Jamar Nicholas is an award-winning, Philadelphia-based artist and educator, dedicating his career to helping young people realize the power of visual narrative.
Beginning his cartooning career in self-publishing, 1998’s The Jamar Chronicles #1 (Sweatshop Press) began Jamar’s foray into comics.
In a world before Google, Jamar and a few friends created the Indy Cred All-Stars, an online Yahoo! message board that was a community of DIY-ers trying to figure out the Riddle of Comics. This became a haven in the early years of several cartoonists that have gone on to great things in the industry.
From there, he ventured into early webcomics with The Jamar Chronicles Weekly and in 2002, created Detective Boogaloo: Hip-Hop Cop, distributed on filmmaker Kevin Smith’s Moviepoopshoot.com. During that time, he entered into the comics space with a short stint on Image/Devil’s Due’s Radiskull & Devildoll, based off of the popular web cartoon series created by Joe Sparks.
A career-altering job illustrating Annie Auerbach’s The Grosse Adventures at Tokyopop led Jamar to discover the love of creating stories for young people.
In 2010, Jamar adapted and illustrated Geoffrey Canada’s Fist Stick Knife Gun, a story about escaping inner-city violence. The Graphic Novel space was a lot different then, even if it was ONLY 12 years ago. Winning several GLYPH Awards for the project, Jamar began a strong focus on creating long-form comic work.
Everything old is new again — in 2015, Jamar brought Detective Boogaloo: Hip-Hop Cop to the newspapers, in full-color and serialized daily in the US Metro news service (Philadelphia, NYC, and Boston), where he had an estimated 3 million readers a month.
2017 brought Leon: Protector of the Playground (Kids Love Comics), which was received with critical acclaim and more accolades, including the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in 2018.
Jamar’s latest book, Leon the Extraordinary, releases on October 4th. The first in an all-new series from Scholastic Graphix, Leon the Extraordinary tells the story of an ordinary kid trying to make a difference and save the day in a world full of superheroes.
He is also a writer and columnist for DRAW! Magazine, as well as co-host of the Pencil To Pencil Podcast with industry legends Mike Manley and Steve Conley.
“I am over-the-moon thrilled to be the 2022 keynote presenter for the Ringo Awards. Mike [Wieringo] meant the world to me–and I know I share that with the comics community–that his loss is still felt. How fitting that my friend, this kind soul who embodied, to me, what a professional comics artist could be, infused joy, wonder and the love of the artform into every project he touched–has us gathering again to celebrate that in this years’ award nominees. I’m honored to be part of the ceremony.”
“Besides being a friend of the show, Jamar was a friend of Mike Wieringo,” said Marc Nathan, Baltimore Comic-Con promoter. “Jamar is really having his moment right now with Scholastic backing his Leon character, and beyond all of that, he’s a great friend and proponent of the comics industry. We are very much looking forward to hearing Jamar’s keynote address this year.”