Monday, March 26, 2012

Comics at Columbia

Yesterday, I took a trip into New York City with my cartoonist buddy Robert Berry to attend the first day of the Comic New York Symposium at Columbia University.  The symposium was the brainchild of Columbia Librarian Karen Green, a Medievalist by training and a graphics novel librarian by force of will.  Karen's been a big supporter of Rob's work over the last few years, and I've gotten to know her while riding on his coattails to all these cool comics events to which he gets invited.

The inspiration for the symposium was longtime X-Men mastermind Chris Claremont's donation of his archives to the library's Rare Book and Manuscript collection.   I think this is a very significant development, and Claremont's probably the most mainstream of comics writers, and that his career only stretches back into the '70s, and not the periods we generally think of as historically important.  I'd never seen Claremont speak before; generally, when I attend a comic book convention I tend to prefer blowing my family's savings wandering the floor to attending panels.  But Claremont's a tremendously engaging speaker, and I, never much of an X-Men fan, found myself enraptured like the world's biggest Marvel Zombie.