These have been some packed days. And for some reason, everyone is sending me to comics panels (no pun intended)! Not that there’s anything wrong with that — I love comics. But it’s starting to feel weird because today I attended a library panel (on defining the role of librarians through popular representations) and wound up hearing even more about comics, even though it wasn’t officially part of the topic. Graphic novels are everywhere! In fact, though most presentations that involve comics have felt it necessary to begin with a defense of or justification for taking comics seriously (let alone using them in the classroom), the fact that everyone’s arguments are sounding alike now and everyone is backing up their arguments with some heavy hitters (and even daring to refute the heaviest hitter, Harold Bloom, who apparently loathes comics but is WRONG to do so!), I’d say that all those intros have been rendered obsolete. Everyone I’ve been hearing seems to agree that comics are important cultural artifacts, works of literature, and pieces of art all rolled into one. (And one panel added history, journalism, and memoir to the list of comics as teaching texts.)
Anyway, I’ve been taking pages and pages of notes, but I’m doing it the old-fashioned way and hand-writing them in a paper notebook,* so I’ll try to update people on the specifics later.
Tomorrow: I read fiction!
* Funny story: Just before I left Abu Dhabi, I misplaced my paper notebook and figured out I might have left it in a grocery store. I was distraught, as it contained some great little ideas and passages for my writing, so I called the store to ask if anyone had found it. I told them I was looking for a small orange notebook. After ten minutes of talking to colleagues and searching various sections of the store, the clerk came back to the phone and said, “I’m sorry, sir, but we haven’t found any notebooks. Can you tell me what brand it is so I can have our people keep an eye out for it.” I said I didn’t remember; it was just a small, palm-sized orange notebook with an elastic strap and maybe 80 or 100 line-ruled pages. The clerk was silent a moment, and then something clicked, and he said, “Ah, you mean a paper notebook! I thought you meant a small computer….”
Such is the world we live in, and such an old-fashioned writer am I. 🙂