SPLAT – New York Center for Independent Publishers & General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen

A comic book symposium that would present discussions on both comic publication and comics in library use, and provide workshops on comic making?! Sounds too good to be true? It was. The super tall Gina had come up with this, but much to my chagrin I have rarely engaged in such a colossal waste of time. That’s not entirely true. The two lectures on comics in libraries: academic and young adult, that I attended were stunningly informative and well designed despite their incongruent natures in theme and the educational styles of the presenters (Karen Green of Columbia U and Christian Zabriskie of Queens Public Library), and perhaps that is what made the rest of the symposium so incredibly bad.In my rage of spending an entire Saturday at this thing and missing out on seeing a group of my friends, I dreamt of dissecting each pointless panel and ever horrendous workshop in order to prompt those responsible to make sure that such a tragedy would never again befall humanity (their feedback questionnaire assumed you loved it). However, I recognize that my hate only provides so much productivity and I’ve always promised to keep my posts short, so I will simply praise the good and touch upon the ill. These aren’t all the atrocities that occurred that day, but it’s enough to make me sick at the memory. In the future, Edwin Vazkez, be aware that having a few handout from Fly’s workshop doesn’t qualify you to teach DIY comics. And by teach I mean you actually have to interact with a group, not have a personal discussion with someone. If you are a monitor of a panel, please don’t wait until the night before to throw together some questions and assume that the guests will go with them and run. Also, don’t kowtow to your panelists. If you are qualified to monitor—and that’s not saying all the monitors knew what was going on, as they didn’t—then make sure your panelists answer your questions. For example, if Joey Cavalieri decides that a panel on the differences between alternative, manga and superhero comics should not be addressed because it pigeonholes the idea of each, then first of all ask if the only reason he agreed to be on the panel was to be obnoxious, fidget, make a dumb joke about being back in therapy and how his mommy doesn’t pay enough attention to him or to inform the audience. Second, ask him what he has done, being one of the most powerful people in comics on the planet, to overcome the pigeonholing of comics into alternative, manga and superhero? If you are on a panel, recognize that people are going to want to hear what you have to say so maybe remind yourself what the panel is called and go over a few ideas in your head about what you have to say on that subject. What you must try to avoid is having nothing to say. Let’s take another panel example. I couldn’t believe it when Bill Roundy had to inform Gabrielle Bell that he was going to ask he the question too and she might want to stop drawing the audience for a moment in order to listen to what was going on around her and add something. Not that it matters as she contradicted herself. Bell, something is either based on what actually happened or how you felt about what happened. You can’t say that your stories are always true and then talk about how you were 50’ tall in a comic. Are you actually as retarded as you seemed or do you have no grasp of reality? When I first met you you had a corner of a table at an art fest and a few months later you had a full table display in a huge Barnes and Nobles. Obviously there is a story in there and when asked about being discovered you might have mentioned how on earth you pulled that one off. It might have played of well against Siena Cherson Siegel who just pitched a line to a publisher without any experience in the comic world and suddenly gets a book deal. Yeah, life is real fair. At least K. Thor Jensen did the work (on the comic that is, when it came to the panel he was simply trying too hard to be a rebel, ah, who am I kidding, I would have acted the same jerky way, that’s probably why I’m so pissed he kept forgetting what he was going to say). But back to Siegel, you wrote a comic to inspire girls that want to become dancers, but admit that you withheld information that you felt would be too disturbing!? I think you have done a great disservice. Finally, if you are neither a panelist nor a monitor don’t act as if you were on the podium. Shut-up and sit-down. And now I’ll do just the same as I already wasted too much of my life and your time on this disappointment.