Early autumn is my favorite time of year. Most people say that spring feels ripe with possibilities, but I get that little frisson more in the fall. Maybe it's an imprinted memory left over from returning to school each year myself. Or anticipation of the coming holidays; I'm already drawing up plans for new spooky effects to add to my Halloween yard. Things change and happen fast this season. You get to put on sweaters and put off mowing the lawn. And then BOOM, it's next year.
.I am working on a couple of comics-related things. One is a presentation for my trip to the Toledo Museum of Art on October 2, where I'll be speaking at the opening of the "LitGraphics" exhibition that includes some original pages from Mom's Cancer plus many better pages from better artists. Right now I think about half my 45-minute talk will be on the experience of making Mom's Cancer and the other half on comics as art in general (I'm sure I'll also mention WHTTWOT, but that's not why I'm there). My aim is that after listening to me, people will go look at the pictures hanging on the wall and notice things they wouldn't have before. I can only get so deep in a short talk--I can only get so deep under any circumstances--but I think (hope) I can add some value to the museum-goers' experience.
Semi-related, I've noticed an interesting evolution in my thinking about doing talks and panels and such, which is that I'm increasingly uncomfortable with the idea. There was a fun stretch a couple of years ago when I did a bunch of them and enjoyed it very much. It's flattering to find out someone thinks you have something interesting to say and hey, if they're nice enough to ask and it might get one or two people to check out your work, why not? But the more I learn about comics and publishing (and I know gobs more than I did back then), the more I realize how little I know. I always took Socrates's "true wisdom is knowing that you know nothing" as a cute little koan that Socrates himself probably didn't really believe, but I'm beginning to think the old hemlock-chugger might've been right. I used to pontificate with great confidence, delivering all kinds of sage and helpful insight and advice. Now I think it's all distilled down to "Why on Earth would you care what I think? I don't know what I'm doing. Give it a shot and see if it works."
Fortunately, I think I can do better than that for the Toledo Museum folks. Although I can just imagine the looks on their faces if, after being flown across the country and put up for the night, I stood in front of the opening night patrons, put up one PowerPoint slide that read "I know nothing," thanked everyone for coming, and left the stage.
Man that's tempting. But no no no. So wrong!
Also, today I put the first pencil on paper for what could be my next book or webcomic or pile of stuff no one ever sees because I stuffed it into a drawer. I'll keep you posted on that--just wanted to mark the occasion.