The first presentation, “Cómo, qué y por qué leer historietas?,” combined a random mix of people: Patricia Breccia and Carlos Nine (both artist/writers), Laura Vazquez (an investigator and writer), and Diana Maffía (Diputada de la Ciudad, city representative). The talk was unstructured, with each participant expounding on their own personal philosophy and connection to comics. Personally, I was most interested in Diana Maffía, the politician, to learn more about her motivations for joining the group. She talked about her childhood reading comics and talked about her observations on women in comics. Apparently, this diputada wrote the law that established the “Día de la Historieta,” a national holiday that celebrates comics. A semi-important holiday was born out of one person’s childhood interest in comics. The event wasn’t a success in itself, the incoherent choice of speakers led to a bit of tension and some weird vibes, but the fact that the government held a homenaje is important. It shows that courting politicians and developing their interest in comics could lead to more support, just as Andrés Valenzuela suggested. Maybe the comics community doesn’t want to get involved in politics, but for the field to grow, comics need presence, and to get presence, financial investment is necessary. The community needs somebody to represent it on a political scale, a consultant. Maybe my analysis is a bit simplistic, but representation could be essential for the growth of the medium.
Okay, I’m done being serious. I initially wanted to end my post with some sort of silly commentary on the break food (we got stale cookies, the other conference got delicious medialunas), but this post ended with a depressing analysis and it didn’t fit with the mood. So, I am going to end with drawings of the conference (I didn't have a camera, so I forced Santiago Slaby, my boyfriend, to draw some of the presenters):