The webcomics blog about webcomics

One Last Thing About San Diego

I has never failed to both impress and terrify me what the webs of personal interconnection can bring about. I was talking with Marian Call and Pat Race after the Space Time show about how we’re in a unique era, where somebody that’s accomplished in one field (say, comics and cartooning) winds up being a mutual fan of somebody in a completely different field (say, landing robotic laboratories on a different friggin’ planet) and they end up finding a space where they can collaborate. It’s like if the Algonquin Round Table had perhaps slightly fewer snarky New Yorker contributors and added in a barnstorming aviatrix, a jazz pioneer, and an engineer or two.

Case in point: outside Kate Beaton’s spotlight panel¹, I made the acquaintance of a woman whose Twitter handle I recognized; our circles of friends (and friends-of-friends) overlap at several points. Her name is Cathy Leamy and she’s making comics in Boston that provide healthcare education². A bit later I was talking with a woman named Lisa Johnson (who sported an ad astra per aspera tattoo³ and had nice things to say about my Figure 1 notebook) and makes satellites in Scotland (where she is far more female, far more brown, far more female, and far more not-Scottish) and then Rich Stevens introduced me to Matt Fraction and then she and Matt hugged and he got her on the FaceTime call to his daughter because they know each other because of course they do. Does Boston Cathy know originally-from-Boston Jen the Satellite Lady? I haven’t had the chance to determine it yet but it wouldn’t surprise me.

The six degrees of separation thing may not ever have been true, but it’s truer than it’s ever been. All of these disciplines intersecting, cross-pollinating, informing each other in a web of smart, accomplished, skilled people who are using the things we love to teach us about other things — things we didn’t know about, and things that we didn’t know that we would love — I truly believe that this is what’s going to hold our culture together in the face of regressive forces that want us all back in distinct boxes with clear labels and hierarchical roles.

Screw labels. Screw roles. I want comics people and music people and writer people and dance people and maker people and doctor people and actor people and human rights people and lawmaker people and food making people and drinks making people and just generally smart, interesting people bouncing the hell off each other in ways we’ve never seen before. The more the merrier.

Except for moustache people. That spot’s taken and I will brook no challengers.

¹ And if by chance anybody knows the Furiosa I met outside Kate’s panel, she looks like this and her initials are CM, I’ve been trying to email the photo I promised and her Gmail account says it’s over quota. Hey, we’re talking about connections today, somebody here probably knows her.

² Attention, Dante Shepherd: you may want to look her up to compare notes on STEM education via comics.

³ Also one of Newton’s cannonball thought experiment.

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