Five Weeks to Geek: A Shallow Preview

<— Just read this.  What a phenomenal book.  Writing interview questions for this guy, and his wife Sari Wilson.

A.D. is a great story.  The folks in it are as palpable as the best-written literary characters I’ve loved. I’m thinking specifically of Harry Crews’s Hickum Looney, and the wickedly quirky cast of Richard Russo’s Straight Man.  And while I love the movie I get to see in my head when I’m only reading text, the way graphic texts make faces and bodies and settings more accessible frees up some of my thinker.  Makes me ask questions I ask when watching movies or television, like why that color, or that angle or that outfit?

One of the most exciting things about some of the voices who’re coming to this con, like Maureen Bakis and Michael Gianfrancesco, who organized NECAC, and Williamsport’s own John Weaver, is that they’re going to talk about visual literacy, which is a concept that’s gaining traction in education and the study of literacy with the increased availability of visual media via the internet, and the constantly expanding market of graphic books: comics and graphic novels.

It’s going to be wonderful.  I have nothing more nuanced for you now because my head is so full with all of this.  The next few weeks will be for processing and writing it out.  This is part of that, but it’s also to make you aware of how awesome thing thing is going to be.  Maybe to entice you to show up.

Last time, I explained my relationship with geek lore & comics in general.  Part of that wrong-headed relationship with graphic texts was that I have not been adequately aware of books like Stitches, Cuba: My Revolution, How I Made It To Eighteen, AD: New Orleans After Deluge, etc.  These, and books like them are gaining visibility. The truth is, the super-hero stuff is still not really in my aesthetic.  But one of the points of this con is that there’s something for everyone.

John Meier, who is responsible for founding the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel prize, and who is involved in concerns about graphic texts for libraries, told me about comics that are made to describe and explain advanced concepts in mathematics and science that are suitable for post-graduate academics.

I also read this ———–>

Which Dean Haspiel drew, Inverna Lockpez wrote, and Joan Hilty edited.  This book was so affecting that I had nightmares.

It is powerful in an ideology-changing way.  It asks you to reckon out your notions of patriotism, creates a world that is utterly unfamiliar, but cripplingly vivid. It is a timely warning about political rhetoric.  And if you’re me, it gells some stuff about history for you that you only had a kind of fuzzy grasp on from  your somewhat shoddy public school education, and your mostly missing post-secondary study of history outside of literature, Britain, and after, say, 1920.

Got to get friendly with some of MK Reed’s work, Joan Hilty’s feminist comic, and Tracy White’s graphic novel, How I Made It To Eighteen, image below.

And after my love relationship almost ended over this blog post by Dr. NerdLove, it’s great to know about some influential female voices in the world of comics and other traditionally male geek media.

One of the panels I’m looking forward to the most is one that disucsses representations of race, gender, and sexuality in comics with Joan Hilty and Alex Simmons.

What I’m saying is that if you’re expecting to see a whole lotta cosplay and a whole lotta storm troopers at the Wildcat Comic Con, you probably will get some of those things.  But you’ll also get to see and talk to creators in a totally non-commercial/non-industry sort of way.

You’ll get to think about new stuff and you’ll leave there with a list of stuff to read as long as your arm, with an arsenal of new vocabulary with which to discuss it.

You’ll get your brain stretched and your your creativity muscles tickled, and you’ll get to hear some really interesting, influential people talk.

Watch for articles in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, in Sunbury’s Daily Item, and in the Webb Weekly.

And to register for the con, or to check out the roster of presenters, go here.


Author: April Line Writing

Writing about whatever the f*ck I want.

9 thoughts on “Five Weeks to Geek: A Shallow Preview”

    1. Well, Dr. Nerdlove, I might’ve been being a touch melodramatic. Here’s the short version. I LOVED that post. I sent it to everyone I could think of who’d maybe be a little interested, and I was also excited to find something about geek-stuff that I was excited to talk about with my partner, who consistently bemoans my geek failings. I’ve always been real uncomfortable watching video games and with superhero comic books. The giant-breasted, barely-dressed women make me feel icky, and mentioning it has always resulted exactly as your post said, where I am “too sensitive” or some other ridiculousness.

      And of course, I’d heard my partner say MANY of the things you predicted that your white male readers would say in protest of the notion that to be geek is not quite as counter culture as geek thinks. I thought my partner would be pleased and find it illuminating and engage with me in dinner discourse. Sadly, I was mistaken. He thought your arguments were lazy, and I thought they were brilliant. He kept saying so, and I kept saying, “no, but look! Here, he explains himself!” Then it turned into this personal thing that wasn’t about you or your article at all, but rather about the way both of our inner children emerge when we disagree, and we had a rather heated moment before I just stormed off the way I always do. But it was startling to me that he’d get so personally affronted (thereby proving the thesis of your article), and also disappointing (such that I questioned his considerable intelligence).

      Thanks for checking out my blog, anyhow, Dr. Nerdlove.

  1. Stop! Stop! I LOVE graphic novels. Love. First exposure was probably Art Spiegelman’s Maus. Was also turned on to V for Vendetta, the Watchman and others of that ilk, and even later Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. Love, love. Oh, Cancer Vixen was wonderful. Now I have a whole other list of things I must read. STOP. 🙂

      1. I just ordered (well, last night) A.D. (have you read Eggers’s Zeitoun?) and Cuba from AbeBooks. I read Armando Valladares’s Against All Hope (about, essentially, the Castro Gulag) back in the 80s when it came out and am still pretty horrified by it.
        I read the Dr. Nerdlove piece last night (I really need to be working, dammit) and loved your response—laughed—to him this morning.

      2. Um no. But I will check it out. Get Stitches, too, if you haven’t. It is brilliant.

        Thanks for liking my note to Dr. Nerdlove. I’m kinda having some starry-eyed, blogger awe that he read my post… Penelope calls it link bait, but I wasn’t really aiming for that…

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