he Stumptown Comics Fest, now in its second year, was started almost on a whim when a small group of Portland-area cartoonists lamented the lack of local convention-style outlets. While there were certainly other comic book shows in town, there weren't any that gave much attention to the artists themselves. The dream was to design a festival with the creators as its focus, rather than dealers and work-for-hire publishers.
Using local resources, the first Festival was pulled together in just 4 months, thanks to the largely volunteer group at its nexus. It was hosted on a rainy June 6th afternoon by the Old Church
, a non-profit organization whose goal is to maintain, well, an old church. The church was the beneficiary of the raffle held at the festival. All 22 exhibitor tables sold out for a full house (most of them being shared by several creators).
Cartoonists came from all over the country, both from here in Portland, to as far out as San Francisco, Seattle, and even Detroit, Michigan, and all of the exhibitors in attendance reported it to be an excellent experience. Even with little time to promote the show, the event still saw a respectable attendance of 150 comics fans, and garnered favorable press from the local arts weeklies. We were also host to the second ever Comic Art Battle, put together by Portland expatriat Ezra Claytan Daniels.
For this year's festival, we are doing our best to make sure it's at least twice the Festival as last year's. We've moved into a larger space, which means more than twice as many tables will be available, and we're also planning for a full-day show.
Our ultimate goal, of course, is to take over the world with comics. Help us, won't you?