Inky Stories at Arisia 2011

Arisia is a New England-based scifi convention for fans and professionals. I got to participate on a few panels.

David Marshall, Andrew Farago, Shaenon Garrity, and Ken Gale working The History of Comics panel of Arisia 2011

The History of Comics panel. Photo by Larry Dunne.

Arisia is a New England-based Science Fiction convention for fans and professionals. Activities include panels, movies, dealers, art shows, cosplay and networking. This year was their first time hosting panel discussions about comic books; I was lucky enough to participate in five of them. In addition to being a panelist, I was a first-time moderator for 3 of the panels. For first-time moderators, Paul Gillin's "10 Tips For Moderating a Great Panel" article is an excellent resource.

Back to the event, I got to talk about the comic book industry/history/methods with knowledgeable peers, some of whom know a lot more than I do. It was such a blast, that I didn't even think of telling you about it until now. Guess I've always had this problem of documenting my triumphs. Below is the list of panels I participated in, using the official descriptions from Arisia. If time allows I'll update these descriptions with personal notes, corrections and/or observations. Looking at it now, I can't wait 'til next year.

The Panels

Comic Book Creation from Creators' Perspectives

Ever wonder how the words and pictures go together? Want to know how to pitch a project to a potential partner? Or are you more interested in the nuts and bolts of doing it all yourself? Every story has a history. Stop by and peer in behind the scenes!

Comics Fight: Live, Loud, and Wacky!

Did you like "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" Imagine that, but with dueling artists. Artists who can draw on command and can encourage audience participation. Plus a moderator who will choose ideas from the crowd and panelists to compete.

The History of Comics

Mainstream comics have provided the longest-running soap opera in American history. But what's the real story behind the story? How did just a few guys churn out so many amazing books? What tools did they use? What would they say about the industry today?

The Best Young-Adult and Children's Comics

Are you looking for material suitable for your kids? Or are you seeking to convert that favored niece or nephew into your life-long hobby? Come share recommendations suitable for the younger crowd.

Non-Fiction Comics: Telling Truth With Pictures

From memoir to biography, from true science to history, there are dozens of great comics out there that have little in common with the spandex-clad set. What do these stories strive to share? Are comics a good medium for non-fiction? What CAN'T you do with pictures and words?

— Your boy-band hero Dave, once again disappointed by The Friendly Toast.