This looks kinda cool. And weird.
Meanwhile, blog entries have been popping up about last weekend’s Comics and Medicine conference. Check out accounts by John P, Brian F, and Sarah L, plus Phoebe G’s Facebook page. Not surprisingly, I look like a dork in all the pictures.
So here’s a picture of Patrick McGoohan and a telephone.
Just a quick note this morning (’cause I wanna get back to drawing!) but just wanted to thank everyone who came out to Northwestern yesterday for the lecture, and all those who contributed to making this year’s Comics and Medicine conference such a success.
Had the great pleasure of finally meeting David Small and Phoebe Gloeckner, getting better acquainted with John Porcellino, Brian Fies, Ethan Persoff, “The Man at the Crossroads” Paul Gravett, the good folks at Quimby’s (the only store I know that’s so cool, they actually alphabetize their minis) and several new cartoonists and creatively-inclined scholars and medical professionals doing important work in an area of study that I’ll bet many of you hadn’t even heard of before last week.
One of these days, I’ll have to cook up some kind of grand unified theory of visual communication (hint: that IEEE conference in Norway from two weeks ago and the Comics and Medicine conference have more in common than you might think) but for now, thanks to the organizers for a lovely trip to the windy city.
This Saturday, June 11, join me at Northwestern University’s Thorne Auditorium at 3:00 pm for a free public lecture in association with this year’s Comics and Medicine Conference and the legendary Quimby’s.
It’s a big room, so tell your friends and spread the word! This is my only Chicago talk planned for the near future, so let’s seize the opportunity to meet.
IMPORTANT: My lecture is FREE and open to the public! You don’t have to be a registered conference participant to attend. Everybody is welcome.
Thursday is Sky’s graduation(!) and I fly early on Friday, so back to blogging Monday.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
3:15 PM – 5:00 PM
Arthur Rubloff Building, Thorne Auditorium
375 E. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 6061
This article at GigaOm by Darrell Etherington points to what I’ve long thought of as the elephant in the room in all discussions of the comics industry: comics’ crappy cost-to-minute ratio.
While subscriptions might be an important part of the solution as Etherington suggests, I personally think that a 99 cents price point could be attractive for a one-off comics story. IF that comic was 50 pages long AND formatted to the screen.
Kurt Busiek has long made the argument that comic books took a wrong turn decades ago when they started cutting pages to keep the price the same. That less satisfying read plus a product not earning its shelf space for retailers, led to fewer copies sold, the loss of the economies of scale, and even higher prices in the long run; while in Japan, Manga’s cheap phone book sized anthologies were selling in the millions.
Now we actually have the opportunity, through a potentially more efficient distribution channel, to get prices down AND bulk up the page count (no printing cost for pixels!). Let’s not make the same mistake twice.
Rule #1: Is your comic a satisfying read?
Rule #2: Is the price low enough that your readers won’t mind paying it again and again?
Rule #3: See Rule #1. Repeat.
My dad was an engineer and had hundreds of old IEEE Journals on a giant bookcase in the basement. As a kid, I’d read to him from their articles (he was blind). Years later, when I was actually cited in one, I think Mom could finally relax; secure in the knowledge that I had a real job.
Attention Australia!: I’ll be joining cartooning legends Robert Crumb, Jim Woodring, Peter Kuper and others this summer (well, okay, technically winter) for GRAPHIC: A Weekend of Graphic Storytelling, Animation and Music at the Sydney Opera House.
Off to Norway Monday for EuroVis 2011. I’ve recently updated the travel sidebar at right. Click on the Belfast link to see a great homepage (someone on Twitter was congratulating Erik S. and I for our superior ability to hold a pose).
Sorry that I seem to have a lot of corporate or closed talks this year (as opposed to cheap or free public lectures; NYU, for example is a closed talk for the Liberal Studies freshmen only). Just the roll of the dice.
If you work at a university or other organization that you think might want to sponsor an old-fashioned public lecture, let me know and I can send along prices and details.
Not expecting to do much blogging while in Norway, so have a great weekend and a great week!