From Putting on Pants to Space Squids: Hannah Stephey Joins the Billboard

Hannah Stephey
Hannah Stephey

What good is a newspaper without the comics? Sure, world and local news is important and interesting, but honestly reflect on what part of the paper you read as you eat your breakfast cereal. Comics are integral to the newspaper experience.

Starting in this issue, the Billboard will feature local freelance illustrator Hannah Stephey as our own signature cartoonist. Starting in October’s issue, Stephey will be producing three serial comic strips for each print edition and additional content for Billboard Online.

“Everything is Awesome” involves a variety of topics and themes, “Captain Corgi” follows the adorable adventures of a Corgi as he travels through space and “Samantha Deadly” is about, as she puts it, “the misadventures of a frazzled student as she tackles obstacles like putting on pants, successfully interacting with boys and other seemingly-impossible tasks for the average college female.”

Stephey graduated with a degree in illustration and design from Kutztown University in Kutztown, Pennsylvania last year. As a recent college graduate, she hopes to share in the understanding of typical college students’ daily problems. Her style relates to early adulthood in ways that many mainstream comics usually cannot, and she celebrates her individualism.

“As a lazy, cynical 20-something female, I feel that my demographic is under-represented in the comic industry,” says Stephey. “I want to bring something fresh to the table.”

In her formative years, Stephey was influenced heavily by the work of animator Genndy Tartakovsky. Most young adults are familiar with his work on 90’s and 2000’s cartoon series such as Dexter’s Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack and The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. Recent favorites include Kazu Kibuishi’s Flight, the work of Jhonen Vasquez and Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series.

Stephey is an active part of Chambersburg’s art scene. On the first Friday of each month, local artists and craft-makers line the streets of downtown, just a short walk from campus. “First Fridays,” as they have been called, are great times to check out Hannah’s other works. Highlights include her Fresh Pugs series, nerdy greeting cards and custom jewelry among others.

The inclusion of an original comics section in the Billboard is big news, as the section will prompt more of the Wilson community to be excited about picking up a copy of the paper. With reader support, Hannah will continue to be part of the monthly experience, so be sure to let us know if you love her work as much as we do though our online poll.

Stephey and the staff are excited to bring a new experience to the campus, so strap on your space-suit, put on some pants (or at least try) and be sure to check out the entertainment section of this issue of the Billboard!

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