Following the first Glasgow gathering in June 1999, further bande dessinée conferences saw the creation of IBDS (2001), plans for a new journal (2005, with European Comic Art first appearing in 2008) and a shared gathering with the Graphic Novels and Comics Conference (2011 onwards). The initial part of this overview will be an unashamed nostalgia-fest as we look back on IBDS events from 1999 to 2019. As befits a good comic, the fun will nonetheless lead to more serious considerations. The evolution of IBDS stands as a marker of the evolution of comics studies, both in terms of the variety of works studied and approaches taken, and with respect to the acceptance of the discipline (if it is such). More generally, a retrospective on the last twenty years allows us to question the very nature of the canon – literary or otherwise – as it now stands, and to look forward speculatively to the developments of future decades.
Laurence Grove is Professor of French and Text/Image Studies and Director of the Stirling Maxwell Centre for the Study of Text/Image Cultures at the University of Glasgow. His research focuses on historical aspects of text/image forms, and in particular bande dessinée. He is President of the International Bande Dessinée Society. Laurence (also known as Billy) has authored (in full, jointly or as editor) twelve books, including Comics in French (Berghahn, 2010 and 2013) and approximately sixty chapters or articles. He co-curated the Comic Invention exhibition (The Hunterian, Glasgow, 2016; Clydebank Museum, 2017) and Frank Quitely: The Art of Comics (Kelvingrove, Glasgow, 2017), and has long terms hopes of seeing a National Comics Centre for Scotland. Email: email@example.com