The Metro Pulse Comics Extravaganza

Delete-O-Brain (View Delete-O-Brain, by Tina Inge Bentrup)

Tina Inge Bentrup is a native Knoxvillian who's been drawing comics since she was in the third grade at Sequoyah Elementary School. For the past 17 years, she has worked in the Interlibrary Loan Department at Hodges Library at the University of Tennessee. Using her experiences there, she created Delete-O-Brain, a comic strip that ran in the Daily Beacon in 1999. Why the name Delete-O-Brain? "The character in question has only one hair, but it is in the shape of an editorial delete mark," she says. "Whatever that old gal has inside her head has been consigned to oblivion."

Dr. Moon Rat (View Dr. Moon Rat, by Jamison Stalsworth)

Jamison Stalsworth faxed us one of his comics with a plea to love it. With their gothic overtones, his comics radiate a Charles Addams vibe. He also attended the local Community School of the Arts program. And that's everything we know.

Jason Calzadilla (View Jason's work)

Jason Calzadilla is 23 years old and was born and raised in Knoxville. After attending Farragut High School, he enrolled at Pellissippi State Technical Community College with a major in graphic design. "My comics are inspired by anything and everything," he says. "I take a random idea, anything I think could be funny, and try to create the most humorous comic I can from it."

The Weekly Cheese (View The Weekly Cheese, by Jack Evans)

Jack Evans is a native Texan and a crack shot who learned to drive a Jeep before he learned to ride a bike; he is also an unofficial-world-record-holding big-game hunter and a military history buff. He moved to East Tennessee in 2004 and, while in elementary school, founded Sequoyah Pugmasters, a social club for area pugs, including his own, Kudzu. He first started publishing his own illustrated magazine, The Weekly Cheese, while in the sixth grade. It became an immediate success, selling several advertisements and more than one subscription.

Canfield (View Canfield, by Elizabeth Bricquet)

Elizabeth Briquet was born and raised in East Tennessee and was a cartoon/comics fan and aspiring artist seemingly from birth. She attended Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga., and then, not yet afraid of drastic change, became a police officer in Charlotte, N.C. But even there, cartooning reared its ugly head, and she produced a comic book for the department and still denies knowledge of any and all "unofficial" cartoons that ended up in various roll calls and patrol cars along the way. After moving back to East Tennessee, she began editorial cartooning (in Metro Pulse) and illustrating full time.

Saturday Bulletin (View Saturday Bulletin, by Jerry Tracy)

Jerry Tracy is a native Tennessean who's been living in Knoxville for about 26 years. He graduated from the University of Tennessee and took a lot of fine arts classes. The Saturday Bulletin was produced in cooperation with Chris Echols (of Sharpish fame). "He designed the site and I supplied the panels," Tracy says. "I take clip art that I bought years ago and add the funny (hopefully) captions. I've been a fan of comics and humor since I was a child. This is my first attempt at a web comic and to my surprise it's been modestly successful. I work full time and the Saturday Bulletin is something I do in what little spare time I can make."

Chris Rogers (View Chris Rogers' work)

Native Knoxvillian Chris Rogers says he got into art at a very young age, and started playing bass guitar at 16. While playing in bands from 1994-2006, he would get ideas (funny ones); this year, he decided to put all those ideas from over the years on paper. He started a MySpace page with a daily blog that includes a comic and the story behind it. "Everything inspires me," Rogers says. "If I see it or hear it, I just look for something funy about it. I love to take different topics and apply them to pop-culture icons like movies, TV shows and music.

Maakies (View Maakies, by Tony Millionaire)

Tony Millionaire was born in 1956 and raised in Gloucester, Mass. In 1974, he enrolled in the Massachusetts College of Art. After college, he says, "I learned that holding down a regular job just wasn't going to ever happen for me, so I started knocking on doors and asking rich people if they wanted a pen-and-ink drawing of their house for a hundred bucks. This went pretty well, I managed to earn enough doing that to stay drunk until I was almost 40, then the despair and horror of it all caught up with me, so I decided I better do something to give myself a little bit of honor. Cartooning saved the day." His comic strip Maakies is currently being adapted to the small screen in the format of The Drinky Crow Show for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming, to premiere this winter.

Dirtfarm (View Dirtfarm, by Ben Claassen III)

Ben Claassen III is a comics artist and illustrator originally from New Orleans, who frequently works with non-traditional media such as stencils, long exposure photography, and the use of stop-motion animation via a Game Boy Camera. He is best known for his illustrations in Wil Wheaton's first book, Dancing Barefoot, and for his weekly comic strip, Dirtfarm. Dirtfarm runs in several alternative weekly publications, including Washington City Paper, Baltimore City Paper, and the Chicago Reader. In addition to his other work, Claassen helps maintain, a community for "displaced and disaffected Southern artists, animators, writers and wage slaves."

Mr. Wiggles (View Mr. Wiggles, by Neil Swaab)

Neil Swaab is a freelance illustrator and book designer whose clients include HarperCollins, The Utne Reader, The Village Voice, Storage Magazine, Plenty Magazine, and a ton of alt-weekly papers and other trade publications. He is also the illustrator of Yet Another NASTYbook by Barry Yourgrau. In addition, Neil is an instructor at Parsons, the New School for Design, where he teaches in the illustration department.

No-Town (View No-Town, by Tom O'Donnell)

Tom O'Donnell was born in Bristol, Tenn., and raised in Southwest Virginia. He learned to draw as a natural response to living in the middle of nowhere and having no friends. Tom attended Yale University and majored in something almost completely unrelated to drawing comics. He currently resides in Brooklyn. His comics have appeared in The Village Voice, the New York Press, the Orlando Weekly, and the New Haven Advocate.