In recent weeks we've lined up Scott McCloud, Phoebe Gloeckner and David Small as keynote speakers, which is a very impressive roster of comics talent. We also issued a "Call for Papers" asking people to propose ideas for papers, panels, workshops and poster sessions they'd want to present in Chicago. Now we're trying to drum up some publicity (which, honestly, this blog post is a tiny contribution to) so that potential participants will check out the Call for Papers and help us program this thing. The deadline is February 28.
The one time I met Scott McCloud, our conversation went something like this: Him: "Congratulations." Me: "Thanks." Then he handed me an Eisner Award. I'm hoping to renew our acquaintance in Chicago.
Johanna Draper Carlson (who was one of the very first pros to say nice things about my Mom's Cancer webcomic and I'll never forget it) at "Comics Worth Reading" just posted an interview with me about the conference. Rather than repeat it all, I'll suggest anyone interested in the details go read it there.
More information about the Chicago conference, including the Call for Papers, is available at the Graphic Medicine website. That site is maintained by Ian Williams, the cartoonist/physician who invited me to London and is also involved in the planning for Chicago.
It's an understatement to say I'm not much of a team player or joiner. If I hadn't had such a terrific time in London, and didn't feel that Graphic Medicine was a worthwhile idea, I wouldn't be involved. As I told Johanna, I think these conferences focus on an aspect of comics with vast untapped potential to make a lot of difference in people's lives. Mom's Cancer gave me a peek at that potential. I'd like to see it develop.