March 2015

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March 2015

Conference & Stage Expo

Q2Q Comics Author Joins Book Signing Lineup

Janet Gramza Communications Associate

Steve Younkins, sound designer and creator of Q2Q Comics, will be on hand to sign prints and do sketches from his popular theatre tech comic strip at the 55th Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Steve, or “Steeeeeeb,” as he goes by on Twitter, is famous in the backstage universe for his webcomic – its techie characters, T-shirt-worthy slogans (like “It’s Tech Week Somewhere!”), and his hilarious “Anatomy of” drawings of a stage manager, lighting designer, sound designer, director, tech director, and costume designer.

Individual “Anatomy of” prints exclusive to USITT will be sold for $8 each at the Conference & Stage Expo store, and three different Q2Q T-shirts will be available for $20 each. Mr. Younkins’s Member Author session will be 4 p.m. Friday, March 20, at Stage Expo.

His is one of 11 member author events planned for the Conference, including book-signings by USITT 2015 Distinguished Achiever in Scene Design Douglas W. Schmidt and the authors of the new book, The Designs of Douglas W. Schmidt, Annie and Barry Cleveland. 2015 Golden Pen Award author Christin Essin will be there with her book, Stage Designers in Early Twentieth Century America: Artists, Activists, Cultural Critics.

Mr. Younkins said the Conference will be his first appearance showcasing Q2Q Comics since he launched it a year ago. “I am incredibly excited to be able to engage with the exact people the strip is written for!” he said.

He is a company member and sound designer with the Maryland Ensemble Theater in Frederick, Maryland, and a sound designer and mentor at Hood College. He earned a BA in writing from Hood in 2011, and is now a grad student there studying modernism and narrative in the humanities department.

A cartoonist since high school, he started making webcomics in 2007, and currently has two other strips, Circ Jockeys and Doomsday Sandwiches online. He didn’t study theatre in college, but “that was where I got involved,” he said. “A friend asked me to do sound for a production of Vampire Lesbians of Sodom that she was directing, and I’ve worked on every production I could since then.”

“The idea to make a theatre comic came from my roommate, a technical director and avid webcomics reader, who was lamenting the lack of theatre webcomics,” he added. “So I drew up a few characters, and we all chuckled at them, and it’s sort of exploded from there.”

One of the characters, Sound Designer Steve Austin, is based on the author. His “Anatomy” includes “Brain, for knowing exactly which version of ‘that cello song’ you meant” and “Mouth, for imitating spooky wind noises.”

The real Steve posts new Q2Q comics at each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which, said Executive Director David Grindle, “makes him our only Member Author who writes a new book three times a week.”

All the Member Author signings will be in the 600 Aisle of Stage Expo near the Fellows Nexus booth. Here’s the schedule:

Thursday, March 19
11:00 a.m. William J. Byrnes, Management and the Arts, 5th Edition
11:30 a.m. Richard Cadena, Electricity for the Entertainment Electrician & Technician, 2nd Edition
Noon Delbert L. Hall, Rigging Math Made Simple, 3rd Edition
4:00 p.m. Eric Fielding & Peter McKinnon, World Scenography 1990-2005
4:30 p.m. Robert Lewis Smith, Theatre: Its Nature, Its Variety, Its Development
5:00 p.m. Lynne Porter, Unmasking Theatre Design: A Designer’s Guide to Finding Inspiration and Cultivating Creativity
Friday, March 20
11:30 a.m. Christin Essin, Stage Designers in Early Twentieth Century America: Artists, Activists, Cultural Critics -- Winner of the 2015 USITT Golden Pen Award
Noon M. Barrett Cleveland and Annie O. Cleveland, with Douglas W. Schmidt, The Designs of Douglas W. Schmidt
4:00 p.m. Steve Younkins, Q2Q Comics
5:00 p.m. Anne E. McMills, The Assistant Lighting Designer’s Toolkit
Saturday, March 21
10:00 a.m. Bill Sapsis, Entertainment Rigging for the 21st Century