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A quick report after NECAC 2011

This past Saturday, March 26, I left the kids with my parents in CT and zoomed up to Providence RI for the first-ever New England Comic Arts in the Classroom Conference (NECAC). (Publishers Weekly just did a write-up of the event here which will fill you in on the background.)

Given my time constraints I wasn’t able to spend much time there but there was a great vibe and a very enthusiastic crowd. I got in 20 minutes before my workshop and caught most of Michael Bitz’s inspiring closing remarks before hopping back in the car so I could get back to my children by dinnertime (which I managed to do, keeping myself lively with an americano (extra shot) and a constant shuffle of 30 second clips of classic rock and hip hop en español on the radio). It was such a whirlwind trip that I didn’t even spot Tracy White even though we had planned to meet and she was doing a workshop down the hall from me.

teachers, cartoonists, and students draw panels for my Panel Lottery activity

Thanks to everyone who came to my “Panel Lottery” workshop, and a special ‘hello’ to those I had a chance to chat with, including Jay Hosler, who had very kind words to say about our work here; Maureen Bakis, who graciously helped me tape silly drawings to the wall; Neil Cohn, whom I met in person after a long correspondence; Martha Kuhlman, who was excited to talk experimental comics; and a surprise guest, Ariel Bordeaux, who, fans and friends will be excited to hear, is working on a new graphic novel while getting an MFA from the Center for Cartoon Studies.

Ariel Bordeaux, with Maureen Bakis in back (not sure who that is in between)

If you were at the conference and are visiting this site for the first time: welcome! and please have a look around. Though DW&WP has its origins as a how-to book, a lot of the activities and essays are applicable in different classroom contexts. If you have any suggestions on how to make the site more useful for your kind of teaching, please get in touch. I hope Jessica or myself will be back next year with another workshop or talk.

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