Patrick Lay (he/him) is a cartoonist from Northwest Ohio. He gets just as excited about sad things as he does about happy things (imagine a Golden Retriever raised by cats). His comics are teen and all-ages stories about our relationships with each other and the ups and downs of a wild world. He earned a B.S.F.A in Oil Painting from Valparaiso University and recently earned an MFA in Comics from the California College of the Arts. He is co-creator and artist of the all-ages adventure Multi-, which saw the fourth issue released in April of 2018. He also released the mini-comic Dance and has contributed to the anthology Vagabond Comics. Patrick is currently working on his first webcomic, Screaming Mimi Kids, which updates every Sunday, and a graphic novel, Ramble.
He also works as a freelance designer, creating album covers, book covers, restaurant menus, and more. His day gig for almost a decade has been in management at a restaurant and banquet facility. He's currently looking to join an organization as an educator or in the kids' publishing field!
Drop him a line!
Comics, as a visual language, speak broadly. I use that broadness to explore questions I’ve asked myself over and over as I’ve aged. What are our responsibilities to others? How do our relationships change us? Is there a difference between ‘natural’ and ‘man-made’? Narrative is an excellent vehicle for projecting ourselves into situations, bodies, or experiences that prompt those questions, but I also hope to provide a context for the inverse experience: inviting the narrative into our actual lives—to tell different stories about our reality. My characters have deep flaws and those persistent questions I spoke of show them a reality that enforces those flaws. Through the narrative, they discover different answers to the same questions and come to different beliefs about themselves.
The density of narrative information in comics creates the space for that examination. Each work of comics is a full artistic series: images examined again and again, communicating contextually and involving an active viewer in order to complete the experience. The sooner readers are introduced to the devices of comics, the more sophisticated their understanding of the medium’s potential becomes. My work focuses on middle grade and young adult audiences with the aim of providing an accessible but complex experience, one that expands with the reader over time. Often, the books we’ve read the most are the books we read when we were young.
A re-examining of a comics text mirrors the act of reading the text—each re-reading creating context to which the themes of the work interact; themes that may provide different answers to the same questions as the reader changes. It is my hope that each reading of my work reveals a different character as the hero, provides different sympathies for the difficult characters, and ultimately leaves a sense that life is complicated and unclear and in that we are not alone.
I have asked myself the same questions again and again as I have grown and I try to include them in my work with the same mix of confusion and certainty that I experience. I have the overwhelming sense that the answers are important, but also a certain belief that I will never know them. I hope that by reading the work, immersing into the images, inviting the narrative into your life, that the reader and I may share in the questioning.
I love exploring personal narratives: the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Whether you describe those stories as core beliefs or automatic thoughts, as cognitive behavior therapy suggests, they have a powerful impact on our decisions and actions. In my comics, characters confront and re-evaluate their personal narratives, modeling a process of growth that can be painful, de-stabilizing and difficult, but very healthy and often necessary to create better relationships with others and self. This evaluation often circles around the concepts of personal responsibility, familial connection, and moral re-evaluation. I’m also deeply interested in the concepts of Humanist and Existential philosophy, and my characters are engaged with re-defining their morality in a godless world and choosing the meaningful projects of their lives.
Depicting this process of re-evaluation in children’s and teen’s fiction can provide a framework as they begin that process themselves, and my aim is to create a text that readers can revisit as they grow. Comics are an excellent vehicle for that exploration, as the medium requires an active mind from the reader, interpreting the relationships between images and words, and creating narrative connections. That mental activation allows the story to be narrated in the readers’ own voice and intuitive logical framework for the reader. Comics are particularly adept at allowing a reader’s cognitive framework and ability level interpret the work.
California College of the Arts, Master of Fine Arts in Comics, 2017
Valparaiso University, Bachelor of Science in Fine Arts, 2009
Publications as Author
“Hot Air Balloon”, Patrick Lay, Self-published (planned)
“Cough” in Vagabond Comics Issue #9, Vagabond Comics Collective
“Screaming Mimi Kids”, Patrick Lay, Self-published (On-going webcomic) http://plutarian2/tumblr.com
“Who ya’ Gonna Call? Pt. 2”, Multi-, Nick Dutro, Patrick Lay, Self-published
“Who ya’ Gonna Call?”, Multi-, Nick Dutro, Patrick Lay, Self-published
“Ramble”, Patrick Lay, Self-published
“Screaming Mimi Kids”, Patrick Lay, Self-Published
“First Day” in Vagabond Comics Issue #4, Vagabond Comics Collective
“Dance”, Mini-Comic, Self-published
“Kids on the Run pt. 1”, Multi-, Nick Dutro, Patrick Lay, Self-published
“Kids on the Run pt. 2”, Multi-, Nick Dutro, Patrick Lay, Self-published
Visiting Artist Presentations
| 2018 Workshop, K-5th Grade, Discovery School, Mansfield, OH
Career Summary, Freshmen, Thunder Mountain School, Juneau, AK
Workshop, 3rd Grade, Mendenhall River School, Juneau, AK
| 2017 “Comics are for Everyone”, Fandemonium Youth Group, Ashland Public Library, Ashland, OH
| 2016 “Comics in Form and Education”, Regular Board Meeting, Tiffin Art Guild, Tiffin, OH
| 2015 “Comics are for Everyone”, 6-8 grade with learning and cognitive disabilities, Tiffin Middle School, Tiffin, OH
| 2019 DiNK, April 13-14, Denver, CO
Alaska Robotics Mini-Con and Comics Camp, April 25-30, Juneau, AK (planned)
CAKE, June 1-2, Chicago, IL (planned)
A2CAF, June 15-16, Ann Arbor, MI (planned)
| 2018 Alaska Robotics Mini-Con and Comics Camp, April 27-May 1, Juneau, AK
Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, September 29-30, Columbus, OH
St. Louis Small Press Expo, October 13, St. Louis, MO
| 2017 Genghis Con, November 25, Cleveland, OH
Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, September 30-October 1, Columbus, OH
S.P.A.C.E, March 25-26, Columbus, OH
| 2016 Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, October 15-16, Columbus, OH
S.P.A.C.E. , April 9-10, Columbus, OH
| 2016 Emanata, group exhibition, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
| 2013 Sustainability, group exhibition, The Diane Kidd Gallery, Tiffin University, Tiffin, OH
| 2009 Bachelor’s Degree in the Science of Fine Arts Exhibition, group exhibition, Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN
Selected Work Experience
|Camden Falls Conference and Reception Center and Carmie’s BBQ & Grill, Tiffin, OH
August 2016-Present Operations Manager
Oversee front-of-house operations.
Generate orders and maintain inventory for beverages and dry stock.
Provide guidance and discipline to kitchen managers.
Create and implement marketing strategies.
November 2013- August 2016 Shift Manager
Supervise front-of-house staff and execute events.
October 2010-November 2013 Restaurant Manager
Personally oversee operations of the restaurant at least 55 hours per week.
Create and implement internal and external marketing strategies.
Create designed pieces for marketing, internal, and promotional uses.
Oversee all front-of-house staff, including hiring, disciplining, supervising, and terminating.
Generate all orders and monitor inventory of beverages and dry stock for banquet events and restaurant.
| WTSC- SenecaCountyRadio.com, Tiffin, OH
November 2013-June 2016 News Director and Sales Representative
Write, deliver, and/or record news broadcasts, including original content for on-air play.
Attend and report on city council and school board meetings.
Create podcast-style content for on-air and online play.
Sell sponsorship and advertising opportunities.