UNDERGROUND USA EXHIBIT TIMELINE

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UNDERGROUND USA attendees contemplate the companion exhibit on display in the Light Court Commons, right outside the White Stag Auditorium.

Not too late to see the UNDERGROUND USA companion exhibit, up through November! Find it on the ground floor of the White Stag Building, 70 NW Couch, in Portland.

If you can’t make it down to the exhibit, here is one of its features – a timeline of books, films and television produced by the writers and artists who came out of Portland’s underground press, 1968-1978.

THE PREAMBLE:

Two Portlanders who pre-dated the underground press:

1967 Sheldon Renan, An Introduction to the American Underground Film

“The real importance of the underground is in its works. Alive, unpredictable, complex, and, above all, personal, they are what is happening….now.” Sheldon Renan

1968 Douglas Engelbart, THE MOTHER OF ALL DEMOS

“In order to create Dynamic Knowledge Repositories, groups of people record their communications, work processes, and research, and continually reflect on not only WHAT they were working on but HOW they were working.” Douglas Engelbart

Engelbart was describing pre-internet computer scientists. However, using this description, both the Portland Scribe and the Willamette Bridge, Portland’s two underground newspapers, would have qualified as Dynamic Knowledge Repositories.

Douglas Engelbart graduated from Franklin High School in 1942. Sheldon Renan graduated from Cleveland High School in 1959.

THE TIMELINE

1968 Willamette Bridge begins
1969 Ursula LeGuin, The Left Hand Of Darkness

1970s

1971 Willamette Bridge folds
1972 Portland Scribe begins
1972 Tim Smith & Matt Groening, DRUGS: KILLERS OR DILLERS
1974 Will Vinton & Bob Gardiner, CLOSED MONDAYS
1974 Ursula LeGuin, The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia
1976 Bill Plympton, Tube Strips
1976 Tim Smith, THE CASE OF THE KITCHEN KILLER
1977 Penny Allen, PROPERTY
1977 Matt Groening begins Life In Hell
1977 Walt Curtis, Mala Noche
1978 Bill Plympton, Medium Rare
1978 Portland Scribe ends

.
1980s

1981 Sheldon Renan, THE KILLING OF AMERICA
1982 Norman Solomon, Killing Our Own: The Disaster of America’s Experience With Atomic Radiation
1984 Walt Curtis, Rhymes for Alice Blue Light
1985 Gus Van Sant, MALA NOCHE
1985 Jim Blashfield, AND SHE WAS
1985 Will Vinton, THE ADVENTURES OF MARK TWAIN
1986 Mike Richardson, Boris The Bear
1987 Bill Plympton, YOUR FACE
1987 Matt Groening begins THE SIMPSONS
1987 Jim Blashfield, LEAVE ME ALONE
1987 Maurice Isserman, Which Side Were You On? The American Communist Party During the Second World War
1987 Maurice Isserman, If I Had a Hammer: The Death of the Old Left and the Birth of the New Left
1988 Will Vinton, California Raisins campaign
1989 Gus Van Sant, DRUGSTORE COWBOY

1990s

1990 John Callahan, He Won’t Get Far On Foot
1990 Maurice Isserman, California Red: The Life of Dorothy Healey
1990 Norman Solomon, Unreliable Sources: A Guide to Detecting Bias in News Media
1991 Gus Van Sant, MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO
1992 Norman Solomon, The Power of Babble: The Politician’s Dictionary of Buzzwords and Doubletalk for Every Occasion
1992 Joan Gratz, MONA LISA DESCENDING A STAIRCASE
1992 Bill Plympton, THE TUNE
1993 David Chelsea, David Chelsea In Love
1993 Norman Solomon, Adventures in Medialand: Behind the News, Beyond the Pundits
1994 Mikal Gilmore, Shot in the Heart
1994 Mike Richardson, THE MASK
1994 Norman Solomon, False Hope: The Politics of Illusion in the Clinton Era
1995 Richard Gehr, Alt Culture: An A-to-Z Guide to the ’90s
1995 Douglas Engelbart, Towards Augmenting the Human Intellect and Boosting Our Collective IQ
1995 David Chelsea, Welcome To The Zone
1995 Norman Solomon, Through the Media Looking Glass: Decoding Bias and Blather in the News
1995 Bill Plympton, GUNS ALONG THE CLACKAMAS
1995 Gus Van Sant, TO DIE FOR
1996 Joe Sacco, Palestine
1997 Bill Plympton, WALT CURTIS: PECKERNECK POET
1997 Gus Van Sant, GOOD WILL HUNTING
1997 Norman Solomon, Wizards of Media Oz: Behind the Curtain of Mainstream News
1997 Matt Groening, The Huge Book Of Hell
1997 Norman Solomon, The Trouble With Dilbert: How Corporate Culture Gets the Last Laugh
1999 Will Vinton, THE PJ’S
1999 Norman Solomon, The Habits of Highly Deceptive Media
1999 Mikal Gilmore, Night Beat: A Shadow History of Rock and Roll
1999 Time names THE SIMPSONS the best TV show of the century
1999 Matt Groening begins FUTURAMA

2000s

2000 Maurice Isserman, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s
2000 Maurice Isserman, The Other American: The Life of Michael Harrington
2000 John Callahan, PELSWICK
2001 John Callahan, QUADS!
2002 Norman Solomon, The Media Marches to War
2002 Patrick Rosenkranz, Rebel Visions: The Underground Comix Revolution 1963-1975
2003 Norman Solomon, Target Iraq
2003 Gus Van Sant, ELEPHANT
2004 Mike Richardson, HELLBOY
2004 Bill Plympton, HAIR HIGH
2004 Bill Plympton, GUARD DOG
2005 Norman Solomon, War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death
2007 Norman Solomon, Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America’s Warfare State
2008 Gus Van Sant, MILK
2008 Bill Plympton, IDIOTS AND ANGELS
2009 Joe Sacco, Footnotes In Gaza
2009 Brooke Jacobson receives Lifetime Achievement Award during the Oregon Sesquicentennial Film Festival

2010s

2010 Patrick Rosenkranz, The Artist Himself: A Rand Holmes Retrospective 
2010 San Diego Comic Con names FUTURAMA “Current Most Critically Acclaimed Animated Series”
2012 Matt Groening ends Life In Hell
2013 Matt Groening ends FUTURAMA
2013 David Chelsea, Snow Angel
2014 Patrick Rosenkranz, The Complete Zap Comix
2014 Richard Gehr, I Only Read It For The Cartoons: The New Yorker’s Most Brilliantly Twisted Artists
2014 Ursula LeGuin at the National Book Awards “Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.”
2016 David Chelsea begins Are You Being Watched?
2016 Variety reports a possible new Matt Groening project
2016 Bill Plympton, REVENGEANCE
2016 Mike Richardson, THE LEGEND OF TARZAN
2017 Gus Van Sant, WHEN WE RISE

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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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