Meet The Panelist: Three Q’s for Norman


When the Oregonian wrote up a notice about UNDERGROUND USA, the article provided links for all the speakers except Norman Solomon. I asked the writer why and she said she thought the link I provided must be wrong. Why would this distinguished political journalist make an appearance at an Oregon Cartoon Institute event?

Maybe Norman will address that question during his onstage conversation with Maurice Isserman on Oct. 15. Here’s one clue: he’s bringing a few copies of The Trouble With Dilbert: How Corporate Culture Gets The Last Laugh to give away.

First come, first served!

Anne: Norman, from 1974 to 1978 you wrote for the Scribe. After the Scribe folded, did you continue doing the same kind of work?

Norman: I’ve kept writing — often freelancing for various publications — ever since.

Anne: What motivated you to choose to work for the Scribe? What was your pay/did you get paid?

Norman: The Scribe was willing to publish my articles, and I wanted to write — a good combination! I’d be surprised if I was ever paid for any of my articles that the Scribe printed; I never expected to be paid, and it didn’t strike me as odd or wrong that I wasn’t.

Anne: The people who worked at the Scribe knew they were changing Portland’s cultural DNA by ushering in independent media making. They could foresee the Portland we live in today. Yes? No?

Norman: Speaking for myself: I had no particular foresight about what Portland — or the USA for that matter — would be like four decades later. I thought that alternative media on the left, outlets like the Scribe and KBOO, could help to shift the cultural and political outlooks of the society in a better direction. But I wasn’t particularly optimistic; my hopes were utopian but my expectations were more dystopian.

Breaking news: Norman Solomon will appear as a guest on KBOO’s Thursday morning show, Voices From The Edge, at 8:00 AM on Oct. 13, 2016. That’s 90.7FM. KBOO’s real-time webstream is available online at, or via the new KBOO mobile app for iPhone or Android devices.


UNDERGROUND USA is a public history/art education event made possible in part by a grant from the Kinsman Foundation and by a grant from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. It is presented by Oregon Cartoon Institute in partnership with UO Comics & Cartooning Studies and PSU Comic Studies, with support from Oregon Historical Society and McMenamins.

Comic City USA, the first exhibit to look at Oregon print cartooning history, is at Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park Avenue, through Jan. 31, 2017.

“People who read them when they first came out remember the initial impact — like getting whacked in the head with a two by four.” Patrick Rosenkranz, on underground comics


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