Please Proceed

Today on the site, we present the TCJ debut of Sara Lautman, who contributes a personal, illustrated report from the first Queers & Comics conference held in New York last week. Here's an excerpt:

To be clear, Queers & Comics isn’t a convention with tables. It isn’t an entrepreneurial or even a primarily industry-oriented event. It’s an academic conference and cultural checkpoint.

My impression was that the conference was as personal as it was academic. Queer cartoonists making queer cartoons created a niche for themselves in the comics underground where none previously existed. We might have become cartoonists because of Hergé or Charles Addams or George Herriman or Bill Watterson, but see queer comics-making as a discrete and socially necessary act—because of each other. That’s very personal.

In prior generations of queer cartoonists (there are three), finding other gay voices who spoke in comics was a hero’s journey. Today, you get an email from Jennifer Camper.

If all goes according to plan, we should be publishing a larger, more comprehensive report on the conference next Monday written by Rob Kirby.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—Interviews & Profiles. One of the Q&C conference's keynote speakers, Alison Bechdel, talked to the Times about her newfound acceptance, both as a lesbian and as a cartoonist.

Chris Randle profiled Lynda Barry for The Guardian, focusing on her work as an educator.

In two posts, Tom Hart writes about his feelings after finishing Rosalie Lightning, his graphic novel about the death of his first daughter. (Dan linked to one of those posts yesterday.)

—Funnies. Sammy Harkham takes over Blobby Boys.