Betsy Gomez came to comics later than most people, but she made up for lost time. When most of her fellow college kids were hiding their drinking habits from their parents, she was hiding a stash of comics in her closet. After giving her mother a copy of Preacher Vol. 1 and showing her father some Sin City pinups, her parents decided that Betsy probably didn’t need an intervention. Not long after discovering comics, she discovered the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. She has been volunteering at conventions and events since 1998, which makes her a pretty familiar face in these parts.
When she isn’t busy defending comics from the forces of evil, Betsy can be found herding poets as the organizer of one of the longest-running spoken word events on the West Coast, the Berkeley Poetry Slam in Berkeley, California. She spends her time alternately embracing, denying, or decrying her sordid past as a science textbook editor, freelance writer, and a marketing and PR coordinator. If you meet her at the booth and find yourself tired of talking about funny books, ask her about science. She probably knows something interesting.
Christine Hart is a musician and web developer and designer living in Brooklyn, NY. She has a three legged cat and really likes the internet. Her band, Partners in Stars (previously Macaque), “exuded charm and style” says Impose Magazine and will be releasing Every FAIL is an Eventual WIN, their full length album this summer. Their Chinatown EP is available for download from iTunes.
Mark Bousquet is the Assistant Director of Core Writing at the University of Nevada, Reno. He earned his PhD in American Studies from Purdue University in December 2011, with a concentration in 19th-century American Environmental Literature and History. His dissertation, “Around the World in a Blubber Hunter: Nineteenth-Century American Whaling Narratives” examines the works of Reverend Henry Theodore Cheever, J. Ross Browne, and Horace Holden. Additionally, Mark has published several novels and short story collections, including the children’s book, Adventures of the Five: The Coming of Frost, the cosmic pulp adventure Harpsichord and the Wormhole Witches, and the supernatural western series, Gunfighter Gothic. Details on his creative works, as well as the 700+ movie and television reviews he has written, can be found at his website, Atomic Anxiety: http://atomicanxiety.
Soyini A. Hamit
Soyini A. Hamit graduated from the University of California, Riverside in 2003 with a B.S. in biochemistry. She began working for National Genetics Institute in 2006 with the goal of becoming a researcher in the pharmaceutical industry. In 2010, however, her love of comics and writing led her to the Comic Book Law School® panel at WonderCon. She left the panel convinced that it was time to leave her career and go to law school. Now, Soyini is a 2015 J.D. candidate at Phoenix School of Law. While interested in Intellectual Property and Patent Law, she also wants to serve the comics community as an attorney.
Check out Soyini’s blog at http://soyinianika.com for a peek into the life of a law student, writer, and runner.
Joe Izenman is a systems administrator, musician, freelance writer, and about seven and a half other kinds of nerd in Tacoma, Washington. He used to cover community theatre, local music and the occasional comic book event for a local newspaper, but writing for the CBLDF is way cooler. He rides his bike everywhere, writes songs every once in a while, helps RPG creators with math, and pretty much never posts to his blog. He gave everyone at his wedding CBLDF info cards and made a donation instead of giving away party favors, because this stuff is worth it.
Rick Marshall is an attorney who is currently finishing work on a legal master’s degree in Intellectual Property Law at the George Washington University Law School. His main areas of legal interest are Copyright Law, Digital Copyright Law, and issues surrounding digital content regulation. He’s been a fan of comics since he was old enough to read and is happy to help the CBLDF shed light on the First Amendment issues that affect creators, publishers, retailers, and fellow fans, worldwide.
Joe Sergi is a life-long comic fan who writes on the history of comics and censorship for the site. Joe lives outside of Washington, DC with his wife and daughter. Joe is an attorney and a Haller Award winning author who has written articles, novels, short stories, and comic books in the horror, scifi, and young adult genres. His first novel, Sky Girl and the Superheroic Legacy was selected Best of 2010 by the New PODler Review. A complete list of Joe’s titles is available at www.JoeSergi.net. When not writing, Joe works as a Senior Litigation Counsel in an unnamed US government agency and is a member of the adjunct faculty at George Mason University School of Law.
Maren Williams is an academic reference librarian with a firm commitment to intellectual freedom for all. She became interested in censorship aimed particularly at comics and graphic novels after the anthology Stuck in the Middle: 17 Comics from an Unpleasant Age was challenged and moved to a restricted library section in her own former middle school, with total disregard for the school district’s own policy.
Her wide-ranging interests include reading (of course), 17th century French fairy tales, movies of quality, medical history, pet rescue, and spay/neuter advocacy. She lives in Louisiana with an exuberant terrier mix of unknown parentage.