Executive Director and Lead Teaching Artist
Alonso graduated from the School of Visual Arts majoring in Comic Illustration. A third generation San Diegan, he has always had a passion for the comic artform in all its various styles, genres, and purposes. He is an active comic professional, a 2021 Eisner Comic Industry Judge, and founder of Little Fish Comic Book Studio.
Assistant Lead Teaching Artist
Serena attended the School of Creative and Performing Arts and is currently pursuing a comic arts career while she attends Miramar college. When she isn’t drawing, she’s writing, and when she isn’t writing, she’s reading ridiculous amounts of fiction (comics and otherwise). During her time at Little Fish, Serena discovered a love of teaching and hopes to continue as an arts teacher and comic creator into the foreseeable future.
Mario Torres Jr
Mario is an artist and has been teaching at Little Fish since 2016. He has credits as an illustrator, cartoonist, graphic designer, self-publisher, and art director. He is currently editor in chief of the CASD (Comic Book Artists of San Diego) and is currently working on collecting his works together into a graphic novel series. He has been touring So-Cal with his arts installations called Ego Death since 2017. His mission is to inspire and show everyone that drawing is as essential as reading or writing.
Born and raised in New York City, TJ had a long-time love affair with comics, thanks in part to seeing the Marvel Universe outside his window. Over the years, he has gone from comic fan, to comic retailer, to comic historian. In 2015, TJ had a hand in putting together IDW Publishing’s San Diego Comic Art Gallery and retail space, of which he then went on to manage both for 3 years. He currently works for Upper Deck as the product development coordinator for Marvel Publishing, but his heart always lies in storytelling. TJ has taken on the role of comic educator here at Little Fish, focusing on the art of script writing, character development, and storytelling. As of 2023, he's become an Eisner Awards Judge.
Aubrianna graduated with a BFA in Illustration at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts at the University of New Haven and is continuing her education in animation at Mesa Community College in San Diego. She has experience in all illustrative practices including portraiture, traditional painting, and graphic design, but specializes in cartoons and comics. Aubrianna currently runs two webcomics and has multiple comics and books printed. She continues to create, sharing her process as examples during Littlefish classes.
Zyanya graduated with a BFA in Animation from Otis College of Art and Design. She is a lover of storytelling and has pursued it her whole life, both visual and performance. When she’s not lost in a story, she is creating her own. As an active illustrator and storyboarder with a passion for the craft, she brings her experience to teach others how to do the same.
Substitute Teaching Instructor
Nikita is a webcomic artist (pen name “Shard”) from San Diego. She tends to dabble in a little bit of everything, from traditional to digital mediums, and from illustration to pixel art. She draws inspiration from all manner of Western and Eastern sources, and has a particular fondness for Squirrel Girl and One Piece.
A self-taught digital artist, Angela does a majority of her work digitally, mainly on an iPad Pro. She creates many of the banners used for Little Fish's website, as well as Facebook and Instagram accounts. She has made illustrated posters for the San Diego Italian Film Festival in 2016-2020 and even has had some of her art exhibited in Toronto in 2016. She loves Manga and Anime, and dabbles in both 2D animation and a little of 3D modeling in her spare time.
Nicholas received his Bachelor of the Arts in English from Arizona State University. It was during his studies there that he joined Little Fish as an intern and has been with the nonprofit ever since. He also serves as the Digital Marketer and a bookseller at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore. When not working, he enjoys reading, traveling, and writing his own stories.
Angeni is an aspiring artist who works with various traditional mediums. She enjoys all kinds of fiction, from films, comics, anime, and manga. She loves to create fan art from whatever piece of media she's currently obsessed with that week. She hopes to one day start her own online shop to sell
Cassandra "Cassie" Mullens is an artist who loves animals and nature almost as much as she loves drawing. She's passionate about comics, manga, anime and especially dragons. Her specialty is character and creature design. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Arts and Sciences with an Emphasis in Multimedia Design from San Diego State University. She is also learning how to develop her own comic series and market her fan art. If she isn't nose-deep in a book or sketching new ideas, you can usually find her baking cookies to rock music or basking in the rubber-suit glory of giant monster movies.
