In spite of Seattle’s legendary status as a haven for alternative comix and cartoonists, the city has lacked a book fair or arts event to pull together all its talented people. Finally, the Short Run Small Press Fest has come along to fill that gap, and fill it well.
Comix has been hijacked by people who have little to no interest in the field itself. Jet City Comic Show was at least a noble attempt to put comics back into comics conventions. Its founders referred to it as a “back to basics comic show” which is a fair description. The concentration was clearly upon comics, comics art and comics artists. It was exactly what a convention should look like.
Make no mistake, the fact that Seattle is overrun by geekdom is in no way a bad thing. But the need for a geeky, female-centric convention occurred to a few very active geek feminists not so long ago, and last year GeekGirlCon was born. A convention where thousands gather to female geekhood, offering a place for people to celebrate and honor the contributions of women to science and technology; comics, arts, and literature; and game play and game design.
What is true of reading printed comics is equally true of reading comics on the Internet, with the added difficulty that stems from the distractions endemic to reading at a computer. How much more difficult then for a curator to attempt to translate the experience of reading webcomics to a museum gallery. Morning Serial shows how difficult it is.
When I first moved to Boston from Seattle in my early twenties, I was filled with confusion, excitement, and the terrifying thought that I had no idea what I was doing when it came to relationships, jobs and the other mysterious workings of the world. Around that time my good friend Laura introduced me to Brown’s first graphic novel, Clumsy. In his book, Brown so realistically painted a portrait of young love–in all of its awkwardness, earnestness and blind idealism–that it all felt immediately familiar.