Saraya Vogel (they/them) and Seth Penn (he/him) see a major need for two things in Omaha: more champions of sex work and sex education, and a larger network of comic creators. Saraya is the founder of ZQ Productions, a local production company, and House of Quinn, a cabaret house self-described as “a home for the freaks, geeks, and misfits.” Seth is a talented comic artist and the founder of Bugeater Comic Collective, a newly-formed comic publishing company.
“We are here for the artists and the sex workers,” said Saraya.
The duo feeds off of each other’s endless creative drive. They are completely independent and successful in their own right, yet simultaneously lean on each other to make an unstoppable team.
In early 2022, Seth and Saraya decided their apartment space wasn’t cutting it as a work studio. They decided this was the right time to jump into a new studio space within Trudy’s, one of BFF’s newest shared studio spaces. In May, they packed up their gear and took the next step into their very own private studio space. The studio has plenty of personality; It’s painted all-black from wall to ceiling, originals of Seth’s art are hung around the room, vinyl records are playing and there is a big comfy couch to relax on in the communal center space.
This is their first time occupying a studio space; it was always a dream of Seth’s. The studio at Trudy’s gives them space to grow and focus on their number one goal: growing their companies and becoming full-time creators. Seth says the studio allows him room to explore and have his work take up a bigger space in the world.
Bugeater Comic Collective is currently on the hunt for a wide range of comic creators; anyone from illustrators to writers. Seth’s goal is to build an extensive directory of comic book creators in the area. He sees the comic artists and comic lovers in Omaha and wants to shine a light on them to create a larger local comic scene.
Seth is eager to host Bugeater meetings in the studio’s communal space. He wants comic book creators to have a central space to gather, collaborate, network and discover other comic creators’ work. As for the future, he has a few plans up his sleeve, including Bugeater-hosted art shows and comic release parties. Eventually, he’d love to partner with Omaha’s incredible comic shops, such as Legends Comics.
Saraya’s side of the studio is used for administrative duties, prep for shows, and House of Quinn meetings where they are able to gather with their kids (a term for the people they mentor within their House).
Saraya is determined to bring more queer- and sex-positive sexual education to the area: “A lot of [my work] is fueled with my drive for sex education — wanting to be an advocate for sex workers and performance artists in the sensual and sexual arts.”