We’re working on a longer write-up of SPLAT, this past weekend’s Graphic Novel Symposium, for PW Comics Week, but just a quick note to say that it was a fun day for all involved. The atmosphere at The New York Center for Independent Publishing–soaring skylights, ancients banners, hardwood card catalogs — definitely contributed to the atmosphere of serious inquiry, but the high level line-up of speakers and generally well-informed but always engaged audience made it a rewarding experience for everyone who attended.

Despite the high entrance fee, there were good crowds for all the panels we heard about — 50 for Brian Wood’s seminar, as mentioned in another link, perhaps 70-80 for the main room discussions–and they asked great questions throughout.

Gary Tyrell has a very nice write-up and there will doubtless be more over the next few days and hours.

As I told several people on the day, it didn’t feel like the first iteration of a conference; things went smoothly, the panels were informative and had a heady mix of guests and topics, and the library of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen (“By Hammer & Hand All Arts Do Stand”) was a beautiful venue. In fact, the most serious complaint I can come up with is, that in a building that in part houses a plumbing trades school, I’d have expected the hot-water faucet in the loo to work.

The symposium itself was divided into three tracks — one on the what & why of graphic novels; a second on making them; and a third on graphic novels in schools and libraries. I spent most of my time on track one, but crossed over to three — having no pretensions of artistic ability, I left the “how to make ‘em” sessions to those that would benefit.

We’ll have more when we’re off deadline and cranes, investment firms, stock markets and the world economy have stopped falling.

(Above illo from Karen at Pen in Hand’s great illustrated wrap-up.)


  1. It was worth every cent. The goodie bags, the refreshments, the locale, the panelists, the attendees… and this was the first one, and everything went rather smoothly. I dabbled from each track, and they were all worth the time.

  2. i didn’t know what to expect (and i admit i was suspect given past experiences at such things) plus the early start time on Sat AM was nearly prohibitive. anyway, i rallied to attend and was thrilled with the result.

    the panels i attended were extremely engaging and it was well-organized from start to finish. I think the higher price point made for less “lookie-lous” (sp?) and more professionally-minded people from across the board. my hat is off to the organizers, panelists and attendees. hopefully it will be a regular event.

    killer goodie bag as well!