Illustrator, co-publisher of award-winning ‘March’ to speak

Retired Minn. justice, instructor also highlight Speak Up & Speak Out Feb. 9

February 1, 2017

Artwork for Speak Up & Speak Out to be held Feb. 9 at UW-Stout was created by UW-Stout entertainment design majors.

Two key figures from the national award-winning and No. 1 New York Times best-selling graphic novel trilogy “March” will speak Thursday, Feb. 9, at University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Artist Nate Powell, who illustrated the comic memoirs of civil rights leader and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, and Top Shelf Productions co-publisher Chris Staros will be joined by Paul H. Anderson, retired Minnesota Supreme Court justice, and Jim Handley, a UW-Stout peace studies instructor.

The event, Speak Up & Speak Out, is free and open to the public. It is part of Black History Month at UW-Stout.

Nate PowellExcept for the first speaker, the program will be held at the Great Hall in the Memorial Student Center. The schedule is:

  • Anderson, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Harvey Hall Theatre, discussing how “American sovereignty resides with the people” and their obligation to “exercise this sovereignty carefully.” Anderson served on Minnesota’s high court from 1994 until retiring in 2013.
  • Book sale and event reception, 5:30 to 6:20 p.m.
  • Handley, 6:20 to 6:35 p.m., “John Lewis: Life of Action.” The talk will explore the life and work of Lewis and how UW-Stout students are using his model to guide work for social justice. Handley is a certified Kingian Nonviolence trainer.
  • Powell and Staros, 6:35 to 8 p.m., discussing “March 1, “March 2” and “March 3.” Their talk will be followed by a book signing from 8 to 9 p.m.

The “March” books have won numerous awards, and “March 3” won the 2016 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

The three volumes of ‘March’ aren’t just a record of Lewis’s activism but one of its brilliant examples, designed to help new generations of readers visualize the possibilities of political engagement,” the New York Times said.

A documentary biography on Lewis, “Get in the Way,” is scheduled to premiere Friday, Feb. 10, on PBS as part of Black History Month.

The third “March” book is the first comic to have been honored with the National Book Award and so is considered a landmark work of comics literature.

Students in comics and sequential art, led by Assistant Professor Ursula Murray Husted, created the event poster for Speak Up & Speak Out, which features artwork by Powell. The poster project was led by Andrew Wieland, of Menomonie, a senior in entertainment design.

UW-Stout’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in entertainment design includes the concentration in comics and sequential art. Several professors from the university’s School of Art and Design have had comics and graphic novels published nationally.

Husted’s efforts helped bring Powell and Staros to UW-Stout. They also will speak in Husted’s comics class Thursday, Feb. 10.

Speak Up & Speak Out is sponsored by six UW-Stout groups: Comic Creators club, entertainment design program, Diversity Bridge Team, Honors College, Nakatani Teaching and Learning Center and the College of Arts, Communications, Humanities and Social Sciences.



Top: The poster for Speak Up & Speak Out to be held Feb. 9 at UW-Stout features artwork by “March” illustrator Nate Powell.

Bottom: Nate Powell