Last weekend marked the 10th annual Portland Zine Symposium, and the first time I attended as an exhibitor. I’m glad I made the plan, because I met some cool people and sold more than a few books. A fun and productive weekend.
Although it remains on Portland State University’s downtown campus, this was the Symposium’s first year at the Peter Scott gym. While this may sound detrimental – a gym? For a bunch of nerds? – it was actually an ideal venue. Large, not stuffy, and full of light, the gym treated us well. On one wall was a mural of honored PSU varsity athletes. Kim Manifesto, you lived up to your heavy surname (women’s basketball, 1993-1996). And even though we never pulled out the bleachers or “shot” a few “hoops,” the ghosts of athletes past were the guiding spirits for the event.
My immediate neighbors were strangers to me at the beginning, but by Sunday afternoon we had a rapport that would rival Bob Dole and Bob Dole’s best friend, whoever that is. On my left sat Julia and Brodie (and their mascot Franklin). On my right was the legendary Jesse Reklaw (of Slow Wave, the weekly comic strip) holding down the Global Hobo table.
Other notable neighbors included Greg Means and Aron Nels Steinke, whose names I will continue to mention on this blog until you buy all their comics. Greg gave me a great new picture book by a Longstreth that isn’t Alec. Galen, who I met here in Portland while she completed her degree in children’s literature, has a beautiful new book called Yes, Let’s. Keep checking her website for the possibility of internet sales, if for no other reason than to drive her traffic through the roof and land her a book deal for one of her as-yet-unpublished young adult novels.
More than a few people stopped by to tell me they had seen my comics…somewhere…but they couldn’t remember where. Is Falling Rock achieving minor media saturation (at least in Portland)?
A highlight of the show was meeting John Porcellino, who has been self-publishing his zine, King Cat Comics, since 1989. I first read King Cat when I came to Portland. I picked up an issue and saw that it mentioned Denver Colorado (I had just moved from Boulder) and The Beatles. I felt like I’d met a kindred spirit. It was great to finally meet the guy in person.
Thanks to all the people who stopped by my table, even to say hello, and of course to the volunteers and organizers of the event. PZS is now on my yearly convention schedule, fo sho.
Same background (jigsaw puzzle clouds from my plane ride home). The second set of robots is based on another cartoonist’s drawing of clouds that I really admired, so I stole it.
Just because you won’t have Cathy to kick around anymore doesn’t mean you have go without strong female characters in a comic strip. You know what comic prominently features no less than THREE female characters? Welcome to Falling Rock National Park! Dee, the junior Park Ranger from Tucson, Arizona is sometimes described* as the “heart” of the strip. She loves her job.
Not only is she adept and intelligent, she’s pretty good-looking.
Ranger Dee is, however, far from the only female in this desert park. She is pictured above sitting next to Melissa the mountain lion. Melissa, being a cat, is ferocious, but she also makes beautiful large-scale sculptures.
Of course I would be remiss if I neglected to mention Pam, the retired schoolteacher javelina. Pam is the Perpetual Babe of the Month here at Falling Rock National Blog. It’s easy to see why:
Newspaper editors: when it comes time to fill the Cathy void this October, think Ranger Dee!
Readers: wouldn’t you rather see Falling Rock in your local paper than some machine-made corporate Brand X comic strip? Write your paper and tell them that Falling Rock National Park is what you want.
When spending time in Ohio, I always make a point to eat at least one meal at Bob Evans. While ole Bob (1918-2007) himself is no longer around to serve up fresh farm food daily, his legacy lives on in the guts of Ohioans. And oh, what a gut you can grow! Here is what I ate for my one meal at the Bob Evans just outside of Wooster:
A cup of our famous sausage gravy served with two buttermilk biscuits, stuffed with spicy pepper-jack cheese and smothered with crumbled Bob Evans® Sausage, your choice of one hotcake, one slice of French toast, two delicate crepes filled with vanilla cream cheese and finished with your choice of fruit topping, diced smoked ham and bacon is cooked right in the eggs with our vegetable mixture of diced tomatoes, onions and fresh baby spinach, three large, fluffy hotcakes, served with warm syrup, a grilled flour tortilla wrapped around a fluffy western omelet, reduced-Fat Raspberry Vinaigrette, Caesar, Swiss Bacon, Thousand Island, Sweet Italian, Hot Bacon, Colonial®, Bob Evans Wildfire Ranch, French, Buttermilk Ranch, Bleu Cheese, Oil & Vinegar, Honey Mustard or Lite Ranch, slow-roasted beef, carrots, grilled onions and American cheese, piled high on grilled sourdough, tender, oven-roasted chicken and steamed broccoli florets are covered in a creamy Alfredo sauce, served with mashed potatoes, tender, slow-roasted chicken, bacon, sweet dried cranberries and bleu cheese tossed with fresh greens in our Sweet Italian dressing, one boneless fried chicken breast, our signature slow-cooked pot roast is topped with a rich and creamy stroganoff sauce made with mushrooms and onions and served over a bed of wide egg noodles, a bed of spaghetti topped with our very own meat sauce made with Bob Evans® Signature Italian Sausage, tossed in our classic Caesar dressing, then topped with a hard-boiled egg, grape tomatoes, crispy bacon, croutons and shredded Parmesan cheese a delicious combination of our signature slow-roasted turkey, smoky bacon, diced tomatoes, and homestyle egg noodles in a light cheddar cheese sauce. Topped with shredded cheddar cheese and toasted bread crumbs.
Nutritional content: 89,657 calories, 68,432 calories from fat.