I plan to write a more detailed post about what I learned at the Comics and Medicine conference this year. I’m still in Toronto and am processing the whole thing—but I wanted to write briefly to give recognition and thanks first to the organizing committee: MK Czerwiec, Brian Fies, Michael Green, Susan Squier, Shelley Wall, and Ian Williams. Very special thanks to Shelley Wall, who had most of the conference riding on her shoulders. She carried it off brilliantly and super-humanly (with the help of an amazing team of volunteers). Shelley also has a set of new and really gorgeous tattoos!
Comics and Medicine is unlike any conference I have been to before. Made up of a range of participants (including artists, academics, and healthcare professionals) who all share a vital interest in issues related to healthcare and the patient experience, the gathering feels more like a community than a conference. On a personal note, last year, I walked away transformed and inspired. This year, I walk away both heavy-hearted and incredibly eager—aware of the reality of what’s ahead of me in completing my project. Off the top of my head (and this is NOT a complete list): Deeply in awe of the work of Nancy Andrews, Andrew Godfrey, Riva Lehrer, and Dana Walrath (who, it turns out, is my kindred collager!). And taking with me a powerful sequence of mental words and images from Brian Fies, Sarah Lightman, Riva Lehrer (mentioning her name twice is hardly enough!), Nancy K. Miller, Susan Squier, and Nicola Streeten (again, a VERY incomplete list!).
Ridiculous thanks for the friendships of MK Czerwiec and Ian Williams, without whom I have no idea.