Like a lot of us who were in Portland this past weekend, I spent most of my time at the Stumptown Comics Fest and at events connected to it. There are many things that I would like to say and at some point perhaps I will but for now here are just a few quick points:
- It's past time that we created an award, here in Portland and perhaps nationwide, for the best comic of the year to cover historical themes. I saw at least a dozen comics working with themes in Europe around the time of World War II alone.
- The amount of polished, sophisticated work being done now entirely outside the Big Two is stunning and wonderful.
- I am not happy about the decision to "professionalize" Stumptown. In particular I'm pretty miffed at the policy that vendors can't share a table. What, it's good enough for the Frankfort Book Fair and ComicCon but not Portland? Please.
- We have got to take another look at the stranglehold Diamond has on distribution. We all know this. What are we going to do about it? I would guess that I'm losing out on conservatively two hundred otherwise viable outlets for what I publish because of their monopolistic practices. This is legal how again?
- And lastly, I had a blast at the party at the Jupiter. Wow. Had a fantastic time, on and off and got scads of networking done. But I still think that there's a role for the yearly Cosmic Monkey party. I talked to Andy about it and suggested that he set up a van to ferry folks back to somewhere like the Rose Quarter Transit Center so we could all stay later. That party has been a highly functional and heartwarmingly centering part of Portland independent publishing for years now and I really hope that we don't lose it.
My picks for the show? There were so many great ones but I'll go with The Introvert's Manifesto and Unemployment Man.
Oh, right. And read this. It's Scott Kurtz of PvP giving his take. I missed the NCS panel (which is kinda pathetic since I'd already given both him and Shannon Wheller sh*t about it) but I was at his panel on humor and it was a blast. The room was packed and we all had a blast.