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.