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Meet the MeSseD Team

Jay B. Kalagayan     [ MeSseD creator, writer, and publisher ]

Jay is the writer and publisher of Creative Mussel. His work has been published with Corpse Flower Press, Sol-Con Anthology, Columbus Scribbler and Citybeat and performed at Know Theatre of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative and Cincinnati Fringe Festival.

Jay is a Filipino-American creator, entrepreneur, non profit fundraiser and arts advocate in Cincinnati for the last twenty seven years.  A Xavier University graduate from Erie, PA, Jay is the founder of Know Theatre of Cincinnati, and one of the founders of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. He served as executive director of Cartoon Crossroads Columbus from 2021-23.  He is a board member of Asianati, an organization that celebrates Asian food and culture through stories, news and events. His major influences are his wife, Jan, and daughters, Meggie and Fi. 


Dylan Speeg     [ MeSseD illustrator ]

Born in Cincinnati in 1971, in which he has lived his entire life. He attended The Art Academy of Cincinnati in the early '90s and has worked as a portrait painter and illustrator ever since. He is also a musician in the band Heavy Hinges. His major influences are lurid pulp novel covers, Robert Williams, R. Crumb and other comic book artists. His spray paint stenciled illustrations for The CityBeat “Best Of Cincinnati” issue received the Best Illustrated Series Award from the Cleveland Press Club. He likes to use his hometown, Cincinnati, and the people he knows as subject matter. He works nights as a bartender and performs standup comedy on occasion.


Geoff Raker     [ MeSseD Designer ]

Was a designer for almost 20 years. Got his start with Jay at Know Theatre of Cincinnati creating the brand and designing posters, sets and helping out with anything that needed to be done. Currently he is working as a Freelance Designer after years at CityBeat and F+W Media. He always looks forward to working on projects with Jay, for his enthusiasm and child-like wonder he brings to every project they work on together.

Xu Vien Chau     [ Lilliput Character Model and Engagement Associate ]

A cultural hybrid, with roots from Southeast Asia and Saint Petersburg Florida. As of recent, she calls the Midwest home. A student of the University of Cincinnati, she is finishing up her bachelor’s degree in Communication and Political Science. She is passionate about immigrant storytelling, social equity, and environmental justice. A proud literary nerd, some of her literary heroes includes: Marjane Satrapi, Chang-rae-lee, and Viet Thanh Nguyen.

Contributing Artists

Clint Basinger

The creator, writer, and artist of Cosmic Moustache Comics. Through CMC, Clint has printed 25 comics (and counting). Creating a universe full of heroic & humorous characters such as, Mummynaut, Johhnysaurrus-Rex, Skull Spy, Merlinja, and many more. Read Cosmic Moustache Comics, and fill your moustache with Space-Magic! Check out:

Gina Marrone

An illustrator, animator, and character designer from Cincinnati. A recent graduate of the Art Academy of Cincinnati, she is a visual storyteller and writer who has done freelance character design for Noble Ronin Music and other clients, as well as prop design for Flaming Medusa Studios and PBS Kids. She is also a voice actor for Epipheo, and an all-around entertainment nerd.

Her work can be found at:


Creative Mussel Support
Byron Hutchins                             [ Engagement Associate ]
Kristen Ruthemeyer Hammer     [ Editor and Content Writer ]
Doug Borntrager                           [ Video Design ]
Matthew Brendan Szekeresh      [ Events ]
Annie Wadman                              [ Editor ]
Emily Cottingham                         [ Editor ]
Jackson Cotner                             [ Marketing and Content Associate ]
Jasmine Thompson                      [ Photography ]
Victor Kirkbride                             [ Intern ]
Whitney Do                                    [ Intern ]
Effluent Advisers

Jan, Meggie & Fi Kalagayan

David Mack

Andrew Beardsley & Maika Llaneza

Peter Bell

Mark Bendure

Tim Fuller

Helene Herbert

Matthew Brendan Szekeresh

Brendan McEachern

Mat Pentecost

David Powell

Steve Ramos

Chris Smith

Jeff Syroney

Annie Wadman

Christina Wald

Questions? Click here to contact us!

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