About Carol Lay
Carol Lay was born in Whittier, CA in 1952. Growing up in the suburban blandness that was Orange County in the 1950s, Carol stoked her imagination with plenty of books and great story television like The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Science Fiction Theater. Later, when she landed at UCLA, she discovered Frank Zappa and Zap Comix in the first week. Good times.
In college, one course too many in Conceptual Art almost derailed Carol’s artistic plans – she stopped drawing for two years and considered a career in computer programming because of her fascination with logic and linguistics – but she stayed in the Arts program and graduated with her BFA. Around that time, her mother asked her to draw some number and alphabet cards for the first-grade class she taught. Carol found her way back to drawing through the pragmatic and colorful cartoons she drew for those cards. She then picked up some practical commercial art skills, first by drawing Yellow Pages ad illustrations, then in a photo-lettering shop. When a friend gave her a crash course in comics, she finally found her calling. The genre incorporated Carol’s skills and interests in drawing, storytelling, logic, and complex puzzle solving.
At various comic conventions in Southern California, Carol met established and aspiring cartoonists and picked up her first work in comics by lettering other people’s stories. From there she taught herself to ink, write, pencil, and color stories; working for Hanna-Barbera comics, Western Publishing, DC and Marvel Comics, and various independents. She also drew commercially for Mattel; did storyboards for rock videos, feature films (Top Secret, Back to the Beach, among others), and commercials; and later worked in animation as a storyboard artist on several shows. But her first love was always comics. In 1990, Carol was invited to contribute a short serialized story to LA WEEKLY, which resulted in a 5-page piece titled, “The Thing Under the Futon.” The pay was several times what independent comics paid, the audience was larger and included women (!), so Carol pursued and landed a regular spot in the paper with a weekly comic strip. That strip continued for eighteen years in publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Salon.com.
Carol lived in New York for several years, working for clients that included THE VILLAGE VOICE, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, NEWSWEEK, THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, THE NEW YORKER, MAD MAGAZINE, WORTH MAGAZINE, MORE, and others.
When not working, Carol enjoys hiking the mountains and deserts of California, scuba diving, and playing English system concertina.
Currently, Carol lives and works in Los Angeles.