what’s in my head?
First things first, I had an awesome time at the grand opening of the Cartoon Library. The opening & what I could attend of the festival is one of the best times I’ve ever had at any event in recent memory. Many familiar faces from the local comic scene came out. The line-up of creators and cartoonists hit all my happy places. Even better, a lot of the big events were open to the general public to enjoy for the price of a $5 ticket. A round of high fives to Jenny, Caitlin and the rest of the staff.
the gallery space is huge and filled with… well, a little bit of everything. Originals from Prince Valiant, Bone, Robert Crumb, Pogo, Savage Sword of Conan, etc. It was impossible to fully take it all in and I’ll have to go back (twist my arm.)
As I mentioned above, I could only make it out for what felt like half the festival. It was a decent chunk of the festival. I’m bummed I missed the one panel that discussed Eddie Campbell’s work. Academic panels can be… well academic. That panel was fascinating. The following panel went to weird places. I’m still puzzled as to why anyone would want to wander through a 3D interpretation of a panel that either the creator didn’t intend or is completely pointless in regards to story or the beat of a strip.
There was a distinct difference between the comics panels and the ones featuring cartoonists (from newspapers)- the distinct possibility that newspapers will not be around in the next decade. What happens to the dalies, editorial and or weekly strips? Editorial’s already slashed. Alt-weeklies aren’t doing much better and newspapers are declining at a disturbing rate. Maybe I’m showing my age but I still like the idea of buying a paper and tearing into the comics section. Newspaper’s websites tend to bury or not include the comics section.
What is this going to do to the cartoonist who is used to dealing with a syndicate and only worrying about doing the strip?
On an upnote, I finally got to meet Eddie Campbell and the Hernandez Brothers… briefly but yes it happened. The Jeff Smith and Paul Pope talk was great. I’ve never read Pearls Before Swine before but that guy was funny. Matt Bors was great. True many of these artist talks were more entertaining than informative. (with Smith/Pope and the Hernadez Bros. being the exception.) I didn’t mind. It was a nice buffer between the heavy academic discussions and you could always track those creators down. Most of them attended a lot of the panels and were milling about.
The two big announcements from this festival is the ICAF is moving to Columbus, and the traveling Daniel Clowes exhibit will be hitting the Library next year with a special curated show by Clowes himself. Both of which I’m stoked about. If there was any doubt about it, we have all the ingredients to be the comic art mecca Tom Spurgeon pegged us to be.