Another Tryst Opportunity

Today at the Journal, we've got Rachel Davies and Tommi Parrish talking about The Lie and How We Told It, their most recent release via Fantagraphics, the consequences of youthful indiscretion, the Australian comics scene, and the delights of bookmaking.

I think I’m just trying to make more interesting stuff. I think also my life might be a little bigger than it was before. I’m just more interested in talking about other people’s stories, than like constantly writing about feeling sad. I think it’s totally just a,[product of] maturing as a writer. I was starting to feel frustrated with what my work was looking like––I mean I’m still frustrated with my work, but I was starting to feel frustrated with constantly making the same thing. That’s how it felt, anyway.

That's it for today. There's so many reviews that are coming up this week, from so many great writers! I'm currently in Denver for ALA Midwinter. It's a massively different show than it was last year, when it was held in Atlanta during Trump's Inauguration, the Women's March and an Atlanta Falcons playoff game. The only thing I remember at that show was how March won every award that it was eligible for and how completely empty the room was when all the women walked out of the convention hall. This year, a snowstorm has kept a lot of attendees from being able to make it to the show, which has made the attendees who are here even more curious than they usually are, which is pretty curious. It's the opposite of a fiscally driven consumer show, where the ultimate aim is to conclude any conversation with the sale of a product--here, it feels more about finding the way in which the thing you're speaking about can become part of the catalog of things that these people are going to be speaking about when they return home. How can your work get on board with the conversation that's already happening, that will continue with or without you, and will last after you're gone? Often times, it feels less and less like the place I used to live in comics is still there--a place where multiple strands and styles and genres lived amongst each other. But then you go here, and so few of those prejudices have survived the trip. Comics are back to just being an artform, a style of communication, something that can tell a whole nest of stories, or explore not telling a story at all. The idea that any one publisher or genre or style of art would be enough to fill a library branch with everything their patrons need is so absurd that it doesn't even come up as a concept in a discussion--it would be like saying you can only have yellow boxes at a grocery store, or any other dumb analogy. Here, it's a bunch of people happily embracing the impossible task of trying to please everyone--of trying to return to their homes armed with what they need to entertain and educate, and who don't have the time or luxury to adopt a bunch of grievances they'd have to read actual back issues to have an opinion about in the first place. It's a challenge just to keep up.

2 Responses to Another Tryst Opportunity

  1. I had the good fortune to attend the ALA show a few years back when it was in Chicago. As a veteran of traditional comics shows, even alt-comics shows, I didn’t know what to expect. It was amazing. People were friendly, genuinely interested, curious, asked smart questions etc. That’s when I realized it was a convention for people who LOVE books, and at the same time don’t have to think about the need to SELL them (in financial terms). It was quite refreshing. I encourage anyone who gets a chance to attend to do so.

  2. Dave Dugan says:

    Funny you should mention that John, as this just crossed my dashboard,

    “The Zine Pavilion is a space on the exhibit floor at the American Library Association’s annual conference to display zines, meet zine librarians, and talk about how zines and libraries are a great pair. It’s like a mini zine fair at the largest gathering of librarians in the world, with over 25,000 attendees, including librarians, archivists, writers, publishers and guest speakers. This year’s conference will be held June 21st-26th in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

    We’re looking for zine makers, distros, and zine libraries who would like to table at the Zine Pavilion. The exhibit hall is open Friday (5:30 pm – 7:00 pm), Saturday (9:00 am – 5:00 pm), Sunday (9:00 am – 5:00 pm), and Monday (9:00 am – 2:00 pm). Tablers can table for one day or up to all four. Tables are free, but space is limited. Contact with any questions. ”

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