Carol Tyler
Born (1951-11-20) November 20, 1951 (age 72)
Chicago, Illinois
Pseudonym(s)C. Tyler[1]
Notable works
Soldier's Heart, Fab4 Mania, Late Bloomer
AwardsMaster Cartoonist Award, Cartoon Crossroads Columbus

Gold Medal Excellence Award, Society of Illustrators

Inkpot Award, Comicon international

Cartoonist Studio Prize,

Nemo Award, Toonseum Pittsburgh PA

Dori Seda Memorial Award for Best New Female Cartoonist, 1988[2]

Carol Tyler (born November 20, 1951) is an American painter, educator, comedian, and eleven-time Eisner Award-nominated cartoonist known for her autobiographical comics. She has received multiple honors for her work including the Cartoonist Studio Prize, the Ohio Arts Council Excellence Award, and was declared a Master Cartoonist at the 2016 Cartoon Crossroads Columbus Festival at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.


Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, she attended Catholic schools, K -12, and Middle Tennessee State University where she achieved a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.[3] 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.[4]

Her first comics publication was the 1987 story "Uncovered Property", in Weirdo.[5] 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.[6][7][8] Her first solo book, The Job Thing, was published in 1993. She produced short comics for publications including LA Weekly, Pulse (Tower Records), Strip AIDS, Heck, and Zero Zero.

Tyler also performed live comedy 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.[3]

Her second solo work, Late Bloomer, was published by Fantagraphics in 2005.[9] It's a career highlight collection including both previously published and new material. In his foreword, Robert 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."[10]

Tyler's most recent completed project was "Fab4 Mania" about the author's Beatles obsession when she was 13. The book is a slice-of-life, and leads up to her seeing them perform live at Chicago's Comiskey Park in 1965. (Fantagraphics, 2018). Before that, in 2015, the You'll Never Know trilogy was combined in to one volume called "Soldier's Heart: The Campaign to Understand My WWII Veteran Father, A Daughter's Memoir. "Soldier's Heart/You'll Never Know" is about 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".[11] Book One: A Good & Decent Man was released in May 2009. Book Two: Collateral Damage was released in July 2010.[12] The final installment of the trilogy, Book Three: Soldier's Heart, was released in October 2012.

Tyler taught a comics class at the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning from 2006 - 2019. Her primary focus was teaching students the methods and techniques of comic creation. In teaching the history of comics "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."[13] She has also brought her current book theme, military service, into the classroom.[14][15][16]

Another cartooning endeavor was a series of one-page stories called "Tomatoes" for Cincinnati magazine. Based upon her experiences of growing tomatoes and friendships in the heart of the city, "Tomatoes" appears monthly on the publication's inside back page.[17]

Tyler was a 2016 Civitella Ranieri residency fellow. She is also a Residency artist through the Arts Learning Program with the Ohio Arts Council.[18]

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."[19] She also spoke at The Society of Illustrators.[20]

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".[21]

In 2017 she gave a talk about her process of creating Soldier's Heart at the Library of Congress, titled "Comics to a 'T".

In 2020, Carol Tyler's work was chosen to be a part of the Society of Illustrators Museum exhibit "Women in Comics: Looking Forward, Looking Back".[22]

From November 5–20, 2021, "Shaping Grief: Carol Tyler's Mourning Mind" an interactive art experience was featured at the DSGN Collective in Cincinnati, OH. It was composed of comics, repurposed objects, murals, mobiles, and a giant mourning bonnet which served as a gateway through which people would walk to observe the exhibit. The artwork and bonnet are part of her upcoming book "The Ephemerata: Shaping the Exquisite Nature of My Grief".[23][24]

Carol Tyler and her late husband Justin Green are the subject of the documentary film "Married to Comics" which presented in 2023 at the Small Press Expo event feature at the AFI Silver Theater and Culture Center.[25]

Personal life

Tyler lives in Cincinnati. She has lived there with her husband from 1997 until his death, the cartoonist Justin Green (1945–2022).[26] Before that, they were in Sacramento. They met and lived in San Francisco in the early 1980s and have a child, Julia Green.[4] Her brothers are Olympic bobsledders Joe Tyler and Jim Tyler.


In 2016, Carol Tyler received the Cartoonist Studio Prize from the Slate Book Review.[27] With fellow recipient Sergio Aragones, she accepted the Master Cartoonist Award from Cartoon Crossroads Columbus.[28]

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.[29] In 2016, "A Soldier's Heart" brought Tyler another nomination for an LA Times Book Prize.[30] It also received an Ohio Arts Council Excellence Award.[31]

In 2010, it was named one of "The Most Memorable Comics & Graphic Novels of 2010" by NPR's Glen Weldon.[32] It ranked #5 on Rob Clough's Top 50 Books of 2010 at High-Low.[33] It also made the "Best of 2010" lists at Comic Book Resources,[34] Robot 6, and Politics and Prose.[35] Best American Comics listed it as a "notable comic" in 2011.[36]

Tyler's piece "The Hannah Story", published in Drawn & Quarterly, was nominated for a 1995 Eisner Award and is on the Fantagraphics list of Top 100 Comics of the Twentieth Century.[37]

