Earlier today, I participated in the first annual Met@Morph
convention, a newly formed convention about comics and webcomics, especially from an academic viewpoint. It took place in Second Life
, which I know people who have heard of it have mixed feelings about.
Firstly, this was very nice since it was a virtual convention, so all I really needed was an Internet connection. As opposed to spending time and money to drive to a convention hall, pay for parking, registration, a hotel room, etc. etc. Plus, I was invited to be on a panel (of sorts), which is cool since I'd likely never be invited to be on a panel at any real convention.
I arrived about 11:00 am SLT (Pacific), at it seemed the group there was just finishing up some kind of roundtable discussion. Then, in a foreshadowing event, the sim/server reset for maintenance. When the group reconvened, we met on a glass-bottom auditorium over the ocean, where 3 people gave talks. There were some technical problems, but I guess that's to be expected when dealing with Internet-type things, and a bunch of people who probably haven't used Second Life very much. One fairly interesting talk was a discussion of Alan Moore, about how he was a cartoonist before he got into comics proper and an analysis of his style and how it developed toward what would become Watchmen
We then moved to an art gallery for the "Creator's Commons". When I first heard I was going to be on this panel, I panicked a little, because I was confusing it with the Creative Commons license, which I don't use, and I thought I made a poor choice for this panel since I couldn't speak with any authority about it. Really, it was just a way for some of us to show off our online projects. One was a new webcomic that took place (and I think has a gallery) in Second Life, and the other was a guy who had done some work in Machinima. Then there was me. I totally didn't prepare (since I didn't really know what to expect), and I winged it, with plenty of um's and awkward pauses. If I had known what I was doing, I might've prepared a little better, with at least something to show off, but as I explained to the audience, I'm really just using them as a promotional tool...which much to my relief, they took in stride. (Not that I think they'd admonish me for it).
All in all, it was a neat experience. With all the work I've been doing in IMGD, it's very neat to participate in something that's taking advantage of the general shift toward/work in virtual worlds. We had many participants from all over the world. It's also nice to be a part of something using Second Life the way it was intended, instead of probably what most people experience, which is just sex and gambling.
I wouldn't mind being a part of it again next year, and maybe I can come up with a more significant contribution, instead of just kinda blurting out "um, read my comic!" as a kind of afterthought at the end of the conference.
Labels: comics, convention, Met-at-Morph, Second Life