Meet our teachers

All our teachers are working cartoonists, illustrators, or artists dedicated to helping students tell their stories.


Tom Hart is the New York Times Bestselling author of Rosalie Lightning and the Executive Director of The Sequential Artists Workshop. He was an early recipient of a Xeric Grant for self-publishing cartoonists, and has been on many best-of lists in the Comics Journal and other comix publications. Tom has been called “one of the great underrated cartoonists of our time” by Eddie Campbell and “one of my favorite cartoonists of the decade” by Scott McCloud. Before founding SAW, Tom was a core instructor at the School of Visual Arts in NYC for 10 years. Tom’s former students include award winning-cartoonists Dash Shaw, Sarah Glidden, Box Brown, Leslie Stein, and many others.  

Keep the Students Inspired

Tom views his role as Keeping the Students Inspired. Inspiration can mean finding faith in their voice, understanding and motivation with the medium, confidence in their goals.

In our year-long program, Tom teaches comics storytelling and practice. His online courses include Comics for Writers, Storytelling Flow, Comics Memoir, and Going in for the Snakes, a course about making visceral, powerful comics. 

Photo Credit: Haley Stracher

Photo Credit: Haley Stracher

Justine Mara Andersen continues the tradition of comics mentorship after learning from top names in the industry, including luminaries P. Craig Russell (Elric, Sandman), Val Mayerik (Punisher, Conan), Frank Thorne (Red Sonja), and Jeffrey Catherine Jones. Justine has worked as an inker and illustrator for DC Comics, Image Comics, Wizards of the Coast, Lucasfilm, and others. She struck out on her own to create the long-running series Mara, Celtic Shamaness for Fantagraphics.

Help the Students Surpass their Limits

Justine views her role as Help the Students Surpass their Limits. She thinks that too often we set our goals too low, and are capable of much more than we think. It just takes training to see the higher goals and practice to reach them. And in the end, being capable of more gives us a broader range of expression.

In our year-long program, Justine teaches illustration, drawing, and inking techniques. Justine’s online courses are Depth and Details, Inking One: Learn It, Inking Two: Nail it and the ongoing course about motivation and inspiration, Dancing the Panther.


Leela Corman is an illustrator, and award-winning graphic novelist. She self-published three issues of her minicomic, Flimflam, before winning a 1999 Xeric Grant to publish her first graphic novel, Queen’s Day. Her latest graphic novel, Unterzakhn, has been nominated for the L.A. Times Book Award, the Eisner Award, and Le Prix Artemisia. Unterzakhn has been translated into French, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, and Italian, and won the Best Anglo-American comic at the Rome Festival. She is a contributor to  Nautilus Magazine, The Nib, Tablet Magazine, Symbolia, and The OC Weekly. She has illustrated books on topics that range from urban gardening to the history of the skirt. Her editorial clients include PBS, the New York Times, and BUST Magazine. Leela is represented by Wales Literary Agency.

In our year-long program, Leela teaches optional courses in emotional storytelling.


Sidney Davidson is an illustrator based in Gainesville, FL. He has a BFA in Sequential Art and MFA in Illustration from Savannah College of  Art and Design. His editorial work has appeared in The Boston Globe, High Country News, and The Iguana. Sidney has rigorously and analytically studied drawing, inking techniques, and composition for 12 years. He has a strategic solution-oriented approach to drawing, illustration, and storytelling challenges.
Sidney teaches analytical drawing techniques in our evening program and is a guest teacher in the Comics Intensive.  

Photo Credit: Dani Aron Schiavone

Photo Credit: Dani Aron Schiavone


Jess Ruliffson is an award-winning cartoonist who has lectured and taught workshops at The School of Visual Arts, The Drawing Center, and The Center for Cartoon Studies. In 2017, her work was shortlisted for Slate's Cartoonist Studio Prize. Clients include Pantheon Books, BuzzFeed, Freeman's, The Boston Globe, The Gainesville Sun, The Oxford American, and Wilson Quarterly. Her forthcoming graphic novel, Where Eden Once Stood (Fantagraphics), collects interviews with veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Jess currently teaches the online courses Painting in Gouache and Non-Fiction Comics.

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Sheila Bishop has an MFA in theater studies and has taught theater, movement, playwriting, public speaking and more in Gainesville for 15 years. She has been running the fabulous “Storytelling on the Stage and Page” workshops at SAW for 6 years.