Reports from Arisia Con

Alexander Danner writes up the panel he moderated at Arisia this past weekend. Eric Burns was also on that panel and posted his thoughts on it as well.

Kelly J. Cooper (Executive Editor of Comixpedia) also led a second panel on webcomics and when she’s fully recovered from the weekend, I’m hoping she’ll update this entry with her own thoughts on the Arisia convention.

Xaviar Xerexes

Wandering webcomic ronin. Created Comixpedia (2002-2005) and ComixTalk (2006-2012; 2016-?). Made a lot of unfinished comics and novels.


  1. Thanks for the link! Minor correction though — while I did organize the panel, it was actually moderated by Val Grimm, a school friend of mine. The panel was her idea, but since she’s new to webcomics, she asked me to bring in the panelists.

    To be fair, there was some confusion about who was moderating the panel even at the panel — each of us thought we had agreed that the other would moderate. Which probably didn’t instill a great deal of confidence in the audience. Once we had that worked out, though, everything went much more smoothly though.

  2. Dude. I am really tired.

    The hotel got snowed in (no part of MA got less than a foot of snow and most parts got upwards of TWO feet or more), so me & my buds upped our hotel room for an extra day. I drove across town to get home today (and given what a PAIN it was to get home today, I’m glad I waited a day & did it in daylight).

    The Friday night panel on Graphic Novels went well. That’s the one I actually moderated. It started out as an idea for a list of lists. See, I hang out at Million Year Picnic, a comics store in Harvard Square (that’s Cambridge, Massachusetts) a LOT. And I was talking with Tony Davis there (he’s the part-owner/all-manager) about getting people to read comics. And we came up with this idea of making recommendation lists in various categories so people could look at stuff they might enjoy based on some idea of what they might contain.

    Then we were thinking about a way to promote the lists (and the store) and someone (I think it was Rachel Mello) suggested that we do a panel on them at Arisia.

    So we did! Well, I proposed the panel and it didn’t make it in due to an oversight, but then they stuffed it in at the last minute and that’s why we were on at 9pm on a Friday night.

    Tony dragged along Jef Czekaj (pronounced Jeff CHECK-eye) and we got handed Eric Burns (yay!) and at the last minute the con assigned us Ken Gale. When we got there and set up, a handful of people showed up. I think our audience swelled to all of SEVEN people. Woo! Tony and I had made copies of the list-of-lists and we handed them out to all of our audience members.

    I introduced each person and then we did a round-table, suggesting comics roughly one at a time. In a fit of “F’s” I recommended Flight and Finder. There were general recommendations all around for the new collected Peanuts books coming out. Eric recommended James Kochalka’s giant American Elf collection and Black Panther: The Client. Ken recommended the fanzine Alter Ego, the on-going comic World War Three Illustrated, and the graphic novel Born Again by Frank Miller. Jef recommended anything by Linda Barry and The Dum Dum Posse by Ron Rege Jr. I forget what Tony Recommended because it was all stuff I already liked, so I didn’t write it down (yes, I’m an idiot). I think he recommended Brian Michael Bendis’ Powers (which I love, but will only read in graphic novel format) and he seconded the recommendations for Peanuts and American Elf.

    After the panel, I dragged everyone over to the Circlet Press party, figuring we could use the back of their room to chat (they publish science fiction erotica, fyi). Plus they had a bar. We sat around and talked about comics and it was BLISS! PURE BLISS, I tell you! I love nerding about current comics. The few comics nerds I can find usually want to talk about the past, DC vs. Marvel and old story lines. I want to talk about NOW and the future…

    I also got to buy issues one and two of geraniums and bacon by Catherine Leamy, who does (has? is? runs? illustrates?) Metro Kitty. I bought them after opening page one of issue one and immediately laughing out loud.

    Saturday, I did 2 panels, where I was a participant, not a moderator.

    First I went to Alexander Danner’s panel, which he describes very well. He forgot to mention the part where I blatantly shilled for Comixpedia when someone asked how to find good webcomics to read. The panelists all conducted themselves well and had quite the intelligent discussion. And yeah, the room was packed.

    They continued the discussion past the end of the panel, since no one had the room after them until 6pm, but I had to duck out and attend a friend’s reading (which went quite well).

    From there, I headed over to my first panel of the day where I was a participant – “Comics –Publish on the Web or Publish in Print? How should you distribute your work? There are pros and cons to different choices of comics media. What fits your story and situation the best?” where I was with Carlos Pedraza (moderator) and Mercy E. Van Vlack. We had an interesting discussion about how and why to publish on the web. Pretty basic. Since Carlos does videos and Mercy mainly illustrates physical comics, we had three very different points of view.

    I got to chat with Alexander Danner briefly, but he was fading so he bailed.

    My second panel of the day was “Aren’t comics for little boys? Presenting a primer to comics for women. This is a panel to introduce women to comics, that there is a wealth of interesting comics geared toward women. Also a look at the all-ages market and its future. Let’s talk about what’s available, what are the challenges, what we would like to see, and how to bring in the next generation of readers.”

    It was moderated by Rachel Mello and I was a participant along with Mercy E. Van Vlack and Jeannette ?? who isn’t listed in the program or the bios webpage (which I didn’t know or I’d have written down her full name).

    That was also fun. We tried to talk more theoretically, but we also used the piles of books we brought for illustrative purposes. I pushed Rachel Hartman’s Amy Unbounded: Belondweg Blossoming and Heartbreakers. I handed out more copies of the Million Year Picnic list-of-lists.

    Then I helped pick up some tasty Chinese food for dinner, and then me and my buds threw a KICK ASS party. Fun was had by all.

    The End.

    p.s. I is an editor, so’s I can say “me and my buds” and it’s alright. Priveleges.

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