So, on February 25th, I was given the wonderful opportunity to discuss comic studies in the Rio Grande Valley in a panel for FESTIBA. For those that do not know, to quote the website, the Festival of International Books and Arts is here to “promote the importance of literacy, culture and the arts to students, parents, educators and community members throughout the Rio Grande Valley. With the theme of Building a Better World, FESTIBA 2020 strives to focus on a bright future by promoting and inspiring education for sustainable development, or the idea that we must teach in a way that empowers students to provide tomorrow’s generations with the same opportunities and quality of life that we enjoy today.”
The panel I was in was titled, The Future of Comic Studies in the RGV. I sat with Paul Valadez (who taught me back when I was an undergraduate), Jean Braithwaite (who also taught me when I was an undergraduate), Sabrina De La Rosa, and Jing Zhang.
The discussion was wonderful. We were asked thoughtful questions and I got to promote how libraries view graphic novels and what types of programs we were looking to utilize them. I presented an assignment I did last semester in my course on Public Librarianship.
Sabrina De La Rosa gave a beautiful presentation on her work and I hope to purchase her graphic novels one of these days, she is a talented person. I am only sorry that I could not share you her work. Paul Valadez also did a great speech on his own views of how to realize that artists and writers are professionals that should utilize their voice in that regard. Jean Braithwaite herself talked of Words + Pictures, the group that set up the panels and information sessions on graphic novels for FESTIBA. She talked of future plans and goals they would be having moving forward. Words+Pictures’ members are art professors, writing professors, and librarians that all want to show the artistry behind making a graphic novel. I hope to be more involved.