Reporting from the trenches of Stumptown Comics Fest 2006!
Once again, I alienated the comic-buying public and didn't sell much merchandise. Apparently comic fans don't like to be called "wimps" and can't be goaded into buying zines with skulls on the cover. Anyway, I nearly broke even and met a bunch of nice people in the process. Thanks to everyone who came up to the table and bought a Destroying Angels shirt and copies of the zine (or traded for other cool stuff). In the spirit of supporting fellow artists, I've hand selected my favorites from the throngs of talent repesented at this year's fest. My picks might surprise you, but these people really shine for doing their own thing. Roll call!
First of all, here are the fine gentlemen who represented the tagteam Destroying Angels/Smith Brothers table. On the left is Ryan "Suffer No Fools" Sorensen who provided much needed moral support. He also held down the table for two hours while I over slept on Saturday. "Time is money!" On the right is the talented Ian Smith who wisely advised me to attend the Stumptown Comics Fest last year. Two good men in a sea of smelly fandom.
We had the good fortune of being placed beside these two sexy mofo's. Hannah Stouffer is the design queen behind Grand Array and was hands down one of the most talented and original artists in the hall. She does these stunning prints that caught me off guard with their provocative colors and almost subliminal design. She also happens to be painfully gorgeous. But that dude on the left is her boyfriend and he's incredibly nice and talented to boot. They were so friendly I wanted to invite myself back to their hotel room to party, but I know how creepy that would've seemed.
This mop-topped Jack Kirby fanatic was all smiles. Honestly, I was more fascinated by the gaping sphincter-faced monster on his backdrop than his comics. We decided his art was like a good Carcass worship band. It's fun because it imitates so well. At least he's a monster advocate. Check his stuff out here.
Joshua Ellingson rules! This guy was at last year's Stumptown Fest and won me over with his awesome earthtone Godzilla print. This year was no exception and he unveiled his new pinstriped Cthulhu drawing. This thing looks like H.P. Lovecraft being conjured from the grave by the ghost of Von Dutch! Joshua is a real nice guy and someday my house will be plastered in his prints.
These guys seemed a little nervous when I asked them to hold up their favorite prints for a photo. They probably figured I would post their photo with nasty comments like that dude on Rotten Cotton. Nah. The guy on the left is Kevin Dart and he does these great stylized prints inspired by early 60's commercial illustration and exploitation movie posters. If Ennio Morricone were a cartoonist it might look like this. The other dude is Chris Turnham. He works with slighly more traditional and mainstream subject matter but the effect is no less exciting. Really great stuff! These guys share a site called Fleet Street Scandal and I'm a sucker for a good Sweeney Todd reference!
Here's Robin Bougie, mad creator of Cinema Sewer! This is one of the best reads out there today and when it comes to obscure grindhouse culture, this guy knows what he's talking about. Cinema Sewer is one fun & sleazy ride! He was selling a small zine about incest that supposedly features interviews with people that actually and openly indulge in incest! That's gross even by my standards. The remarkable part is that this guy appeared to actually sell stuff at the fest. Hmm, maybe I need slick color covers.
Last but not least...the real treat of the fest. I got to meet prolific (and sorely underrated) underground artist Jim Blanchard! Jim's art is as synonymous with the Northwest as porn shops and bigfoot. He's been drawing insane shit since I was a kid and published an art zine in the 80's called Blatch that was a direct influence on Destroying Angels. I told him so when we met. Poor guy. I stalked him for most of the two day fest. Yeah, the interview will be featured in the next issue of Destroying Angels! Until then, instead of asking when the new issue is coming out...buy a Destroying Angels shirt!