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Sixth ‘Cripping’ the Comic Con Symposium Announced
The sixth “Cripping” the Comic Con symposium is Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Schine Student Center. The event welcomes all community members to a day centered on this year’s theme, “And Justice for All…?,” focusing on disability justice, freedom of expression and comics culture in today’s world. Participants can register now using the “Cripping” the Comic Con online registration form. Registration is also available on site.
“‘Cripping’ the Comic Con is a disability-accessible convention, which welcomes people from every identity to come be themselves and have a good time while immersing themselves in disability-themed comics, art, workshops and presentations,” says Kate Corbett Pollack, coordinator in the Disability Cultural Center.
The symposium’s preliminary schedule features a plenary session, seven creative workshops, complimentary breakfast and dinner buffets, a gaming room, a quiet (“low stim”) room, an accessible photo booth, autograph stations, vendors and exhibitors.
This year’s plenary panel will be moderated by Diane R. Wiener, research professor, associate director of the Burton Blatt Institute’s Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach, and co-creator of “Cripping” the Comic Con. The panel features seven leaders, both seasoned and emergent, in the disability and comics world:
- Nancy Silberkleit (co-CEO of Archie Comics) and Jason Harris: Silberkleit and Harris, who is autistic, will discuss a new autistic character in the Archie Comics world, Scarlet Saltee. Scarlet first appeared in Kindness Works (written by Ray Felix and penciled by Fernando Ruiz).
- Leroy F. Moore Jr. and Keith Jones: The Krip-Hop Nation founders will be discussing black disability advocacy and the arts, as well as Moore’s newly debuted graphic novel.
- Georgia Webber: Webber is the author and illustrator of “Dumb” (a term she likewise critiques), a critically acclaimed graphic memoir about vocal disability.
- Jason Pittman: Pittman will discuss his book “The War for Kaleb,” which addresses anxiety and emotional variance.
- Lucy Wales: A recent graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, Wales will discuss her work in medical illustration, comics and disability justice.
The first 250 participants will receive swag bags with complimentary panelists’ artwork that can be autographed on site.
Another highlight of this year’s event is the return of Gilles Stromberg ’12, co-creator and illustrator of the Access Avengers. Participants can join Stromberg in a “Create Your Own Access Avenger” workshop. The Access Avengers is a team of multicultural, multi-gendered and multi-ethnic superheroes with disabilities who aim to disrupt problematic representations that are so common in mainstream comics and popular culture.
“Each time the ‘CripCon’ happens, it has its own unique life and culture. However, there is a meaningful thread through all of the symposia hosted over the years,” says Wiener. “In creating and hosting ‘Cripping’ the Comic Con, we are very committed to underscoring the importance of intersecting identities.”
Reclamation of the word “Crip” is also a key component of the event. The “CripCon” was held annually from 2013 to 2017—it is now biannual—and was co-created by Wiener to bring disability culture to the forefront. Wiener explains that while reclaiming language can at times be “a mixed bag,” the “CripCon” uses “Crip” in an empowering way. For more information, see the “What Cripping Means” page.
“CripCon19” is co-hosted by the Disability Cultural Center and the Burton Blatt Institute’s Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach, with support from the Disability Student Union, the Beyond Compliance Coordinating Committee, the Center on Human Policy and the Office of Disability Services.
The event is free and open to the public, and includes complimentary parking in the University Avenue Garage on a first-come, first-served basis. A livestream will also be available (details to follow).
American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will be provided for the entire symposium. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) will be provided during the plenary session. The deadline for sharing dietary preferences and for requesting other accommodations is March 29 via the online registration form. For questions regarding parking, contact Dee Bailey at email@example.com or 315.443.5319.
This article was written by Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience communications intern Nadia Suleman ’19.