portland zine symposium

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 AlecGalen, 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sales, if for no other reason than to drive her traffic through the roof and land her a book deal for one of her as-yet-unpublished young adult novels.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.

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