"The last project to present was the quirkiest, the most low-fi and, in some ways, the most awkward. More because of these attributes than despite them, it proved the favorite with both audiences and judges, winning the Participants Choice Prize."
Scott Macauley, Filmmaker Magazine.
I draw comics, write non-fiction, and research media Visual storytelling brings together text, image, and motion media. I tell stories about the way that power intersects with
I am a cartoonist and media scholar (MFA, Ph.D.). I write and draw memoir and journalistic comics. Over the last two years I have finished three books, two in a graphic series titled 'Nixon and Bicycles' for MICE (Massachusetts Comics Expo) and in 2021 and received a MICE Mini-grant for my book, IAMNOTADOG about my father in hospice. I am a founding member of the Graphic Memoir Collective and I ran the Boston Comics Workspace in collaboration with Boston Comics Roundtable out of my studio from 2012 to 2018. I teach Art, Comics and Media Studies throughout Boston.
A west coast transplant, I come from a tradition of experimental and community-based art practice and have interests and experience in a broad range of interdisciplinary art practices. I am active in the local arts world, particularly in Boston’s rich comics/graphic and sequential arts community. Through the Boston Comics Roundtable, I have helped with the creation of a number of comic anthologies, and as an independent comics producer I have won a PBS hackathon for designing an app which worked inside my graphic novel, and I have received critical review for both the innovation and quality of my non-fiction books. Trained as a media scholar and having received an MFA from one of the earliest Computer Arts programs in the country, I have taught Fine Arts, Comics, and Digital Storytelling from a historical and local Boston perspective for many years. I teach the history of comics from print to film to online media, across platforms and in international contexts to understand global relationships of media, creative labor and community based art production. My work engages contemporary as well as historical issues, illustrating how politics impact our lives intimately. Currently, as an outgrowth of my comics journalism project based in visits to the Texas border https://www.heidesolbrigtheline.com/ . I am a leading member of Boston Immigrant Justice Accompaniment Network and assist in procuring legal support for immigrants in detention. Currently I am teaching one course in Mixed Media at Lesley College and one course in comics production, “Illustrating for the Graphic Novel" at MassArt.
A long-time comics fan, particularly of political, feminist and radical comix, over the last few years it has occurred to me that the formal experimentation I saw in Indie Comics worlds let me do everything I had done in personal documentary, and then some. Indie, alternative and self-published comics have a community which reminds me of the experimental film communities that originally inspired me to make media art. In response to this realization, I began making an autobiographical comic and developing my own language in graphic storytelling, one which includes documentary, archival fims, and animations. My comics production work is influenced by my involvement in The Boston Comics Roundtable where I help to produce and publish DIY comics anthologies and run The Boston Comics Workspace out of my Somerville studio. For both my intellectual and creative work, I am active in independent collaborative organizations which publish and produce accessible, alternative digital media and media education.
I am currently exploring stories about the border, immigration and American ideas of nation. Immigration is the story which will reframe our societies as we respond to environmental crisis, war, and nationalism. I am traveling to the Texas border this year to explore some of the events which are being instigated in Washington, and world of Tornillo, Texas as child detention camps are being put into place in real time. Check out the website, heidesolbritheline.com, linked in this site. In a period of dramatic political upheaval, stories which expand the mainstream narrative about conflicts humanize us and give us power.