Comics Studies in COVID times!
This year, like many of the other worldwide events, the 11th International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference was also organized ONLINE from 1-3 July 2020. IGNCC has been quietly happening in the UK since its inception. A dedicated group of people has been efficiently organizing this year after year. This time even though the format was different, the effort was evidently the same. And people came together with a single aim of expressing their love towards one thing: Comics.
In the last session when the conference was getting over, everyone exchanged joyous and wishful messages. Some turned on their webcams while few typed in the cold chatbox. The 3-day event was over. Such wonderful academic exchanges, idea sharing, workshops, passionate talks, everything was becoming silent now. Participants started to leave the online room, one by one. I did not wanted to leave early and just wanted to see people leaving. It was a silent moment till the time came when the dark screen popped a message saying "you're the only one in the room." It creeped me a little. The screen was dark with an eerily staring blue chair in the middle that appeared wearing a Hannibal Lecter-ish mask. I heard my own breath and sigh, amplified by my earphones. I had to leave too.
This pandemic has been testing patience and perseverance like anything ever. While the world is left shattered, academicians are trying their best to keep knowledge sharing alive. Events are being conducted despite all odds. Participants are still showing up with unbroken passion and dedication. Irrespective of races, colors, countries, and boundaries, events like these are sharing the human minds persistently. It indeed brings a smile to my face thinking of all these wonderful people, doing their bits to survive these times. And in the process, share little more knowledge to us.