A few months back, when I started telling people I was moving to Portland, the most common question I would get, understandably, was, “Why Portland?” Well, there were a number of different reasons, but one thing I had in my head was that Portland would be a good place to be making comics. Why? I guess I knew some vague things about the scene, but couldn’t have really made a case for it. Well today that changed. Today Laura showed me around downtown and I can now give you some specific examples of why Portland rules. We started at the public library where I got my library card and admired the Beverly Cleary Children’s Library and checked out the graphic novel and zine sections. From there we walked to Powell’s which is the greatest bookstore in the U.S, I’m sure. I bought a copy of Beverly Cleary’s autobiography, Girl From Yamhill, because let’s face it, she’s still one of my favorite authors of all times. And she grew up in North Portland! (That’s where I live.) (Actually, when we were at the library, Laura showed me a flier for a Beverly Cleary walking tour that will take us all around the neighborhoods where the books take place. So excited!) After Powell’s we walked over to the IPRC (Independent Publishing Resource Center) and got a tour. They have a great zine library and workrooms for type-setting and printing and binding, and really it just reminded me that I wish I knew more about printmaking. But they also offer workshops so maybe there is hope for me yet! We then stopped in Jackpot Records but I behaved myself and didn’t buy anything. Then we went to Reading Frenzy and Floating World (independent press emporium and comic book shop respectively) and again I managed somehow to keep my wallet in my bag, but oh do I have a list started. Anyway, Portland rules, and if you are interested at all in comics or zines, you really ought to be here. There, I sold it. Thanks for showing me around, Laura!
Saturday, September 12th, 2009