<— Just read this. What a phenomenal book. Writing interview questions for this guy, and his wife Sari Wilson.
A.D. is a great story. The folks in it are as palpable as the best-written literary characters I’ve loved. I’m thinking specifically of Harry Crews’s Hickum Looney, and the wickedly quirky cast of Richard Russo’s Straight Man. And while I love the movie I get to see in my head when I’m only reading text, the way graphic texts make faces and bodies and settings more accessible frees up some of my thinker. Makes me ask questions I ask when watching movies or television, like why that color, or that angle or that outfit?
One of the most exciting things about some of the voices who’re coming to this con, like Maureen Bakis and Michael Gianfrancesco, who organized NECAC, and Williamsport’s own John Weaver, is that they’re going to talk about visual literacy, which is a concept that’s gaining traction in education and the study of literacy with the increased availability of visual media via the internet, and the constantly expanding market of graphic books: comics and graphic novels.
It’s going to be wonderful. I have nothing more nuanced for you now because my head is so full with all of this. The next few weeks will be for processing and writing it out. This is part of that, but it’s also to make you aware of how awesome thing thing is going to be. Maybe to entice you to show up.
Last time, I explained my relationship with geek lore & comics in general. Part of that wrong-headed relationship with graphic texts was that I have not been adequately aware of books like Stitches, Cuba: My Revolution, How I Made It To Eighteen, AD: New Orleans After Deluge, etc. These, and books like them are gaining visibility. The truth is, the super-hero stuff is still not really in my aesthetic. But one of the points of this con is that there’s something for everyone.
John Meier, who is responsible for founding the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel prize, and who is involved in concerns about graphic texts for libraries, told me about comics that are made to describe and explain advanced concepts in mathematics and science that are suitable for post-graduate academics.
I also read this ———–>
It is powerful in an ideology-changing way. It asks you to reckon out your notions of patriotism, creates a world that is utterly unfamiliar, but cripplingly vivid. It is a timely warning about political rhetoric. And if you’re me, it gells some stuff about history for you that you only had a kind of fuzzy grasp on from your somewhat shoddy public school education, and your mostly missing post-secondary study of history outside of literature, Britain, and after, say, 1920.
Got to get friendly with some of MK Reed’s work, Joan Hilty’s feminist comic, and Tracy White’s graphic novel, How I Made It To Eighteen, image below.
And after my love relationship almost ended over this blog post by Dr. NerdLove, it’s great to know about some influential female voices in the world of comics and other traditionally male geek media.
One of the panels I’m looking forward to the most is one that disucsses representations of race, gender, and sexuality in comics with Joan Hilty and Alex Simmons.
What I’m saying is that if you’re expecting to see a whole lotta cosplay and a whole lotta storm troopers at the Wildcat Comic Con, you probably will get some of those things. But you’ll also get to see and talk to creators in a totally non-commercial/non-industry sort of way.
You’ll get to think about new stuff and you’ll leave there with a list of stuff to read as long as your arm, with an arsenal of new vocabulary with which to discuss it.
You’ll get your brain stretched and your your creativity muscles tickled, and you’ll get to hear some really interesting, influential people talk.
Watch for articles in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, in Sunbury’s Daily Item, and in the Webb Weekly.
And to register for the con, or to check out the roster of presenters, go here.