Graphic Lives: A Conversation about Drawing Identities

Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Join International School of Brooklyn for an evening of conversation with four trailblazing artists, cartoonists, and illustrators, Barbara Brandon-Croft, Lauren Redniss, Alessandra Olanow, and Emily Flake, who are shaping narratives through their work in the field of graphic storytelling.

Moderated by author and curator, Dan NadelGraphic Lives will delve into the intricate paths of the artists’ inspirations, creative and research processes, and perspectives on the changing landscape of comics and graphic novels.

Additionally, the discussion will explore the invaluable role of graphic novels in children’s development, unraveling the profound significance of visual storytelling in shaping young minds and fostering a love for reading.


General admission is $35 ($45 at the door). A special student rate of $20 is available to students (with ID), ISB faculty, and ISB alumni.

In addition, a limited number of premium tickets are available at the following levels:

Bibliophile Ticket ($100) Includes a print from the panelist of your choice and a $45 tax-deductible donation to the Fund for Excellence

Collector Ticket ($250) Includes a set of four prints from the panelists and a $135 tax-deductible donation to the Fund for Excellence


A book signing and wine and cheese reception will follow the discussion. Books will be available for purchase from independent bookstore Lofty Pigeon Books. This event is 14+ and open to the public. It is hosted by the ISB Library Committee and Advancement Office and presented with BRIC and Society of Illustrators. All proceeds from this event will support ISB’s Fund for Excellence.

Signed limited edition 13X19 prints on archival paper are available with the purchase of premium tickets.

Barbara Brandon-Croft

Barbara Brandon-Croft became the first nationally syndicated Black woman cartoonist to cross the color line into the mainstream press in 1989 with her cartoon feature Where I’m Coming From. Last year, Drawn + Quarterly published a compilation of selected strips and the story of her career.

Emily Flake

Emily Flake is a cartoonist for the New Yorker, a writer, and a performer. She wrote on Steven Soderbergh’s recently-released Command Z series, and her essays and illustrations appear in publications all over the world. She is the author of several books, most recently Joke in a Box: How to Write and Draw Jokes. She is the founder of the St. Nell’s Humor Writing Residency in Williamsport.

Alessandra Olanow

Alessandra Olanow is an author and illustrator of the bestselling book I Used to Have a Plan. She is a practicing end-of-life doula and the creator of A.OK, a line of healing body oils. Alessandra shares her artwork on Instagram at @aolanow. An ISB parent, she lives in Brooklyn with her daughter Coco.

Lauren Redniss

Lauren Redniss is a Brooklyn-based author and artist. Her book Thunder & Lightning won the 2016 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Her Radioactive was a finalist for the 2011 National Book Award and was adapted as a major motion picture. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” and has been a Guggenheim fellow, a fellow at the NY Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars & Writers, the New America Foundation, and Artist-in-Residence at the American Museum of Natural History.

Moderator Dan Nadel

Moderator Dan Nadel is Curator-at-Large for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. His biography of Robert Crumb will be published in 2025 by Scribner. A frequent writer on art and cartooning for books and magazines internationally, Nadel has curated exhibitions for institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He is an ISB parent and lives in Brooklyn.

Fund for Excellence

Proceeds from the event support ISB’s Fund for Excellence. This annual campaign provides immediate, unrestricted funds for learning opportunities that are not covered by tuition fees alone—transformative experiences like author visits, field trips, and teacher development.

You can make a gift online at any time. All donations are 100% tax deductible and qualify for corporate matching gift programs, so be sure to check with your Human Resources department. It’s an easy way to make an even greater impact with your generosity.

For further information, please email or call 718.369.3023. Thank you for supporting ISB!