Monday, May 28, 2012

Cruisin' Costumes at the C2E2

C2E2, Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, is the first mainstream comics event I've attended. I guess you could count Crack Bang Boom in Rosario, but compared to C2E2, it was small potatoes. C2E2 was held in McCormick Place. To put it in perspective, this is the same location where the NATO conferences took place. Comics conferences, meeting of world leaders. Practically the same thing. C2E2 lasted three days, but I only had the stamina and money for one. I spent most of the time walking around with friends, checking out merchandise, comics, and tattoo booths and the costumes. Enjoy pictures and commentary of the event:

The McCormick Place entrance hallway.

With Max in the main conference hall. Don't our swanky passes make us look super official?

People in costumes, milling about.

Zombies on stilts? These were some of the best and most elaborate costumes I saw during the conference. 

Hunger Games costumes!

And what would a comics conference be without the Disney Princesses?
Renaissance ladies. 
Now that I've posted these photos, I see a distinct theme: lots of poofy, fancy dresses. Most people were dressed up as superheroes or characters displaying an excessive amount of cleavage, but poofy dresses apparently attracted my attention the most. 

This woman was getting a tattoo. I passed by her multiple times over a four hour period. Why would you go to a comics conference to get a tattoo?

At the end of the conference. So tired. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Prodigal Daughter Returns

Comics: Philosophy and Practice Auditorium

I’m back.

The past few months have been intensely busy, and my time has been filled with an exciting, but exhausting internship at a political campaign. In the few hours I haven’t been interning, I’ve been applying to graduate school in Latin America, writing papers for conferences, and preparing to take terrifying tests. And that left very little time for comics. I’ve been back almost three months, but only just today checked a comic out of the library.

But, to be honest, it wasn’t just the lack of time that caused this distance from comics. After a year of studying, I wasn’t able to enjoy them anymore. I was burnt out. Contributing to this malaise was the fact that during two of the past three months unhappiness from leaving Argentina, unemployment (I’m an unpaid intern), and the intense and painful introspection that comes with thinking about the future put me in a foul mood. I though, maybe, the comics period of my life was over. (Yes, yes. A bit dramatic, I know.)

But this past weekend’s Comics: Philosophy and Practice, a three-day long academic comics conference at the University of Chicago, reinvigorated me. First of all, I was volunteering and got to meet a bunch of thoughtful, like-minded comics fans. Then, the conference included panels and interviews with some of my favorite illustrators, like R. Crumb, Alison Bechdel, Chris Ware, Lynda Barry, Seth, Daniel Clowes, Joe Sacco, Charles Burns, and Aileen Kominsky-Crumb. And finally, the conference gave me hope that I might find a way to pursue comics academically. The organizer, Hillary Chute, is a professor at the University of Chicago and writes extensively on graphic novels. An academic field exists for studying comics, and given the good turnout, I think it will be growing in the near future.

So, inspired by comics, I write again.