Sounds like Stumptown was totally teh awesome, and we wish we could have been there. Tom Spurgeon:
Portland is also the home to dozens of cartoonists, a good sign for a city as comics folk can live practically anywhere and are drawn like flies when a comfortable and cosmopolitan city reaches that tipping point where it’s discussed on chatboards and in the blogs of early adopters. What’s interesting about Portland’s assumption of the Comics Town USA title is that it does so without offering a gigantic number of hometown opportunities the way New York, LA or even Kansas City might. There is a small set of newspaper illustration gigs and a few proud local comic book companies where one might assume proximity could be helpful in gaining their attention, but for the most part the comics outfits here in town think nationally/internationally and just live here like everyone else. Comics thrives in the Rose City because Portland fits comics people, and because the large number of working artists has given them a voice and provided their city with another identity in a time when those kinds of things are still important.
Phew–that was a lot of con. Today was more intense at the table, and I hardly had any time to wander. Now, I am entirely braindead, so again, just a handful of notes before I crash. Proper write-up and forum thread tomorrow.
It’s been great watching the fest grow over the years, and I feel like this year, Stumptown has really hit its stride—just from the brief time I spent there today, the vibe was friendly, attendance was good, booths were plentiful, the comics were promising, and the two panels I jumped back and forth between—trying to listen to both at the same time, with, eh, mostly successful results—were a lot of fun.
I got to Trade some books with folks and a little money changed hands. I got some of the new Papercutters from Greg and all the Ivy books that Sarah O has out so far but the really cool part of these kinds of shows is getting books from all the newer people. I mean, I’m still pretty new at this I suppose but I got a bunch of stuff from folks that have just put out books for the first time and that is so great it hurts. With books like Ivy or Papercutter I get to read great stuff from people with real chops but there’s something really enticing to me about seeing raw energy poured out onto the page by someone who doesn’t quite know what they’re doing yet. I’m not saying I enjoy reading a lot of stuff like that but there is a real palpable charm to people that are so excited about the possibilities of the form and the way they just let loose onto a page. I don’t know if I’m making any sense here but rest assured when I get a little sleep I’ll be writing reviews of some of this stuff.