Webcomics Weekend, Day Threeon April 11, 2009 at 2:27 pm
Thankfully, I was able to sleep in a bit on Sunday, since the planners of the Webcomics Weekend wisely took into account all the partying going on the night before and didn’t schedule the Eastworks building to open until noon. I was able to wake up, shower, get all my stuff packed and in my car and even sit down to a complimentary breakfast of do-it-yourself waffles before I checked out of my hotel and drove over to Easthampton.
Most of the day was spent walking around, talking to new friends and readers, and basically hitting all the things I wasn’t able to see the day before when most of my day was occupied by the panels. This included visiting rooms which held stuff like the Infinite Canvas Post-It Jam, which was a tongue-in-cheek way of exploring an infinite canvas, the idea that, theoretically, webcomics have no size limit, and can be expanded on in any direction within a browser window. Many, many people took up the challenge and took advantage of the post-its and pens provided, including myself. Neat idea. Adjacent to this room was a gallery of original art done by several top webcartoonists, and I constantly had to stop myself from buying anything (including an original Octopus Pie strip I still want) due to the expense of the art and the difficulty of taking some of the pieces on the plane. I wasn’t able to stay for the closing ceremonies, as I had to get back to the airport to catch my flight back to L.A., but it was a short, relaxing day, and was a nice wrap-up to the weekend as I got to hang a bit with some other webcomic writers and artists again, and did a few more sketches and handed out pins for JEFbot fans.
Now, did the weekend really live up to being the “Woodstock of Webcomics” or, “Webstock” as many have been saying? I suppose time will tell, but being in the middle of all the excitement and energy of the hundreds of creators and fans there, I’d have to say, “Yes.” It really did feel like an important movement was underway and that all of us there were a part of it. And with its success, I can only assume the organizers will be doing another one next year, which I’m sure will be bigger and (perhaps) better, and I know I’ll be back at some point. I can see the NEWW becoming the San Diego Comic Con of webcomics, so I’ll be cherishing memories from this event for a long time. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if many of us will be saying to people in years to come, “I was there, at the very first NEWW. And it was awesome.”
Lastly, I wanted to thank all the JEFbot fans who came to the show and asked for a sketch or pin, or just wanted to talk with me about the strip – beyond all the panels and galleries and pub crawls and peer meetings, you guys really made this weekend for me. It’s the same with the readers who take the time to leave comments or email me: all you guys make doing JEFbot so much more fun and worth all the time and effort it takes to write and draw it. Thanks!