One of the best artists in Nexus history will sit alongside Hollywood heavyweights in a panel discussion today.

Kazu Kibuishim, Nexus art director from 1997 to 2000, will participate in the Film Studies Dept.’s Career Panel 2004, to be held today at Girvetz 1004 at 2 p.m. The eight-member panel will include Jeff Nathanson, writer of “Catch Me if You Can,” and Joshua Deighton, vice president of production for Fox Searchlight. All panel members are UCSB alumni.

After leaving the Nexus, Kibuishi worked with the 3-D animation company Shaded Box, where he did animation for commercials and video games, including the Sony PlayStation 2 game, SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs.

Kibuishi and Shaded Box sold an option to Walt Disney Feature Animation a year ago for a film called “Let’s Get Francis.”

“If it gets released, it would be in 2008,” Kibuishi said. “But the way they work, it looks like it’s not going to see the light of day. It’s been there for a year now, and they haven’t touched it. They just bought it and kind of sat on it.”

Kibuishi said he recently gave up animation for comics because he was doing all production work and no writing. In July, Image Comics will release Flight, a book of comics that Kibuishi edited. He is currently beginning work on a four-part graphic novel called Daisy Cutter, to be released through Viper Comics.

“It’s about this cowgirl who has some problems, basically,” he said. “She’s a gunfighter who doesn’t want to be one, but she keeps getting pulled back into it. That’s going to be really fun. I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever worked on.”