|San Antonio River Walk|
|panel from Captain |
Aside from hearing many interesting presentations, I enjoyed having some "face time" with my fellow comics scholars, many of whom were previously just names on the Comics Scholars listserve. I enjoyed Randy Duncan's progress report on his research into the Superman: Grounded storyline, Yuri Shakouchi's presention on Beat Culture and Beatniks in MAD Magazine, and Russell Johnson's analysis of fan culture's response to Grant Morrison's Hypercrisis. There was a tea sponsored by the SWTX-PCA that celebrated Jeet Heer and Kent Worcester, authors of the Comics Studies Reader and recipients of the Peter C. Rollins Award. The special session of the Institute for Korvac Studies was a fun and mystical experience. The PCA national conference always has a good exhibit hall, and as usual I have additions to my already groaning bookshelves. They also have an excellent tradition called "the paper table" where everyone brings 10 copies of their paper, and the papers are sold for a dollar to sponsor student travel to the conference. I always end up with lots of papers, because it's a great way to dip into other areas, and to get more detail on papers of interest (presentations are only 15 minutes).
I had mixed feelings about San Antonio itself, although I probably didn't have enough time there to do justice to such a large city. The hotel was right next to the Alamo (it's the 175th anniversary) and the River Walk area. I admit, coming from California with our wealth of great Mexican restaurants, I wasn't very impressed with that part, but there's a big variety to be had, and I enjoyed my meals at the Zuni restaurant and the comics section dinner at Luciano's. I did feel a little sorry for people I'd talk with at the hotel that were looking for Vegetarian or Vegan meals, as it seems that San Antonio, at least in a touristy area like the River Walk, isn't real accommodating that way. I did really enjoy the conference though and the staff at the Marriott was unfailingly nice and helpful. Next year, Boston!