Organizers of the Fourth (!) International Conference of Comics and Medicine have now set a time and place, and issued a Call for Papers. The date is July 5-7, 2013, the venue is Brighton and Sussex Medical School in the U.K., and anyone interested in presenting a paper or running a workshop needs to read the Call for Papers available here.
My six loyal readers will recall that I was a keynote speaker at the first Graphic Medicine Conference in London, then joined the committee that organized the second and third conferences in Chicago and Toronto, respectively. After each conference we worried that we'd be unable to recapture "lightning in a bottle," only to make the next one even bigger and better. Guest speakers have included Darryl Cunningham, Scott McCloud, Phoebe Gloeckner, David Small, Joyce Brabner, Joyce Farmer, and Paul Gravett, who's attended every one so far. They're pretty great events!
Which makes it hard to explain why I resigned from the organizing committee after Toronto. As I told the others on the group, each of whom is a great person and friend, it just seemed like the right time. The committee had grown to an unwieldy size--just try finding a good conference-call time across eight time zones!--and I thought I'd contributed all I could. When I first signed on, there'd only been one conference and nobody knew what they were doing; after three very successful conferences, the group had several people with invaluable on-the-ground experience, and I wasn't one of them. I had some personal reasons related to time and expense, including the unlikelihood I'd be able to make it to England next summer. Like I said, the time seemed right.
Notwithstanding our extremely amicable separation, I enthusiastically endorse these conferences as a terrific way to spend a few days, meet good people, and charge creative batteries. I'll continue to support them however I can, including an occasional news update here, and wish those still doing the heavy lifting nothing but the best.