The dates for the 2019 Queers & Comics conference have been announced (May 17–18 in New York City), and I am excessively excited!
I don’t get out much as a comix creator. I haven’t gone to a proper comics convention since the 1990s (which was purely as a fan). This is mainly due to my basket of anxieties: I don’t do well in crowds. But I took a chance on the 2015 Q&C conference, which was low-key enough for me to handle, and I eagerly signed up for the 2017 conference.
For the second conference I managed to finagle my way onto the panel about “bisexuality in comics”. (I think they needed a male.) They haven’t started putting together panels yet for next year, but I’ll try to figure out a way I can contribute to another. (I don’t think I did too badly last year.)
Both locations – the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Midtown Manhattan in 2015, and California College of the Arts near the Mission District in San Francisco in 2017 – are good ones, but I was hoping they’d do the next one in the Midwest, which would be more accessible to me. But going back to the Big Banana is fine. The travel time and expense is a little easier to manage: there are direct 2-hour flights, for probably about $250 round-trip.
Surprisingly, being surrounded by millions of people in New York didn’t trigger my anxiety… I guess the anonymity of the big city made it “safe”. In 2015, I stayed at the Vanderbilt YMCA, which is an easy one-mile walk from CLAGS, and I’ll probably do that again. I ended up paying about $300 for three nights in a little one-person room with a shared bathroom on the floor, which is about the best you can do in Manhattan. I splurged on three nights’ lodging because I had a full-time job; in 2017 I only slept one night in San Francisco, and used my hours of air travel the night before and after for “lodging”.
If I need to go bare-minimum like that for this trip, I could get away with taking the first flight of the day to NYC on Friday morning, and the last flight of the night out on Saturday, and only spend one night at the Y, saving a couple hundred bucks. That’s kind of a sucky way to visit New York (or any city), though. Having a couple hours to wander Central Park before catching my flight home on Sunday was nice in 2015. There will probably be some social events before and after that I’d miss too… if I’m up for that. I do regret going to San Francisco and seeing almost none of it… maybe in 2021 I can make it an actual visit.