And this is your last chance, WordPress. Today I’m being helped by the fabulous Raymond Larrett, better known as Norman Dog, one of the most talented cartoonists in America and certainly one of the funniest. And he knows LOTS more about the internet than I do, so if he can’t help me, nobody can. And if I still can’t get WordPress to behave, I’m finding another blog server. Looking back at my blog, I see that I was so traumatized by my terrible experience putting up the last blog, that it’s been at least two months, so let’s go back to March, and
I’ll relate my adventures in Florida and Switzerland:
First came Gainseville, Florida, where I was keynote speaker at a great feminist comics conference at the University of Florida Called “A Comic of her Own.” Aside from some fascinating presentations, “A Comic of Her Own” featured the best looking program I have ever seen at a conference or convention, and here it is (art by Leela Corman).
I had never been to Florida before, but now I want to go again. They have alligators!
(And they are very proud of their gators. Did you know that that’s where GatorAid comes from?) This one was just dozing in the sun a few feet away from me. And they have Spanish moss! (I took some home) And the university has built two bat houses (Batman, step aside!), where people collect just before sunset, because at sunset the bats
emerge from their houses and great clouds of them darken the sky. On my last morning I awoke to a dense fog, and what with the fog, the Spanish moss, the gators and the bats, I wanted to shout, “Quick, someone! Film a gothic horror movie RIGHT NOW!” So, yeah,
despite the fact that it takes 9 hours to get to Gainseville from San Francisco (One more hour and that’s the time from San Francisco to England!) I wanna return.
A plus was that I got to hang out with cartoonist Megan Kelso, who was also a guest, and with Leela Corman and her husband, Tom Hart, who is Executive Director of the Sequential Arts Workshop (http://sequentialartistsworkshop.org/wordpress/), the cutest school I have ever seen. It’s in a small store front, snug and user-friendly, with all sorts of great stuff up on the walls, and a very good cafe around the corner. I am a big fan of Leela’s graphic novel, “Unterzakhn,” which for a change is NOT a memoir but a real
NOVEL about twin sisters growing up in New York’s Lower East Side in the early 20th century. It’s been nominated for an Eisner award, and she has my vote. Soooo…Two days after I returned from Florida, I was off again, to Switzerland, and the flight only took 3 hours longer than the flight to Florida. But lemme tellya, a 12 hour flight when the person between you and the aisle has an iron bladder and NEVER ONCE
during the flight gets up, is no fun!
Lucerne is a medieval town with fairytale towers and covered bridges spanning a swan-filled lake, and the convention was held all over the town, so I got to see the whole town. My big disappointment: twice I hiked up the hill to the wall that circles the town, only to join small groups of other disappointed tourists as we discovered the wall was
closed to walkers. (Maybe they open it in the Summer?)
Switzerland is beautiful but expensive! The only thing I bought was chocolate — lots of chocolate!
Next stop: Springcon in St. Paul, Minnesota, on May 18th and 19th.
(http://midwestcomicbook.com/) This is one of my all-time favorite conventions; it’s held on the state fair grounds, which are still closed for the Winter, so it’s like a really cool ghost town. Last time I went to this con, 2 years ago, there was a tornado, which
was exciting, but disappointing, as the tornado struck nowhere near our building and thus did not whisk us away to Oz. I’m not sure if the weather will oblige me again this year.
Aside from the fact that Minnesota folk seem to be the friendliest in the world, I’m excited about this con because of their special guest, Elizabeth Berube. In the 1970s, Liz Berube was the only woman drawing for DC’s romance comics line. She contributed charming art nouveau and art deco-inspired fashion pages, astrology pages, and general beauty advice (“Beauty on a Budget”) and even one six-page comic. Meanwhile the guys who drew for the books were completely clueless about drawing a believeable up-to-date young woman, figuring if they gave her a short skirt and boots it would be fashionable.
I’ve written about Liz in all of my histories of women cartoonists, and now I will finally get to meet her face to face, and we’ll be on a panel together, where I’ll interview her and show a Powerpoint presentation of her work.
Next: San Diego! But I’ll write about that later…