Hip-hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor.

Andromeda Quarterly. There have been quite a few Pittsburgh-based comics anthologies, like the amazing Unicorn Mountain and Andromeda Quarterly, which is still going strong—though it used to be monthly—on Little Tired Press. This is a great place to sample the work of a lot of different comics makers at once.

Jeremy Baum. Self-published the anthology Memory, featuring an all-star team of comics creators from Pittsburgh and as far away as Italy. Baum recently had his futuristic fantasy Dorfler—rendered almost entirely in a sensual, yet cool blue-grey palette—published by mega-indie publisher Fantagraphics.

Sophie Goldstein. Science fiction brilliance, silhouetted in stark black and white and red. Goldstein’s post-apocalyptic tale about the fine line between utopia and dystopia in an ozone-depleted future, The Oven, won two prestigious Ignatz Awards, and her House of Women won one for Outstanding Minicomic.

Steel City Con. April 7-9, Monroeville Convention Center. The big Con. Lots of other pop culture stuff, and people dressed up like their favorite characters. Still enough comics and comics-related guests to fill a decent-sized stadium.

Action Lab Comics. Born at the sorely-missed Gypsy Cafe on the South Side, Action Lab is a publisher and studio assembling the talents of a group of independent artists. Though its tentacles spread across the globe, several key staffers, including Chad Cicconi, Shawn Gabborin, Jim Dietz, and publisher Bryan Seaton are in the Pittsburgh area. Action Lab publishes all-ages comics, like Molly Danger by Jamal Igle, Princeless by Jeremy Whitley, and the adaptation of Nickelodeon’s Miraculous Ladybug. Action Lab Danger Zone publishes more adult fare, like Puppet Master and Infinite Seven.

Nils Balls. Unforgettably-named artist goes where other comics creators fear to tread—like sketching Pittsburgh City Council meetings since the Ravenstahl administration, which can be found on The Glassblock. He illustrated Ship of Soiled Doves, a (very) graphic novel about a true story involving the Civil War, a steamboat full of prostitutes, and the battles against venereal diseases that apparently everyone lost. Other comics include Skeleton Balls and YINZ!

Michael Machosky is a writer and journalist with 18 years of experience writing about everything from development news, food and film to art, travel, books and music. He lives in Greenfield with his wife, Shaunna, and 10-year old son.