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  • Stumptowned and Art Battled

    Spring finally remembered where Portland was this weekend, just in time for the Stumptown Comics Fest. That’s right, it wasn’t a CON, it was a FEST. And it was full of great work. What I liked best is that artists don’t try to mug you to look at their work like when you walk through the Small Press area at Comicon (of course, it’s much cheaper to set up here too, so less pressure to sell). I saw some of the most impressive formats for comics material I’ve ever seen. When a comic is produced that can fold into a usable chair, here is where it will debut. Some books like Jason Shiga’s Hello World even require calling the author for tech support to read properly. I rambled over and saw some of Todd Herman’s latest work, and caught up with him, Scott Allie and Dave Stewart. I was surprised to see the Isotope contingent up from the Bay Area, mainly because I’ve never seen Kirsten Baldock out of the context of James Sime. She was flanked by talents Matt Silady and Jason McNamara, who were worth the price of admission alone. There’s us, talking about entertaining you.

    get those Eisner ballots in

    Sunday, Jesse Hamm introduced me to Andrew Farago, so I’m now enjoying his latest mini Max O’Millions and The Red Menace. I was wiped out and voiceless from Saturday night, so I couldn’t ask him all the stuff about running the Cartoon Art Museum that I probably would today. And then he introduced me to Shaenon Garrity, and in my haze I think I just mumbled at both at them when I’d really like to hang out and talk work with them sometime. Come back you two! I’m better now! All the more reason I need to head down to San Francisco later this year. I had just enough voice to introduce Steve Duin and Tom Spurgeon, who despite his own account, was the one making the “try the veal” Poconos-style joke that didn’t register with a young cartoonist- I’m onto you and your ways, Spurgeon. My weekend guest Matt Maxwell discovered that people particularly love his new western-horror STRANGEWAYS during the times of 3:00 and 4:30 pm, as both days, his pile of graphic novels shrank away exactly then. I almost sold one when he was up from the table but I couldn’t get it together to vocalize ‘werewolf.’ Why was I so pathetic all day? Because the night before I hosted the COMICS ART BATTLE.

    zack, I ripped the Enik shirt in the name of art.

    It was more excitement than you can usually get on a ten foot square plywood stage, at the legendary Cosmic Monkey Comics. I showed up in time to introduce Shannon Wheeler and Caroyn Main so they could host the Trophy Awards, then got into my hosting gear as you see in the picture (I’m the one between Anina Bennet and Paul Guinan) to try to fill the boots of Ezra Claytan Daniels. The battle theme this year was WEB vs. PRINT, and it nearly got bloody, especially when Bill Mudron got onstage. The Web team was Mudron, Dylan Meconis, Barry Deutsch and Christopher Baldwin. The Print team was Corey Lewis, Carla Speed McNeil, Paul Guinan, and Gypsy Mustache Dude that no one can remember the name of- Jay? GMD, if you’re out there, post and clear up your identity! I couldn’t hear anything anyone was saying to me with all the noise and the extra hair. I can’t remember much of it now, except the smack talk elevated until everyone kept snatching my mic from me to shout at each other. During “Adapt a Script” I wrote the dialogue to a Mark Trail strip on the boards while Carolyn returned to stall the crowd, and Barry and Speed redrew the strip as set in a kindergarten class. Which inspired Speed to put a bondage queen within- and in a surprise to no one, hers managed to be of print quality. With a marker! The hands down funniest battle was the Caricature section between Bill Mudron and Corey Lewis, which turned into Corey gracefully drawing one Mutant Ninja Turtle after another. The violence erupted in the final Battle Royale, where with no leading from me and my studiomates at Periscope, the audience chose the armies of CAVEMAN vs. SHAO LIN MONK. While this debate may never be settled, the crowd ruled for Caveman with their screams, and it followed that PRINT emerged victorious at night’s end. It gradually morphed into a dance party thanks to the dj talents of Jason Levian from Floating World Comics. Which prompted a city-defining comment from Steve Lieber, that “Nothing says Portland like one comics shop owner DJ-ing for another.” At the prompting of James L. Jones from Oni Press, Lieber later fired the crowd up to donate to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, so we even helped the cause of justice.

    *Oh yeah, Periscope studio did a navel-gazing panel Sunday that was fascinating beyond belief.

    Comments

    Comment from Matt M.
    Time: April 28, 2008, 2:55 pm

    I tell my side of the story over here. You can’t trust that Parker, he’s a print guy!

    Comment from Jeremy W. Mullins
    Time: April 28, 2008, 10:48 pm

    Hello Mr. Parker –

    I was wondering if you might shoot me an email – I have something “official” I’d like to ask you, but I can’t find your email address anywhere on this page. Mine is jmullins@scad.edu.

    Jeremy Mullins from SCAD

    Comment from JFish
    Time: April 29, 2008, 12:53 am

    Hey Jeff, this is the “GMD”, Jason Fischer! I’ll never forget this amazing weekend, and that insane night. Thank you for having me in the art battle!

    Comment from Parker
    Time: April 29, 2008, 7:13 am

    JASON! Well, I was close. Good to hear from you!