Comics have long been considered just kids’ stuff, light-hearted fun that was originally printed as filler in daily newspapers and pulp magazines targeted for children and teens. And it was viewed as a popular or “vulgar” format, incapable of presenting subtle thought or discussing substantial subjects. Over the last 40 years or so, comics have taken on larger themes and more serious topics and have moved both into book format and online. How complete has that transformation been? What’s it like to create a comic that treats serious topics? What limitations does the comic form have? What barriers can it break? Come meet a graphic author/artist who created an award-winning comic strip dealing with one of the most serious topics of all: cancer.
Brian Fies has won several awards for his comic strip and book, Mom’s Cancer, and through it became a pioneer in the emerging field of graphic medicine. He has also written the book, Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow, and The Last Mechanical Monster, a webcomic. Come to hear about and discuss the world of serious comics, what it’s like to create comics and graphic books, and where it all might be headed. We’ll have a seriously good time.