In 1988, Tyler was awarded the inaugural Dori Seda Memorial Award for Best New Female Cartoonist from Last Gasp.[38]


Graphic novels

Comics and magazines


  1. ^ a b Chrislip, Bruce. "Talking with Tyler," The Comics Reporter (March 12, 2006).
  2. ^ "Episode 152 – Carol Tyler". 26 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b Tyler bio Archived 2016-12-20 at the Wayback Machine, Adam Baumgold Gallery website. Accessed Aug. 5, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Ramos, Steve. "Drawn to Be an Artist: Clifton cartoonist Carol Tyler is a late bloomer Archived 2006-06-17 at the Wayback Machine". Cincinnati CityBeat (August 31, 2005).
  5. ^ Mautner, Chris. "'I Was Dipping a Pen at My Dying Mother's Bedside': An Interview with Carol Tyler," The Comics Journal (June 26, 2013).
  6. ^ Meier, Samantha "Between Feminism and the Underground," The Hooded Utilitarian (Feb. 5, 2014).
  7. ^ Lopes, Paul. Demanding Respect: The Evolution of the American Comic Book (Temple University Press, 2009). p. 83.
  8. ^ The Complete Wimmen's Comix page, Fantagraphics website. Accessed Aug. 5, 2016.
  9. ^ Spurgeon, Tom. "An Interview With Carol Tyler," The Comics Reporter (March 13, 2006).
  10. ^ Crumb, R. introduction, Late Bloomer (Fantagraphics, 2005).
  11. ^ Wolk, Douglas. "What Did You Do in the War, Dad?" New York Times (June 5, 2009).
  12. ^ Tyler interview, Archived July 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine "Around Cincinnati," 91.7 WVXU Cincinnati. Accessed July 7, 2010.
  13. ^ Reilly, M. B. "Carol Tyler Draws a Comic Career One Line at a Time," Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine University of Cincinnati website (Nov. 19, 2007).
  14. ^ Reilly, M.B. "Arts Innovation for the 21st Century: Instructor Makes Serious Use of Comics to Help Veterans," Archived March 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine University of Cincinnati News (March 3, 2009).
  15. ^ Reilly, M.B. "Just in Time for Memorial Day: UC Arts Leadership Brings 'Comic Relief' to Veterans," Archived June 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine University of Cincinnati News (May 19, 2009).
  16. ^ "Carol Tyler, student at University of Cincinnati," on YouTube. Accessed Jan. 14, 2014.
  17. ^ Stowe, Jay. "Letter from the Editor: January 2013," Cincinnati Magazine (January 1, 2013).
  18. ^ "Residency Artist - Visual Arts: Carol Tyler," Ohio Arts Council. Archived February 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Accessed July 7, 2010.
  19. ^ "BICLM Event: Carol Tyler Presents "Soldier's Heart"". 9 February 2016.
  20. ^ "Homepage". Archived from the original on 2016-02-23. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  21. ^ "DAAP galleries digs into cartoonist Carol Tyler's process in new exhibit". 2 February 2016.
  22. ^ "Women in Comics | Society of Illustrators". Archived from the original on 2020-06-01. Retrieved 2020-02-21.
  23. ^ "Shaping Grief - Carol Tyler's Mourning Mind - Nov 5 - 20". 12 November 2021.
  24. ^ "SHOWS". 13 March 2023.
  25. ^ Cavna, Michael (2023-09-21). "Their undersung art changed comics. Their marriage changed each other". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2023-10-27.
  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. ^ "Announcing the Winners of the 2016 Cartoonist Studio Prize". Slate. 8 April 2016.
  28. ^ "Cartoon Crossroads Columbus". Archived from the original on 2016-10-18. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  29. ^ Clark, Noelene. "'You'll Never Know': Carol Tyler's family album of war pain," Los Angeles Times "Hero Complex" (Apr. 29, 2011).
  30. ^ Kellogg, Carolyn. "L.A. Times Book Prizes will honor Juan Felipe Herrera, James Patterson; finalists announced," Los Angeles Times (Feb. 23, 2016).
  31. ^ McGurk, Caitlin. "BICLM Event: Carol Tyler Presents 'Soldier's Heart,'" Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum Blog (FEBRUARY 9, 2016).
  32. ^ Weldon, Glen. "Graphic Novels That ... What Was I Saying?" (January 6, 2010).
  33. ^ Clough, Rob. "Better Late Than Never: Top 50 Books of 2010," High-Low (Aug. 29, 2011).
  34. ^ "CBR'S TOP 100 COMICS OF 2010, #50 - 26," Comic Book Resources (December 29th, 2010).
  35. ^ "2010 Favorites," Politics and Prose website. Archived August 27, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ Abel, Jessica. "Best American Comics: the Notable Comics of 2011," Drawing Words and Writing Pictures website (Dec. 7, 2011).
  37. ^ You'll Never Know Book 2: Collateral Damage page Archived 2016-03-15 at the Wayback Machine, Fantagraphics website. Accessed Aug. 4, 2016.
  38. ^ Carol Tyler bio, Fantagraphics website.