Kelsey Wroten is a cartoonist with a passionate voice and distinctive style of illustration. She self-publishes her work in Jukebox Comics, which she makes available for free download in PDF form from her website.
In 2010, she was selected as one of twelve Illustrators of the Future, and her work was featured in the anthology Writers of the Future, Volume 26.
She is currently a nominee for a 2011 ACP Cartooning Award in the category of Best Comic Panel/Strip. Her comic strip Sarcastic Animals appears in the The Campus Ledger, the student paper of Johnson County Community College. The results of the competition will be announced at the 90th Annual ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in Orlando on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011.
Wroten was born in Oklahoma, and lived in Texas while her father was in the Air Force. Her family settled in Kansas where she graduated from Gardner Edgerton High School.
While she’s achieved early acclaim for her work in illustration and comics strips, she’s most interested in long-form comics. “I prefer longer comics to strips, as I want to cover a topic completely,” Wroten says.
Wroten’s stories don’t shy away from strong emotions and sexuality, sometimes based on her own experiences. “I write about what I think is important,” she said. “Sometimes it’s more nonfiction, other times everything is made up. I’m not going to censor my thoughts just in case someone will be offended. People will read them because they deal with real feelings, not edited feelings.” Then she adds with a laugh, “My mom won’t read them.”
Her work is heavily influenced by cartoonist Daniel Clowes (Eightball, Ghost World), whose stories feature oddball outcasts and surrealist elements. “I also really like Ariel Schrag. I think my content reflects the two,” Wroten said. “Schrag deals more with the close to home, emotional, details of her personal life, as she primarily does autobiographical comics.”
Wroten also often includes cats in her work, probably due to the influence of her own feline companion. “My cat’s mere existence is incredible. She’s 13 years old and shaved. When she meows it sounds like a screen door in the wind. She loves hanging out in my basement, so she has cobwebs all over her constantly. It’s actually a really fitting look for her. She is my angel,” Wroten said.
As she looks the future, Wroten is open to multiple possibilities. “As far as goals go, I’d like my comics to be read and enjoyed by all who wish to, and to continue to work on them and get better until maybe one day I’ll get paid to do them. Fingers crossed!”
- 2009 — Silver Medal, Scholastic Art and Writing Awards
- 2009 — Gardner Edgerton High School Prom, nominated for Prom Queen
- 2010 — L. Ron Hubbard’s Illustrators of the Future winner, featured illustration in Writers of the Future, Volume 26
- 2011 — ACP Cartooning Awards; nominated for Best Comic Panel/Strip for Sarcastic Animals in The Campus Ledger