Keynote on My Cartoonist Journey

Paige heading to the Queers & Comics conference
Photo by Celina De León.

I just returned from a weekend among friends and fellow creators at the Queers & Comics conference in NYC. The conference of panels and presentations was hosted at the School of Visual Arts. Jennifer Camper and Justin Hall did an amazing job organizing an event that drew cartoonists and fans from all over and had a bunch of moving parts (and very little air conditioning). This was no easy task. They had the help of amazing volunteers too.

The Serialized Comics panel moderated by Jeff Krell. From left to right: Kurt Erichsen and Diana Green.
The Serialized Comics panel moderated by Jeff Krell. From left to right: Kurt Erichsen and Diana Green. Photo by Celina De León
The Romance and Storytelling panel moderated by Steve MacIsaac. From left to right: Lee Marrs, Sean Martin, David Tarafa, and Elizabeth Beier
The Romance and Storytelling panel moderated by Steve MacIsaac. From left to right: Lee Marrs, Sean Martin, David Tarafa, and Elizabeth Beier. Photo by Celina De León.

In addition to doing some panels, I delivered the keynote speech on Friday evening. This was the sort of talk that you agree to, partly because you are incredibly flattered and honored to be asked, and partly because it’s easy to say yes when the event is months away. But then time seems to speed up and before you know it you’re faced with saying something cohesive, inspiring, and meaningful about your personal journey as an artist.

Panoramic photo of Paige before delivering keynote
Photo by Julia Tortolani.

“The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” — Charles Du Bos; a quote I used in my keynote

It’s always a bit emotional to look back at where I’ve started and the path I’ve taken to get where I am now. I’m eternally grateful to the people who were mentors to me as a young cartoonist, especially Dave Graue. It was nerve wracking but at the same time, uplifting, to be able to share my story with those who attended. Hopefully they found some inspiration and encouragement for their own journey in the stories I shared.

Photo from my Paige's keynote address - Jane's World is on display
Photo by Celina De León.