The Richmond Indie Comic Expo, or RICE, an independent comic book convention hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University School of Arts students, on Sunday drew comic book fans from VCU and Richmond to the James Branch Cabell Library.
The convention featured artwork, comics and more for sale by VCU alumni, students and local comic book creators, as well as panel discussions and presentations on a variety of topics related to the comic arts.
Among the panels there was a presentation by Maggie Colangelo, majoring in Communication Arts and Environmental Studies, and Bernard Means, Ph.D., assistant professor of anthropology in the School of World Studies in the College of Humanities and Sciences, about their comic strip âFounding Monstersâ which tells the story of the Founding Fathers’ obsession with giant ice age animals.
A round table brought together several creators of comics including Bijan Khodabandeh, Assistant Professor at the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture, College of Humanities and Sciences. Khodabandeh is a designer, illustrator, artist and activist who was the artist of the graphic novel “The Day the Klan Came to Town”, written by Bill Campbell.
Campbell, who runs Rosarium Publishing, also spoke on a panel with Chris Pitzer from AdHouse Books, on how to publish comics. Another panel, âSo You Want to Make Webcomicsâ, featured Scott Wegener, co-creator and artist of âAtomic Roboâ.
RICE’s mission is to share the joy of comics, promote local artists and VCUarts alumni, and enrich Richmond’s thriving arts community year after year. As a student-run organization, RICE is also dedicated to giving special importance to VCUarts alumni and their work, while encouraging current students to get involved in the wider comic book community.
Sunday’s event was the second exhibition to be held at Cabell, the first having taken place in 2019. VCU photographer Kevin Morley was on campus to capture scenes from the event: