What We’re All About

Our mission is to build a collaborative and open kids comics community. When we find good ideas, we share them. When we discover something that works, we teach it. We believe “a rising tide lifts all boats,” and we’re helping to create that groundswell that pushes the tide up.

Kids Comics Unite (KCU) offers both paid and free resources, courses, membership programs, and networking opportunities to kids comics creators.

Check out our upcoming FREE masterclass for creators – click here to RSVP.

Jonathan St. Amant
Katie Risor
Shanda McClosky

We are…

illustration of a fish reading a magazine

Curious

We believe that authentic storytelling comes from a place of wonder. Our community celebrates a curiosity for the world, for our craft, and especially for graphic novels.

illustration of a sheep with arms up

Open

We believe in sharing information to help us ALL work better.

illustration of fox drawing boxes on paper

Storytellers

We believe that stories are all around us and, as storytellers, we are entrusted to share these stories, both real and imagined.

Inclusive

We welcome all adults who love visual storytelling to this community. We strive to support creators, no matter where they are on their creative journey.

Our Story

December 2019

Janna hosts a Kids Comics Meetup at a cafe in NYC. She finds out about Mighty Networks platform and creates an online account called “Kids Comics Unite” for the meetup group.

March 2020

The COVID 19 lockdown happens. Everyone is pretty freaked out. Janna decides to start hosting weekly Office Hours as a way for people to connect and talk about what they’re going through.

May 2020

Janna hosts the first free masterclass and launches the first Kids Comics Intensive course.

September 2020

Kids Comics Studio, KCU’s subscription membership program, begins.

June 2021

A group of summer interns come on board to help Janna plan the KCU website!

Kids Comics Unite characters

July 2021

We host a logo contest and winner Jonathan St. Amant designs the KCU mascot characters

October 2021

Our first ever workshop “Pitchcraft!” is a go

Kids Comics Unite at AnimeNYC

November 2021

KCU at AnimeNYC!

Today

We’re 2 years old, have hosted 180+ live events on Zoom, and have 1200+ members from 35+ countries and we’re still growing!

Our Crew

Janna Morishima

Janna Morishima

Founder

Janna Morishima is the founder of Kids Comics Unite and a literary agent who specializes in graphic novels and visual storytelling. Connect with her at Kids Comics Unite and Janna Co.

Lisa Lowry

Lisa Lowry

Program Manager

Hello all! I’m Lisa Lowry, program manager for KCU. I’m a writer and mom to a 4-year-old. As a writer, I love to play with language and form and am enjoying the challenge of writing my first graphic novel script.

I didn’t read many comics as a kid, but I have vivid memories of my dad reading Visiting the Art Museum (by Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown) to me and my sister. I love moving through the museum with the characters, getting to hear all their voices, and eavesdropping on side characters. I recently bought an old copy to read to my daughter.

Pre-pandemic I spend a lot of time on the static trapeze. I’m hoping to go back… eventually. Can a city be a hobby? If so, I would also say New Orleans is my hobby. I spent many years of my childhood there and there are so many things I love about it. If you are heading there for a visit, I’ll send you my recommendation list.

As a member of the KCU team, I want to continue to build this vibrant, diverse and supportive community of creators. To me, curiosity is the best word for what I want for myself and for KCU.

Jade Vaughan

Art Director

I'm a visual storyteller living in San Antonio, TX who works in multiple mediums, but by far my favorite is making comics! It's funny I never once thought about writing comics until 2020.

I had it in my mind for a while to be an animator, storyboard artist, or a motion graphic artist, but that changed over time and for a while... I felt lost. One day I decided to challenge myself to create a comic and something clicked in place. Finding KCU and connecting with other comic artists sealed the deal. Ever since, I have been filled with gratitude and obsessed with learning the craft.

And baking, especially cakes. I am trying my hand at bread making. So far so good. I think I am ready to try brioche or sourdough. If you guys have any tips or tricks let me know!

My mission as KCU's blogger and art director is to mine those rich nuggets of wisdom, polish them 'til they shine, and share their value across the kidlit community. I want to imbue fun and play into our everyday. Life's too short to be taken too seriously. Besides, we are comic artists — it's in the title 😉

Sarah Giles

Sarah Giles

Content Wrangler

When I was growing up, I looooooved comics, mostly of the Sunday Funnies variety, like Calvin & Hobbes, Fox Trot, and The Far Side. But way back then, it wasn’t considered “real reading". Fast forward a few years and a spirited little gal named Babymouse had my first-grader devouring books faster than I could check them out of the library. It was then that I realized the power of the graphic novel format, especially for newly independent readers.

My elementary school years were some of the best of my life, so when my kids started school, I was happy to jump right back into that world with them. They are growing up and moving on now, but not me. I’m stayin’ right here; creating books, activities, and videos for elementary-age readers and writers.

