Alex brought back a book by Lucy Knisley that he asked her sign for me. So out of the 10+ kilos of comics he brought back from TCAF, that one was explicitly meant as a gift for me. I first found her stuff too wordy but later I read it and liked it all (my favorite from that comic selection was her description of the Twilight series, which saved me the trouble of reading the books). Then I saw her bio and learned that she lives in Chicago, rides a bike and studied at The Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS) and I decided to apply for it because I had also lived in Chicago before and used to have a bike. Therefore, Lucy Knisley was the official responsible for making me want to go to CCS.
Here is the comic about the Twilight books. Click on the image to go to the source.