.
Facilitating educational programming for all ages and skill sets in order to invite and support under-represented and diverse perspectives through study and craft of the medium.
We are committed to creating safe spaces where no one is made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe on account of gender identity or expression, sexual preference, race, ethnicity, age, and physical or mental ability. We strive to create an atmosphere free of harassment and the threat of violence.
Board of Directors
Comics have always been a source of power for Lylianna—from the time her father introduced her to the “Phoenix Saga” from the Marvel Universe to when she discovered the comics of Los Bros Hernandez. On the encouragement of her partner, Josh, Lylianna signed up for a local comics workshop and, through it, developed a confidence in her own artistry. Lylianna works at the intersection of racial justice, climate and environment as the Climate Justice Director for the City of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment. Her professional background has centered on policy, community engagement, habitat restoration, outdoor recreation, and leadership development. Outside of work, she nurtures her passion for story telling and the natural world as a co-creator of The Growing Old Project, a podcast series exploring what Seattle could look like in the next 50 years for our trees and people to grow old together.
Lee Bess, Treasurer
Lee fell in love with small press during high school, when zines and small-press punk records were a lifeline to the world beyond small town Indiana. She published some sweet baby feminist zines (Babbled At, Corn Field Blues) and put on punk shows at the Indianapolis Knights of Columbus Hall. At 18, Lee followed the siren song of Riot Grrrl to the punk hotbed of Washington DC, where grrrls painted the town with lopsided stars and stole the mikes at outdoor punk shows during Riot Grrrl Summer in 1992. After “growing up” and establishing a research career in an obscure corner of biology, she moved to Seattle in 2010, where she rediscovered her love of fanzines and self-publishing. Her creative work includes science and autobio fanzines, X-ray and microscope photographs, and scientific illustration. She teaches entomology at the Evergreen State College and co-founded Seattle Nature Schools.
Ronald “Otts” Bolisay
Back in the 90s, a classmate in Otts’s film class made zines called Little Sissy: smutty little books of sex positivity that were transgressive and unapologetic in a time of AIDS panic. Otts found them electrifying. But he didn’t start making his own zines until almost 20 years later; he wanted a different way to share his immigration story and he found that in the zine format. Otts’s background is in strategic communications. He’s worked with Pramila Jayapal on immigrant rights (at Hate Free Zone and OneAmerica), on LGBT rights at the state (Equal Rights Washington) and national (Center for American Progress) levels, and on various grassroots organizing campaigns with groups like Western States Center, People of Color for Progress and Letters for Black Lives. On the side, he’s exploring being an artist in comix and illustration.
Kelly Froh, Executive Director and Co-Founder
Finding a copy of Dirty Plotte by Julie Doucet in a spin rack at Fallout Records in 1994 changed the trajectory of Kelly’s creative interests forever. Making and sharing autobiographical comics and perzines helped her find her community and she has since devoted herself to sustaining and growing that community here in Seattle. Kelly graduated from Emily Carr University of Art & Design in 2006 with a BFA in Fine Arts. She has self-published many mini-comics and zines, including the Ignatz-nominated Stew Brew (in collaboration with her partner Max Clotfelter). Her comics and stories have appeared in The Seattle Weekly, The Seattle Review of Books, Moss, Popula, and The Women’s Review of Books. Kelly has performed at the Hugo House’s acclaimed Literary Series, Lit Crawl, Pecha Kucha, On the Boards, APRIL, and Bumbershoot. She is an art instructor with Seniors Creating Art and North Seattle Community College.
Meredith began making comics in 2009, but didn’t begin sharing them publicly until becoming involved with Seattle’s “Comics Fever” reading group in 2014. She has since led several comics activist projects related to issues such as health care access and school gun violence. Her comics projects have been published in The Stranger, MUTHA Magazine, PEN America, and the American Journal of Public Health. Meredith is also a communications specialist at Public Health – Seattle & King County, affiliated faculty with the University of Washington School of Public Health, and has served on national committees and advisory boards for several organizations including the National Academies, the Center for Biosecurity, and the CDC. She finds ways to collaborate with other cartoonists to promote health and is currently working on an anthology of public health comics.
Mita Mahato, Chair
After drawing her favorite animals on her 5th grade school binder, Mita’s classmates asked her if she would draw animals on their binders, too. Her career as a binder artist lasted only a week; she had no idea that, more than three decades later, making art to help educate people about species extinction and habitat conservancy would become “her thing.” Mita is a cut paper, comix, and collage artist whose work explores loss by engaging the transformative capacities of found and handmade papers. Her comics and cut paper work have been collected in In Between (Pleiades Press 2017); published in Shenandoah, Coast/No Coast, Seattle Weekly, Mutha Magazine, Drunken Boat, and Pen America; and exhibited in galleries across the United States. In addition to being the Associate Curator of Public and Youth Programs at the Henry Art Gallery, Mita is a career educator and partners with a number of local organizations to teach art workshops to all ages.
Jessica Powers, Secretary
Jessica is a long-standing supporter of art, artists, the circulation of ideas, and the conceptual space of the book. Over the last 10 years, Jessica has cared for people, objects, and spaces via the Brainerd Family Office, MOHAI, The New Foundation Seattle, Listen and Talk, Seattle’s University’s Hedreen Gallery, Path with Art, and the Museum of Glass. She recently joined the staff of fine dining institution Canlis where she will work with the owners on the development of special projects. She occasionally works with tarl, an ‘unprofessional’ collaborative group that facilitates solo exhibitions in the US and Canada.
Lauren Armstrong, Arabella Bautista, Eric Carnell, McKenna Haley, Jessica Hoffman, Jon Horn, Robyn Jordan, Megan Kelso, Elaine Lin, Bryan Littlefield, Jessica Lopez, Sharrin Manor, Clyde Petersen, E.T. Russian
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We are always looking for volunteers! firstname.lastname@example.org
What people are saying about Short Run:
“It’s a convivial celebration of hand-made art — the kind of art that is made for its own sake, to represent a perspective that doesn’t get time and attention in the mainstream media.” Paul Constant, The Seattle Review of Books
“It felt like a weekend-long celebration of the local cartoonists and comics scene in Seattle. Which was great because there were a ton of cartoonists worth celebrating there… I went into Seattle feeling like I knew almost no one in the town at all. At the end of the weekend, I left feeling like Seattle is one of the greatest comics cities I’ve ever visited.” Sean Ford
“Short Run Seattle curates some truly excellent art weirdos and their festival is always a subversive delight – one of the bestest, most Seattle, events of the PNW year.” Jennifer K. Stuller
“Short Run is the real thing. It’s well organized, artist friendly, and community oriented in the kind of way I always wish shows were. Not only has it proven to be a valuable place for me to come and share my own work, but it’s also been a place to come and discover new and unusual publications and connect with other creators of this oddball art form.” Theo Ellsworth
Rob Salkowitz on Short Run for ICv2.“To someone who had been to way too many ‘everything Cons’ in the past 12 months, both Short Run and CAB were great ways to reconnect with the creativity of comics in intimate settings devoid of hype and commercialism.”
Founded in 2011 by Eroyn Franklin, Kelly Froh, Martine Workman, and Jenny Gialenes.
Short Run Seattle became a 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organization in 2014.