Stumptowncf2009The Stumptown Comics Fest also runs this weekend, and has rapidly become one of the premiere indie/alt comix events of the year. Previews have run in both The Portland Mercury:

“Comics is a format, not a genre,” Stumptown Marketing Director Aaron Duran dutifully recites, in the tone of someone repeating a well-worn aphorism. And while to an outsider the world of comics and graphic novels can seem insular and intimidating, the Stumptown Comics Festival is an annual invitation from Portland’s close-knit community of comics creators to come see what all the fuss is about.

and the Daily Vanguard:

This culture of support has played into Portland’s status as an emerging comic mecca. It’s something that the comics fest has helped develop and, according to Duran, it’s a process that hasn’t even neared completion. “When Stumptown invites an artist to come to the festival, it’s not like it’s just a little mid-size city in the Pacific Northwest,” he says. “We’ve got three publishers and a bunch of fantastic creators, so it becomes a big deal to come to this show. So it kind of steamrolls and becomes a bigger and bigger source of attention—it feeds on itself in a positive way.”

The Daily Crosshatch has a good overview of the show.Guests include Jeff Smith, Carla Speed McNeil, Gail Simone, Craig Thompson, Hellen Jo, and tons more.

The social calendar — as you might expect, given that Portland is Comicstown, USA — is packed with events, including a star-studded fundraising dinner, a party tonight at Guapo, and the Stumptown Trophy Awards tomorrow night.

Other notables: Dark Horse will be exhibiting and running a talent search.

Also, check out Sparkplug’s debut comics:

DEPARTMENT OF ART by Dunja Jankovic
REICH #6 by Elijah Brubaker
BIRD HURDLER by Andrice Arp, Theo Ellsworth, Farel Dalrymple, Zack Soto, Lisa Rosalie Eisenberg and Julia Gfrörer (this is a free book of original material co-published by Sparkplug, Teenage Dinosaur and Tugboat Press)