August 21, 2014  

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University Forum to Feature Professional Cartoonist Stephanie Gladden Feb. 8

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Self-portrait of professional cartoonist Stephanie Gladden

A professional cartoonist who has put her talent to work for Disney TV and the Cartoon Network will be the featured presenter at the next University of Southern Mississippi University Forum.

“Cartoonist Studio: A Conversation with Stephanie Gladden” will be held Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium. Admission is free.

Raised in Hattiesburg, Gladden has been drawing professionally since 1991 when she got her start in animation working at various commercial studios in Atlanta. She also worked briefly for Disney TV on the Pepper Annseries.  

Explaining why she was inspired to pursue cartooning, Gladden says, “”Why not?  It's one of the most powerful art forms. But seriously, I have no idea why I was drawn to cartooning.  It was just meant to be.” She counts renowned cartoonists Charles Schulz, Chuck Jones, Berke Breathed, Walt Kelly and Wally Wood as some of her favorites.

Gladden started drawing comics in 1993, including for many licensed books such as The Simpsons; Ren & Stimpy;,Looney Tunes,The Powerpuff Girlsand Tom & Jerry.Her artistry has also been featured in Ottavini’s Dignifying Science, Peter Bagge’s Sweatshop, and Paul Dini’s Jingle Belle

In 1998 Gladden wrote and drew her first creator-owned comic book, Hopster’s Tracks,and in 2002 she created Cricket & Plato. For nearly 10 years she worked as a character artist for Cartoon Network, creating art for The Powerpuff Girls; Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends; HiHi PuffyAmiYumi; The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy; Dexter's Lab;and Chowder. Her newest creator-owned project is Girls of Monster Paradise.

The Southern Miss Office of Interdisciplinary Studies and the College of Arts and Letters are co-sponsoring Gladden’s presentation, along with the Honors College which presents University Forum each fall and spring semester.

Dr. Jeanne Gillespie, director of the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies, said she and her staff are focused on helping the more than 400 students who have not declared a major find their passion. She believes Gladden can also help students identify that passion and channel it into a rewarding career.

“Stephanie is the perfect example of someone who has succeeded because of her passion,” Gillespie said. “She has some great advice for following your passion and working hard.  It will be a fascinating conversation."

For more information about University Forum, contact the Southern Miss Honors College at 601.266.4533. To learn more about Stephanie Gladden, visit her website: www.stephaniegladden.com