Raised on a cattle ranch in eastern Washington, Jay Olinger is an interdisciplinary artist-scholar residing in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches at Portland Community College and Portland State University.

Jay received a B.S. in Arts and Letters from Portland State University with Minors in Art History, English, and Medieval Studies; as well as a Post-Baccalaureate in Comics Studies and Art History. After holding a position at Marvel in the Special Projects Department in 2016, she pursued graduate studies in Scotland, where she graduated with Highest Distinction from the University of Dundee with a Master of Design in Comics and Graphic Novels, fully-funded by the Principal’s International Excellence Scholarship. Jay’s graduate project, Prompt(ed), was awarded the 2017 Duncan of Jordanstone Comics Prize. Prompt(ed) was an interdisciplinary project that combined research and hands-on application that explored the intersection of media application in Fine Art and Comics.

Along with teaching, Jay presents her research at international conferences, curates group exhibitions, and creates short comics. She welcomes opportunity for research, teaching, workshops and collaboration in any form.

Cancelled COVID Events: Transitions 9 in London, UK; Pop Conferences at DePaul University, Chicago, IL

September 2020-December 2020: Understanding Architecture (2) and Understanding the Visual Arts at Portland Community College

January 2021-March 2021: Portland Community College

March 2021-June 2021: ENG 300: Visual Narrative at Portland State University

Event Archive


ART 217: Comics Art and Literature 2019

Course theme: Banned and Censored Comics

Jay Olinger, Spring 2019
Portland Community College
    • A Contract with God by Will Eisner, ISBN: 978-0393328042
    • Barefoot Gen Volume 1 by Keiji Nakazawa, ISBN 978-0867196023
    • This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, ISBN: 978-1596437746
    • Black Hole by Charles Burns, ISBN: 978-0375714726 
    • Ice Haven by Daniel Clowes, ISBN:  978-0375714696 
    • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, ISBN: 978-0375714573
    • Saga Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, ISBN: 978-1607066019
Lesson Plan:
    • Week 1:
      • What are comics? Exploring definitions, brief history, and introducing terminology. 
      • Why are comics banned? Exploring censorship, introduce CBLDF.
    • Week 2
      • Comics History Part 1
      • A Contract with God discussion; emphasis on page layout and panel composition.
    • Week 3
      • Comics History Part 2
      • Manga Overview
      • Barefoot Gen discussion; emphasis on manga traits (compare to A Contract with God)
      • Importance of bold and italics in comics (hand-lettering versus  comics sans in Barefoot Gen)
    • Week 4 (Guest Lecture from CBLDF)
      • Visual, or Formal Analysis Overview 
      • This One Summer discussion
    • Week 5 (Midterm Visual Analysis Essay Due)
      • Production Overview
      • In-class materials exploration
    • Week 6
      • Black Hole discussion; emphasis on feathering, visual weight, and page layouts in relation to the horror genre. 
    • Week 7 
      • Ice Haven discussion; emphasis on the use of style in storytelling. 
    • Week 8 (In-class presentations on a banned or censored creator)
    • Week 9 
      • Persepolis discussion; emphasis on autobiography and international comics.
    • Week 10
      • Saga
    • Finals Week (Final Mini-Comic Due)
      • In-class peer assessment of final comics.