There come times, in this life spent staring into computer screens, where social activity is required to recalibrate one’s relationship with the world. Too easily are we led to believe, by that harsh white light from the monitor, that life outside is hostile, fragile, and prone to failure. Too soon do we give up our warm, genial humanity for some harsh, rasping simulacra more prone to pedantry and depravity than the smiling sun allows.
Thus comes this. The first-annual New England Webcomics Weekend, a tri-day convergence of bleary-eyed but kindly folk driven to remind themselves and others of the value of human interaction. Not a “convention,” with its swag-hoarding and stomachaches; not a “signing,” with its lonely aisles and visible, swirling dust; but a “gathering,” a collection of friends, neighbors and strangers brought together for one single purpose: To put the good parts of our Internet into flesh, where real meaning is derived, and cast the bad parts away, if even for just a time.
You are part of that good bit — or at least the good bits of you are part of that valued whole. Bring those bits (and those bits only) to our coming summit in Easthampton, Massachussetts, and in the drafty corridors of a tall brick building we shall meet, smile, shake hands and fellowship. It will be a time for Art, with its oft-forgotten power to transcend clumsy words, but more importantly, it will be a time for Friends, with their oft-ignored power to make life meaningful.
The details are at WebcomicsWeekend.com. The cheery bird on the poster also has a Facebook and a Twitter for (non-binding) RSVPs and for news, respectively. This will be my only public journey to Massachusetts this year, and I will bring only those things I can pack lightly: a few dry-goods, perhaps; my sketchbook; my fond hopes and belief in community; and in my bag’s outer pocket for easy retrieval, my high spirits.
Will you join us?