Thursday, August 2, 2012

Revisiting the "Comics: Philosophy and Practice" conference in May, 2012

photo: Jason Smith

Here's a link to a nice photo set and video from the University of Chicago from the Comics: Philosophy & Practice conference in May. 
my souvenir.
It was an unforgettable weekend with so many of comics heavies, all gathered in one place for a weekend to talk comics. With no obligations to promote or sell books, the environment and programming were ideal for these often isolated, hard-at-work cartoonists to unwind, commiserate and celebrate, share inspired words, and all with lots of laffs. Lynda Barry is so damn funny (and brilliant, if you ever get a chance to take a workshop with her she'll take you down deep to remember what it's all about...) Robert Crumb went into impromptu song on stage, Carol Tyler and Aline Kominski-Crumb kept limber with their asana practice in the green room... Daniel Clowes shared the 'greatest idea for a comic' that came to him in a dream... At the end of one of the long days, a large group found themselves on a schoolbus (probably many for the first time since grade school) in a truly surreal and awkward commute to be delivered to the Ware's home for dinner... and again the talks, Ben Katchor's presentation... so much... The epitome of a professional conference--very human, very real, life affirming, yeah, historical... Also in attendence Gary Leib, Art Spiegelman, Justin Green, Gary Panter, Phoebe Gloeckner, Ivan Brunetti, Seth, Alison Bechdel, Ben Katchor, Joe Sacco, Francoise Mouly, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes. Whew! Shit, did I forget anyone? Thanks to Hillary Chute for making this happen. -Alvin Buenaventura