STUMPTOWN!!!

Tue 4/29/2008

Oh geez, another WEEK between posts... (so much for posting from the road!) Truth be told, it was such a whirlwind trip, there was barely time to catch my breath, let alone write blog entries.

The craziness started in Seattle, where I only spent about 35 hours. On Thursday I had my teeth cleaned at the dentist, dropped of some comics at Elliott Bay Bookstore, saw the amazing R. Crumb exhibit at the Frye Museum, had lunch with my Mom, took Ferris for a long walk in the woods, took a nap and then my Mom and I went to dinner with my Dad after he got off work.

It gets a little more strange each time I come home to Seattle, as I get older. I only get to see my folks maybe two or three times a year at this point, and that is spaced out enough that I can notice slight changes in their appearance with each new visit. Time keeps marching on I guess... Anyways, it was great to see them, and to smell the sweet, rain-soak, conifer-infused air.

Friday morning my Dad dropped me off at the train station on his way to work, and by 7am I was railing my way down to Portland. Some drama ensued upon my immediate arrival in Portland, which kind of sucked. It began with a text message from Gabe, which read: "DVzine.org is down" and ended, two hours later, with a $219 charge to the worst domain name hosting company IN THE UNIVERSE. It was the first time I have ever really gotten angry on the phone, and it was super embarrassing to do so in front of Greg, who I was staying with all weekend and MK. Ah well...

Years ago, Greg somehow scored this amazing bike when one of his friends left town, and it fits me PERFECTLY. It pretty much just hangs out in his apartment, and then when I come to Portland I have a bike! (I call her "Susanne"). So Greg, MK and I biked all over Portland for the rest of the day, which was just about as close as you can get to heaven on earth, with the spring sun coming down, a nice cool breeze and endless, tree-lined streets.

We ended up at Guapo Comics that night for a big reading / Stumptown pre-party. There were so many amazing cartoonists in this one room, I got sort of overwhelmed. I could feel my heart beating really hard in my chest. It is SUCH a great feeling to be surrounded by your friends and peers and people you admire and respect. I got to talk to Craig Thompson for a bit which was pretty thrilling, and Jason Shiga and I talked about The Dvorak Zine which I guess he really digs. Anyways, the reading was really funny and great and at the end of it, we handed out the 2008 Maisie Kukoc Award for Comics Inspiration, which went to my good friend Sarah Glidden (WOO!) After that we biked home, feeling totally pumped for the convention!

Somehow, Greg and I were given the table RIGHT in front of the entrance to the convention floor. Besides the obvious foot-traffic, it was also a cool place to table because every time one of my friends arrived I could dash around the table to go give them a big bear hug. My sister Galen came to hang out for a bit, as did Grizzo, and my old Oberlin friend Josh was there trading his new comics, plus Kaz drove down from Seattle which was really great.

But the highlight of the show, for me, was when Nate arrived from L.A. with a stack of his new microcosm book, BRAINFAG FOREVER!!! I consider Nate one of my closest comics friends, so it was a real treat getting to hang out with him behind the table all weekend. I even got to meet his mom!

After the show we went to dinner with a huge crew of people, including Robyn, Aron and many many others. Then everyone else went off to various parties and merry-making while Greg, MK and I turned in early to get a good night's rest before the next day of the show.

The second day was pretty much like the first: well organized and very well attended! I was able to wander around a bit and do some trading, so I came home with a gigantic stack of comics (what you see above is about 1/3 of my haul). It seemed like there were so many great comics debuting at this show. I've got to get through my comics pile so I can start digging in to some of these...

Anyhoo, Sunday night we went out to dinner with Liz Prince and Maris and their friends, which was really fun and then we all met up with Robin and Liz Baillie for some serious Karaoke Action!

I got a little (or "A LOT") drunk and ended up raging pretty hard on the mic a few times. After two days of trying to make myself heard on a noisy convention floor, it pretty much did my voice in (I still can't talk properly as I type this two days later). Liz Bailie and I sang some Weezer, because THAT IS WHAT WE DO, and then we got into this really intense conversation about how AWESOME life is. And I guess since Charlie and Phil couldn't come out to Stumptown, they sent Liz with an mp3 recording device to do a bunch of interviews for Indie Spinner Rack... So we went out into the parking lot and recorded a 15 minute conversation (and/or DRUNKEN RANT) about how much life rules, and how comics are the greatest thing ever invented. It birthed some great quotes such as "I LOVE EVERYBODY THAT HAS EVER BEEN BORN" and "GO SUCK ON A COMIC!" We'll see how much of this actually makes its way on to the interenet... (gulp!)

Anyways, I had a red-eye flight out of town on Monday, so I spent my last day in PDX visiting with friends. I had breakfast with Galen, then I rode allllllll the way up to North Portland to check out Sarah's new house, and her BRAND NEW CHICKENS. (I have wanted to raise chickens FOREVER, so I was super jealous to see her newly made coop and adorable baby chicks) We drew for a while and then I went back to Greg's to pack up my stuff. We met up with Nate for one last farewell meal, then we endured a rain-soaked ride home and trip to the airport.

I got zero sleep on the flight home because of an obnoxious row-mate, and then had to madly dash home to prepare for my 1pm class. Remember how I thrashed the hell out of my throat singing karaoke? Yeah... Zero sleep and no voice = not my best teaching... Ah well! I'm back home and frantically trying to get caught back up with all of the things I have been neglecting while I've been out of town.

Anyways, thanks so much to EVERYONE for making this such an incredible trip for me. Hooray for the Stumptown Comics Festival!

6 comments on this entry

HURRAY FOR STUMPTOWN indeed! God what a great show, and a great weekend! I am already excited for next year!

Liz Apr30

Good to see you, my man. It was a glorious weekend.

Adrianne thinks the drawing of you on the shirt is supposed to be me; must be the red hair and beard. Anyway, it's super cool and I wish I could attend that show, too.

josh Apr30

sounds like an excellent time... glad you survived it with good memories to boot.

NICE shirts! I can't tell you how proud I get seeing people sporting that shirt. I'm actually NOT wearing mine as much as I should, because I don't want to wear it out--it's one of my favorites already!

awesome seeing you alec! sorry i missed the karaoke, ha.. i missed the birth of a great expression: "GO SUCK ON A COMIC." genius.

see you at mocca?

nate May08

Nate - Yeah, I think the whole quote is "Go suck on a comic HATERS!"

See you at MoCCA FOR SURE dude. Can't wait to hang out again so soon! WOOT!

Alec May08

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