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Monday 3 November 2008

LIANZA 2008 day 1 summing up

So I was a bit scattered yesterday afternoon, trying to figure out why the wireless was so flakey -- of course it turned out to be fine once we got into the presentation room itself.

The two keynotes (see our liveblogging yesterday) were both great, with very different moods that both reflected the conference theme of "Outside the Box".

Dylan Horrocks gave a really lively talk about the history of comics, neither traditional art nor traditional story-telling, a genre that's gained respectability in part because it's developed to a point where artist/authors can work outside the box in a way that can only be seen as real art.

Diane Mara's talk on Pacific people in New Zealand was very personal, at times emotional, and it was obvious that it came very much from her heart. In a way her story spoke of life outside of - excluded from - the European box; and I think alluded also to the hope of breaking out of the box that stereotypes put people in. And when else has a keynote presentation ended with librarians dancing in the aisles?

We then went to the exhibition welcome and though there are lots of the usual pens in evidence, I'm getting the impression that even the vendors have been thinking outside the box. More investigation is definitely required on this front.

Food report to date: super fruit kebabs. Generous sized glasses of wine at the exhibition welcome, and delicious orange juice. Very interesting hors d'oeuvres -- not in a bad way, more a thought-provoking way. (For example, they're currently provoking the thought, "Should hors d'oeuvres really be thought-provoking?")

Day two begins shortly; I'll embed the live-blogging for it in a new post.