One of my favorite things about comics is how kinetic they are, despite being a “still” format. I’m excited for the chance to polish up already-awesome KCU visual content to reflect how vibrant, joyful, and kinetic this KCU community is!

Rivkah Lafille

Rivkah LaFille

Instructor

Salut! I'm Rivkah LaFille (pronounced "lah-fee"), and I am a children’s writer, illustrator, and graphic novelist who specializes in slice-of-life type MG and YA stories with HEART. My graphic novel series, STEADY BEAT, was nominated to the American Library Association’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens list, and I was Illustrator Coordinator for the Society or Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (in Austin) in which I am still a very active member. I've been published in instructional books and children's magazines, write tutorials, articles, and reviews, teach workshops, and help people pitch their own kidlit GNs, too!

Here at KCU, I teach online courses on both writing and illustrating graphic novels for kids, from babies to teens. I also lead several online communities dedicated to providing access to resources, information, and critiques to aid in furthering the careers of kidlit comics creators and growing the kidlit comics industry in general.

Currently, I am working on a midgrade graphic novel about Creative Writing with First Second as well as a young adult graphic novel with Candlewick about wishes, family, and learning to let go of someone you love. I'm making plenty of magic, and I hope that at KCU, I can help you make magic too!

unicorn illustration

Jonathan St. Amant

Mascot Designer

I am an artist and art teacher who loves a good story. I also love the prospects of the future, because a) We'll all be robots who live forever, so I'll finally be able to catch up on all the great books, movies, and video games in the world, b) Scientists will be able to slow the Earth's rotation and create 48-hour days, allowing twice as much time to create art, and c) Hover boards will actually hover! But I digress.

Since childhood, I have been imagining and creating worlds through writing and art. After earning a B.F.A. in drawing and painting and dabbling in the world of fine art, I returned to my passion of creating narrative illustration.

Nowadays, I find myself working more digitally than traditionally. In addition to teaching middle school art and savoring family life with my wife and two sons, I enjoy hiking, surfing, collecting comics and graphic novels, traveling, gardening, playing my PS4, brewing beer, and trying unique food.

Jill Anderson

Jill Anderson

Web Designer & Developer

Jill Anderson of Jill Lynn Design is a web designer and developer who makes custom WordPress websites for creative professionals. Whether you need a website for yourself or for your client, I love partnering with talented designers, writers, and creatives—like the Kids Comics Unite team!—to craft custom, responsive WordPress websites. Let’s collaborate to build a strong online presence you’re excited to share with the world.

Special Guest Stars

Yay for our Summer 2021 interns!

Patrick Lugo

Patrick Lugo

I'm Patrick Lugo or @PLUGO on some platforms out there.

I learned to read thanks to access to my older brothers' box of comics. Once I could pick them out for myself at the newsstand (or spinner-rack), I was doing so. An early facility for drawing led the way to a career in graphic arts, with the occasional detour through events production on one level or another. Of course, I've also tinkered with making comics about those events of yore.

What genre is my flavor? Is good comics a genre? I have great fondness for all things mythical and fantastical and love a lot of stuff that's experimental. I think that's fair to say both on and off the comics page.

As I look at the panorama of skill and vision evident in the KCU community I see a future for publishing much broader than what the industry itself evinces. Can you imagine if KCU could just bypass those constraints? Is that too abstract? Too idealistic? What was the question?

This is the last time I'll answer a question with a question. Is there a word that combines elevation with expansion but also refinement and distillation?

Online PLUGOarts.com, but also PatrickLugo.com and very soon ATigersTale.com.

Bailey Culver

Bailey Culver

Howdy y’all! My name is Bailey Culver, a multimedia artist and illustrator specializing in comics, print- making, and fibers!

I had always loved comics since I was a kid, but reading the entirety of Akira for the first time in high school made me fall in love with it as an art form.  My favorite aspects of comics are the inherent rebellion and DIY nature of the medium! Genres I love to work in are westerns, horror, or anything with a punk flavor.

Outside of my work, I’m a huge tabletop gaming fan and I spend a lot of time looking for treasures at flea markets.

Lilly Rogers

Lilly Higgs

Hi! I’m Lilly. I’m an illustrator, comic artist, and embroiderer living in Louisville, KY with my three cats, Noodle, Peanut, and Soy (together they make pad thai.) I’m KCU’s social media wrangler, and you can find me lurking on our Twitter and Instagram!

I grew up primarily with shoujo manga like Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Angelic Layer, which gave me a huge appreciation for soft shapes and delicate lines. I love how motion can be captured in still images and emotions in panel beats!

I still love shoujo-styled fantasy stories, like Namesake and Witch Hat Atelier. When I’m not drawing, I’m an embroiderer and use embroidery to create illustrations!

You must be 18 years or older to join Kids Comics Unite. Click here to view our privacy policy.