Carol Tyler

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Carol Tyler
Born 1951 (age 64–65)
Chicago, Illinois
Nationality American
Area(s) Cartoonist
Pseudonym(s) C. Tyler[1]
Marion Linthead[2]
Notable works
You'll Never Know, A Graphic Memoir
Awards Dori Seda Memorial Award for Best New Female Cartoonist, 1988 [3]

Carol Tyler (born 1951) is an American painter, educator, comedian, and eleven-time Eisner Award-nominated cartoonist known for her autobiographical stories.


Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, she attended Middle Tennessee State university where she achieved a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.[4] Tyler became interested in the underground comics movement while pursuing a master's degree in painting at Syracuse University in the early 1980s.[1] This interest brought her to the underground comics hotbed of San Francisco.[5]

Her first comics publication was the 1987 story "Uncovered Property", in Weirdo.[6] Tyler's short slice-of-life stories and her distinctive artwork brought her critical attention as one of a growing number of female artists shaping the direction of underground/alternative comics in North America in the 1980s; she appeared in the influential feminist anthologies Wimmen's Comix and Twisted Sisters.[7][8][9] Her first solo book, The Job Thing, was published in 1993.[10]

While she prefers black and white art, Tyler began incorporating more color into her comics in the 1990s.[11] She produced short comics for publications including Zero Z.

Tyler also performed live comedy under the alias "Marion Linthead" with the Rick & Ruby Patio Show at LA’s The Comedy Store, the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, and the Clunie Center in Sacramento.[12]

Her second solo work Late Bloomer, with an introduction by Robert Crumb, was published by Fantagraphics in 2005.[13] It's a career highlight collection including both previously published and new material. In his foreword, R. Crumb says, "She's tops in my book. One of the best artists alive and working in the comics medium. Her work has the extremely rare quality of authentic HEART. Hers are the only comics that ever brought me to the verge of tears."[14]

Tyler's most recent completed project was a trilogy. You'll Never Know is her search for the truth about what happened to her father during World War II, and also about the damage his war had on her future relationships. The New York Times called it " a vivid, affecting, eccentrically stylish frame built around a terrible silence."[15] Book One: A Good & Decent Man was released in May 2009. Book Two: Collateral Damage was released in July 2010.[16] The final installment of the trilogy, Book Three: Soldier's Heart was released in October 2012.

Tyler lives in Cincinnati and teaches a class on comics, graphic novels and sequential art at the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. "Tyler can pull out almost the entire history of comics in this country, everything from 1930s classics to 1950s comic magazines teaching aspects of African American history (regarding Harriet Tubman and Crispus Attucks) to an original of the first issue of the iconoclastic Mad Magazine."[17]

She has also brought her current book theme, military service, into the classroom.[18][19][20]

Another cartooning endeavor is a series of one-page stories called "Tomatoes" for Cincinnati. Based upon her experiences of growing tomatoes and friendships in the heart of the city, "Tomatoes" appears monthly on the inside back page.[21]

Tyler is also a Residency artist in the Arts Learning Program with the Ohio Arts Council.[22]

In 2016, Tyler spoke at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Art Museum on "... the unique challenges of autobiographical storytelling set in real time with real characters."[23] She also spoke at The Society of Illustrators.[24]

DAAP Galleries staged a major one-woman exhibit of Tyler's work which included "...written entries of her ascent into illustration, accompanied by artworks and sketches from throughout her career," and "...eclectic 3-D creations...A flashing, multicolored light inside of a star rotates along one wall. An interactive piece called the “Ego-Meter” asks viewers to pull a string that raises a wooden face up the meter. A creepy baby doll spins around on a excellent job of showcasing an inspirational artist and professor at UC".[25]

Personal life[edit]

Tyler lives with her husband, the cartoonist Justin Green,[26] who she met in San Francisco in the early 1980s; they have a child together.[5]


You'll Never Know, Book I: A Good & Decent Man, Book II: Collateral Damage, and Book III: Soldier's Heart have been nominated for many awards in the comics industry, including eleven Eisner Award nominations for Best writer/artist non-fiction, Best graphic album, Best Lettering and Best Painter/Multimedia Artist, 2 Harvey Awards, and 2 Ignatz Awards. The series was named as a finalist for the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize.[27] In 2016, "A Soldier's Heart" brought Tyler another nomination for an LA Times Book Prize.[28] It also received an Ohio Arts Council Excellence Award.[29]

In 2010, it was named one of "The Most Memorable Comics & Graphic Novels of 2010" by NPR's Glen Weldon.[30] It ranked #5 on Rob Clough's Top 50 Books of 2010 at High-Low.[31] It also made the "Best of 2010" lists at Comic Book Resources, Robot 6 and Politics and Prose.[32][33] Best American Comics listed it as a "notable comic" in 2011.[34]

Tyler's piece "The Hannah Story", published in Drawn and Quarterly, was nominated for a 1995 Eisner Award and is on the Fantagraphics list of Top 100 Comics of the Twentieth Century.[35]

In 1988, Tyler was awarded the inaugural Dori Seda Memorial Award for Best New Female Cartoonist from Last Gasp.[36]


Graphic novels and anthologies[edit]

Comics and magazines[edit]

  • Weirdo
  • Wimmen's Comix
  • Street Music
  • Zero Zero
  • Mineshaft Magazine
  • Prime Cuts
  • LA Weekly
  • Drawn and Quarterly
  • Tower Records’ Pulse!


  1. ^ a b Chrislip, Bruce. "Talking with Tyler," The Comics Reporter (March 12, 2006).
  2. ^ "Carl Tyler". Wizard World. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  3. ^
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  5. ^ a b Ramos, Steve. "Drawn to Be an Artist: Clifton cartoonist Carol Tyler is a late bloomer". Cincinnati CityBeat (August 31, 2005).
  6. ^
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  11. ^,8599,1137183,00.html
  12. ^
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  14. ^ Crumb, R. introduction, Late Bloomer (Fantagraphics, 2005).
  15. ^ Wolk, Douglas. "What Did You Do in the War, Dad?" New York Times (June 5, 2009).
  16. ^ Tyler interview,"Around Cincinnati," 91.7 WVXU Cincinnati. Accessed July 7, 2010.
  17. ^
  18. ^ Reilly, M.B. "Arts Innovation for the 21st Century: Instructor Makes Serious Use of Comics to Help Veterans," University of Cincinnati News (March 3, 2009).
  19. ^ Reilly, M.B. "Just in Time for Memorial Day: UC Arts Leadership Brings 'Comic Relief' to Veterans," University of Cincinnati News (May 19, 2009).
  20. ^ "Carol Tyler, student at University of Cincinnati," on YouTube. Accessed Jan. 14, 2014.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Residency Artist - Visual Arts: Carol Tyler," Ohio Arts Council. Accessed July 7, 2010.
  23. ^
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  26. ^ Mautner, Chris. “'I Was Dipping a Pen at My Dying Mother’s Bedside': An Interview with Carol Tyler," The Comics Journal website (June 26, 2013).
  27. ^ Clark, Noelene. "‘You’ll Never Know’: Carol Tyler’s family album of war pain," Los Angeles Times "Hero Complex" (Apr. 29, 2011).
  28. ^
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  36. ^ Carol Tyler bio, Fantagraphics website.

External links[edit]