WHAT I DO:
I draw comics
Visual storytelling brings together text, image, and
I write non-fiction
I tell stories about the way that power intersects with daily life.
I research media
I have extensively researched obscure industrial media and group psychology.
I am an interdisciplinary media artist, graphic novelist, communication scholar, documentary filmmaker and teacher.. My creative practice involves transmedia storytelling, incorporating comics, archival film, and apps. My scholarship examines social-psychological films, orphan cinema, and alternative, non-fiction comics, comics journalism and cross-platform comics media. I have taught fine arts, film and media production, media theory/communication, and new media production for over 15 years, in studio/production as well as academic contexts. I like teaching aspiring creative workers to think through the implications of civic culture, the public sphere, and democracy in the contemporary era.
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 my Facbook, Heide Solbrig: The Line. In a period of dramatic political upheaval, stories which expand the mainstream narrative about conflicts humanize us and give us power.
The graphic novel project, The Dandelion King: Love and Loss in the Gas Line, is transmedia storytelling, combining an autobiographical graphic novel, prototype for an app (with game), and short animated and archival film series. Book 1 of The Dandelion King was released in Spring of 2016, after a successful Kickstarter campaign and winning an audience award at POV Hackathon in the Fall of 2015.