Graphic Medicine International Collective Focuses on Creators and Comics in Progress for Its 2021 UnConvention, Including Fanbase Press’ ‘Ripple Effects’

As the global pandemic continues to hamper in-person events, the Graphic Medicine International Collective has chosen to move its annual convention (which explores the interaction between the medium of comics and the discourse of healthcare) to the virtual space with the announcement of the 2021 Graphic Medicine UnConvention.  Taking place August 13, through Sunday, August 15, 2021, the theme of this year's convention is "What Are You Working On," providing an opportunity for attendees to learn about new projects and connect with their creators by way of one-minute videos highlighting in-progress projects, their inspiration, and what readers/viewers can anticipate from them.  Fanbase Press is honored to be included in this year's Unconvention videos by way of its upcoming graphic medicine series, Ripple Effects, and we look forward to learning about all of the incredible creators and projects who will also be participating.

The past year has provided many of us the time to create, a reason to create, and an urgency to create, and the UnConvention will share one-minute videos that present graphic medicine work in a wide range of engagements. Projects included are: comics and collections in-progress, community activities, varied graphic medicine approaches and topics, modes of teaching, clinical practice, life-writing/life-drawing, social activism, research, and archiving. 

Fanbase Press is thrilled to have had its one-minute video on the upcoming comic book series, Ripple Effects, accepted for this year's convention.  The video will feature series creator/writer/colorist Jordan Hart discussing the premise of the series, as well as its inspiration.  Ripple Effects explores life as a superhero with an invisible and incurable disease.  In a world that is no stranger to superheroes, George Gibson is invulnerable to physical harm but fights every day to stay alive. Suffering from an acute case of type 1 diabetes, his invincibility is offset by a defective pancreas that must be monitored and treated daily. This incurable disease makes George's body both his greatest strength and his eternal weakness. What sets this series apart is a positive, person-first representation about life with a chronic disease . . . which just so happens to also include superhuman abilities. But, Ripple Effects isn't just a story about a character with an incurable disease. It’s also a thrilling and relevant superhero tale that touches on the difficulty of finding a work/life balance, the class struggles and economic inequality experienced by many in our nation, and the desire to help others during trying times.

Below is a list of this year's convention itinerary, including links to each day's full panel schedule.

Friday, August 13
12 p.m. - 2 p.m./PT (3 p.m. – 5 p.m./EST)

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Graphic Medicine International Collective (GMIC) Board and Organization Introduction
Sample of Video Presentations
Special UnConvention Drawing Together

Saturday, August 14
9 a.m. - 2 p.m./PT (12 p.m. – 5 p.m./EST)

Panel sessions at the top of every hour (click for detailed schedule)

Sunday, August 15
9 a.m. - 3 p.m./PT (12 p.m. – 6 p.m./EST)

*Featuring Ripple Effects creator Jordan Hart at 11 a.m./PT (2 p.m./EST)

Panel sessions at the top of every hour (click for detailed schedule)

Closing Reflections and Remarks

While the 2021 UnConvention is free to attend, attendees are encouraged to consider paying for registration at an amount that you (or your institution) are most able to pay. Attendees are also encouraged to consider donating to the Graphic Medicine International Collective to help the non-profit organization support their many worthwhile ventures. Here are the links for donations, conference merch, and supporting (and independent booksellers) through the Bookshop.

For more information on the field of Graphic Medicine, readers are encouraged to check out Fanbase Press' virtual panel, "Building Empathy Through Graphic Medicine," featuring Graphic Medicine International Collective's Matthew Noe (President, ALA GNCRT/Lead Collection & Knowledge Management Librarian, Countway Library, Harvard Medical School) and Dr. Theresa Rojas (Professor, Modesto Junior College/Founding Director, The Latinx Comic Arts Festival), as well as Jordan Hart (writer/illustrator, Fanbase Press' Ripple Effects), Mike Ahn and Seol Young Lee (creators, Out of Order), and moderator Barbra Dillon (Editor-in-Chief, Fanbase Press).

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