Jay Hosler is the author and illustrator of science-oriented comics. He is best known for his graphic novels Clan Apis, The Sandwalk Adventures, and Optical Allusions. Clan Apis follows the life of a honey bee named Nyuki; the story conveys factual information about honey bees in a humorous fashion as Nyuki learns about each new stage of her life. The Sandwalk Adventures follows a conversation about evolution between Charles Darwin and a follicle mite living in his left eyebrow. Optical Allusions explains the evolution of the eye and vision by following the story of Wrinkles the Wonderbrain. Hosler is also an entomologist and associate professor of biology at Juniata College.
Hosler was not formally trained in art, but grew up reading comics and says he "was always a doodler". He drew comic strips for the student newspaper when he was at DePauw, and was paid for a daily comic strip in the student paper when he was at Notre Dame. He first mixed his interests in science and cartooning with his 1997 publication Cow-Boy.
As an associate professor at Juniata College, Hosler has brought his interests in comics and teaching together in several ways. In addition to creating Clan Apis and The Sandwalk Adventures, Hosler was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to create a hybrid of comics and traditional text covering the evolution of sensory biology. Optical Allusions is the first graphic novel of this planned series and covers the evolution of the eye and vision in graphic novel format. "Student performance ratings in science in secondary education is dropping at an alarming rate, so clearly something isn't working well in the classroom," Hosler says. "We can't be afraid to try something radical to change how students learn." Hosler has also team-taught (with a historian) a course on "Comics and Culture".
He has a wife, Lisa, and two sons, Max and Jack.