July 29, 2014

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You Should Go to the Silent Reading Series in Portland July 30th

If you live in the area and are interested in the cultural implications of being unable to speak, Wednesday July 30th presents an opportunity to explore this issue with someone who had to experience it first hand.

Comics creator Georgia Webber had what her doctor termed a "temporary disability" when she injured her vocal chords and had to radically alter her life in order to repair her voice, which is still not at 100% recovery.

The result has been a desire to study the concept of voicelessness, along with the comic "Dumb" which Webber is currently serializing via Tumblr.

On July 30th, she will be joined by Sparkplug publisher Virginia Paine and creator Lucy Bellwood (Cartozia Tales) to hold an event at Floating World Comics from 5-8pm. At 6pm, all talking will cease and the only way for everyone at the show to communicate will be via paper and pencil, whether it's drawn or written communication.

At 7pm, speaking will resume, and all those involved will be invited to discuss their feelings and experiences during the hour of silence.

The purpose of this is to show what it's like to live without a voice, and how it changes you. Webber's life will arguably never be the same, even if she is able to fully recover. Instead of retreating from this, she is making it a new focus in her life. From her Tumblr:
Where are you going with this?
I’m going everywhere. It has become my deepest fascination. What is a voice? What is your voice, to you? Do you like it? Care about it? Appreciate it?
What about our culture? Other cultures? What roles have voices filled throughout history? How do they affect our physiology? Our psychology?
I will explore all of it until I’m bored with it. I don’t see the end coming anytime soon.
 This is a great chance to go beyond the normal idea of comics as enjoyment and into a different arena. It also involves some of the best people working in comics, as the next negative word I hear spoken about Sparkplug Books will be the first, and Lucy is part of another great gathering of creators, Periscope Studio.

If you are the Facebook type, you can RSVP here. If not, there are details of the event on Floating World's website.

Silent Reading Series runs from 5pm to 8pm at Floating World Comics, located at 400 NW Couch Street in Portland, OR.