Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Well, like the man who was turned into a newt, it got better. There was, of course, ample opportunity to ogle the art of Charles Vess, including the slide show that offered many of the artists he admires as well as the drawing of the fountain (!) that will be in a local green space -- oh my! It is impossible to describe, although if you know his work you can imagine: Titania, Puck, a tortoise and hare...just beautiful!

There was a terrific panel on Theorizing of Alterity and Performativity which provided a lively discussion. Tom Inge's lunchtime talk on Mad and the roots of post-war satire in the US was also entertaining. The panel I was on proved to be much fun: Sarah E. Thompson from the Museum of Fine Arts showed us an amazing range of 19th century Japanese prints with fantastic images, while Irma Hirsjärvi from Jyväskylä University (the official gradnmother of Finnish SF fandom, we found out) talked about "SF and Fantasy in the Discourses of Canon and Fandom" in Finland. She even talked about Johanna Sinisalo, the author I was also speaking on. I felt nervous talking about a Finnish author with a Finn there to critique my analysis, but Irma was very positive and interested. Oh, and at the book launch for Polder, the tribute to John and Judith Clute, they took a picture for Locus, so look for me behind Ellen Datlow and in front of Peter Straub.

The comics panels were a bit disappointing on the whole (no knowledge of previous scholarship!) and there were a surprising number of no-shows at panels. We finally broke down and bought tickets to the Saturday night banquet and were glad we did in the end. Especially since everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to Tom and Charles gave him the original panels of Snow White that Tom had been trying to buy from him all week (they were in the art show). He was really surprised and touched. What a wonderful gesture!

So, I'm of two minds about the conference. We did end up having fun, but it's also an inconvenient loction and an expensive conference. Hmmm -- maybe if we fly to Miami and take a shuttle it wouldn't be as expensive. We'll see...

Oh! And coming soon (with an essay by me!) I found out by running into editor Joe Sanders:


Bobby Kuechenmeister said...

Sweet! Congratulations! My undergraduate mentor encouraged me to read Gaiman's Sandman series, but I showed reluctance to do so, but now I think it would be a good place for starting my reading list.

C. Margery Kempe said...

Thanks, Bobby. It's a pretty good series which gets better as it goes along. I think the best arcs are when you get away from the mopey title character, but there is a lot of interesting play with the ideas of dreaming and the effects that mysterious realm has on us all. There are also some amazing artists in the series like Charles Vess, Marc Hempel and Jill Thompson.

Bobby Kuechenmeister said...

I believe Gaiman's Sandman series might be interesting for me as I keep thinking about Epic in a Greek mythology sense along with comic book crossovers. One Amazon review explained how plots seem independent in Sandman, but they are really not. As for dreams, maybe there is something for me from a reader-response approach, but I don't know yet.

The Queen said...

Congrats on the essay, Kate!

And I'm jealous- 19th century Japanese prints!


C. Margery Kempe said...

Thanks -- the prints were just aMAZing! They're going to be putting them online, so you should be able to see some of them soon from the MFA site.