While many noteworthy comics events are taking place this weekend, the not notable—and perhaps the most notable in recent comics history—is taking place at the University of Chicago’s new $114 million Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts: the Comics: Philosophy and Practice symposium organized by Hilary Chute. The lineup?
Lynda Barry, Alison Bechdel, Ivan Brunetti, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, R. Crumb, Phoebe Gloeckner, Justin Green, Ben Katchor, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Francoise Mouly, Gary Panter, Joe Sacco, Seth, Art Spiegelman, Carol Tyler, and Chris Ware
Sob, sob. Everyone. (Except the Hernandez Bros., but then someone had to be left behind in case there was an earthquake, just like the Secretary of Agriculture.)
The Chicago Tribune has a preview that engenders even more sobs about missing out:
The rock scene had Woodstock. The jazz world famously gathered on the steps of a Harlem brownstone in 1958 for Esquire photographer Art Kane. In the 1920s, New York literati met at the Algonquin Round Table.
“It feels historic,” Bechdel said. “I realize how grandiose that might sound to someone who doesn’t know much about comics, but that’s the word that keeps coming to me. The whole thing just blows my mind.”
“It feels like a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of an entire art form,” said Paul Hornschemeier, a young, Evanston-based alternative cartoonist and illustrator acclaimed for his graphic novels. “I’m just not sure when they were putting it together if they realized how much genius they assembled. That hall only fits, what, 500?”
As the story notes, it fits only 474 people.
YAY the internet makes all things possible and the sessions will be live streamed! And hopefully archived for history. Not archived, the epic coffee breaks and dinner talk. Seriously, had we known this was taking place we would have ditched C2E2 (not that we don’t love you, C2E2) and gone to this. But instead we’ll just be glued to our livestreaming webcasts and the many reports of epic epicness doubtless to come.
BTW did we mention the event is FREE to attend (but long sold out)? God bless academia and educational grants.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.