Friday, May 18, 2012

Art Spiegelman (Chicago Conference, Part 1)

It's a beautiful day in Chicago, and so very many things are occurring across the city. There is a NATO gathering on the south side, the Cubs are battling the White Sox at Wrigley Field on the north side, and the first day of a weekend conference about comics is convening on the campus of the University of Chicago.

The conference is entitled Comics Philosophy and Practice, and I have a feeling that many of you have not heard advance word of it. But I have an additional feeling that you have heard of many or most of the speakers at this conference. Scheduled to be in attendance are Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware, Charles Burns, Lynda Barry, Justin Green, Seth, and nine other great cartoonists. As you can tell by those names, this is a comic book convention of a different stripe.

I had planned on heading over to the conference so I could report to you about it, so I was upset yesterday to read on the conference website that registration is closed. They are full to capacity and nobody else will be admitted. But wait! I read further and was delighted to learn that all of the presentations and panel discussions will stream live on the internet! This is great news for you no matter where in the world you are.

Art Spiegelman will get the ball rolling tonight at 6:15 p.m. Please keep in mind when you look over here at the Comics Philosophy and Practice website that all times listed in the schedule are in Central Standard Time. That same link is your gateway to the Live Webcast of the conference. I am anxious for the festivities to begin!

(Other hayfamzone articles on this Conference can be found here and here and here.)


At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Brian. If you didn't attend the conference, I've some bad news. You could've got in and seen everything.

Seeing that registration had filled up, I emailed Hillary Chute at UC in desperation. She couldn't help me with the main hall, but had her assistant send me a link to register for an on-site simulcast room. As I'd been expecting nothing, even that something was a day brightener. No, not ideal by any means, but something.

Anyway, there was supposed to be a wait line for events in case there were any no-shows, so I of course checked on that first thing on my arrival on Friday night. Turns out LOTS of people were no-shows, so I got in to see Art Spiegelman in person that night, and when early the next day things looked about the same, everyone who showed up, registered earlier or not, were updated to All Access status.

Even then, sadly, the seats were never, ever, remotely filled. They blamed it on the NATO conference, and that might've been some of it (silly as that excuse is, frankly), but I also think lots of people simply registered "just in case" they might be able to attend, and then just never showed up. After all, there was no cost to register, it only took maybe a minute, and anyone, anywhere, with internet access could sign up.

Again, hope you showed up "just in case." If not, well, I won't brag, but it was pretty special.

P.S. My name's Scott Grammel, by the way. Former Satisfied Hayfamzone Buyer.


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