Ricky is a storyboard artist in animation. He specializes in heartfelt and comedic stories. His dream is to create stories like the ones that fueled his imagination when he was younger. He would also love to tell stories that weren’t available to him as an Asian American kid growing up. In his spare time, he enjoys making silly puns and adventuring through tabletop games!
Our Board Members!
As former owner of Villainous Lair Comics, Alison is a well-known figure in the local comic book community. She regularly attends comic book conventions such as San Diego Comic-Con and San Diego Comic Fest while maintaining her alter-ego as a mild-mannered software developer.
Mark is an artist and writer who has worked in the entertainment industry for over 25 years. He produces and directs music videos, commercials, and promotional videos, and has worked on feature films and television series in various capacities. Mark is a strong promotor of literacy and art programs and has originated creative writing classes for elementary school children, which produced collaborative illustrated books by student authors.
More recently, Mark acts as a participating artist at school and hospital charity events, including the annual City of Hope Pediatric Picnic.
Aubree is a graduate of San Diego State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Anthropology. She is also the founder/owner of Assault Media Marketing, a full-service advertising and marketing agency, and serves as a creative consultant to many businesses as well as acting Creative Director for Amplified Ale Works. Her passions include art, messaging, research, and culture.
Matt Dunford started his love of comics before he could even read and has attended every San Diego Comic-Con since 1994. This inspired him to pursue a career in comics, leading him to be an editor at Semantink Publishing, Senior Editor of Keyleaf Comics, and Little Fish's first Board President. In 2017, he was unanimously elected as Chairman of San Diego Comic Fest and continues to spearhead the convention. He has taken up an active role in the community with a focus on WWII history, serving as the PR & Marketing Director for the video game publisher Crytivo, and as a member of the Non-Profit organization, Creators Assemble! Matt currently is the Talent Relations Coordinator at Upper Deck Entertainment, representing the Marvel Comics trading card lines.
Charlene holds degrees in Anthropology and Native Indigenous Studies from UC Santa Barbara, as well as non-profit business management from the University of San Diego. She has served a variety of local non-profit organizations, such as the San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Museum of Us (formerly SD Museum of Man), and KPBS public broadcasting.
Jocelyn has been involved with Little Fish since the beginning, providing much of the seed money that helped the studio get on its feet. She has spent years in the medical field as a registered nurse, providing care for those most in need. Currently, she works in Kaiser Permanente’s Hospice Care.
Klaus Janson is a German-born American comics artist, working regularly for Marvel Comics and DC Comics and sporadically for independent companies. While he is best known as an inker, Janson has frequently worked as a penciller and colorist. Janson has taught sequential storytelling at the School of Visual Arts in New York City since the 1990s and has written both The DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics and The DC Comics Guide to Inking Comics.
Phil Haxo is a graphic designer and former comic book artist, serving as a penciler, inker, and colorist. He has worked in print advertising now for over 35 years and is currently the Studio Manager at Anderson Direct Marketing.
With her only awareness of comics throughout her childhood being the funny pages, Sarah took a course in comics and sequential art while earning her doctorate in literature Washington State University to better understand the medium. Immediately, she was enthralled and became a passionate advocate for the use of comics for narratives of “Otherness.” Comics were a critical aspect of her dissertation, and she continues to research, publish, use in classroom instruction, and present in academic conferences about comics and mental illness, disability, trauma, and access.
Aaron has over 15 years of comic retail experience, currently as the owner of Now Or Never Comics in San Diego, and previously at Comicazi in Boston, the 2017 recipient of the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award. He has a background in community management and event coordination, building social spaces online and in person at venues ranging from Abbey Road Studios to SDCC to PAX Australia. Aaron is a strong believer in the power of community, DIY culture, and root beer.