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What is Oregon Cartoon Institute?

Anne Richardson and Dennis Nyback started Oregon Cartoon Institute in 2007. We research contributions made by Oregon artists to American animation and cartooning history, and share that information in public history/arts education events designed to celebrate and inform. We have created programs about Mel Blanc (1908-1989), Carl Barks (1901-2000), Basil Wolverton (1909-1978), Lew Cook (1909-1983), Pinto Colvig (1892-1967), Harry Smith (1923-1991) and Bill Plympton (b. 1946).

Is Oregon Cartoon Institute a non profit organization?

Yes. Since 2011, we have been fiscally sponsored by Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission, a 501 c3 non profit organization whose mission is to discover, celebrate and commemorate Oregon’s diverse literary and cultural heritage, raising awareness through media, memorials, and public events.

Who is Oregon Cartoon Institute, exactly?

Anne Richardson pursues a deeper understanding of the intersection of Oregon history and Oregon film history as the director of Oregon Cartoon Institute and creator of the film history initiative, Oregon Movies, A to Z. Her MFA is from Columbia University School of the Arts, Film Division. She grew up in Portland, Oregon.

Dennis Nyback is a film archivist, historian, programmer and curator. He has been a guest at dozens of international film festivals and on the jury of Kinofilm Short Film Festival (Manchester, England, 2000), Interfilm Festival (Berlin, 2001) and KLIK Animation Festival (Amsterdam, 2009). Of fifth generation Oregon pioneer stock, he lives in Portland, Oregon.

How does Oregon Cartoon Institute work?

OCI works with partner organizations and institutions to present public history/arts education events which illuminate Oregon’s rich film, animation, and cartooning history. For Lew Cook and Pinto Colvig, we invited guest lecturers. For Carl Barks and Basil Wolverton, we made a short video. For Mel Blanc, we organized a month of events: a four part screening series, a five part lecture series, three walking tours and one bike tour, all presented in partnership with Oregon Jewish Museum, Oregon Historical Society, and PSU’s School of Fine & Performing Arts.
Who pays for Oregon Cartoon Institute programs?

We sell tickets to the public, and have been fortunate to receive support from Kinsman Foundation and Miller Foundation.


Oregon Cartoon Institute’s 2016 speaker series, UNDERGROUND USA, focuses on one chapter of Oregon print cartooning history. Two underground newspapers, the WiIIamette Bridge (1968-1971) and the PortIand Scribe (1972-1978), provided first jobs for a generation of artists and writers who went on to have nationaI careers. Oregon Cartoon Institute invited five of them – artists BiII PIympton and David CheIsea, and writers Norman SoIomon, Richard Gehr and Maurice Isserman – to return to PortIand to taIk about these earIy experiences. Among the questions they wiII address: What makes Portland so comics and cartooning friendly?

Scribe cover artist BiII PIympton went on to become a syndicated cartoonist before turning to animation and garnering two Oscar nominations. Scribe iIIustrator David CheIsea became a graphic noveIist. Scribe journaIist Norman SoIomon went on to write numerous books, incIuding The Trouble With DiIbert: How Corporate CuIture Gets The Last Laugh. Scribe newsboy Richard Gehr became a coIumnist for the ViIIage Voice, and author of I OnIy Read It For The Cartoons: The New Yorker’s Most BriIiiantIy Twisted Artists. Scribe journaIist Maurice Isserman became a historian, and author of America Divided: The CiviI War of the 1960’s.

What is Oregon Cartoon Institute’s relationship to Oregon Historical Society?

Anne Richardson is on the educational and programming committee at Oregon Historical Society. Anne Richardson and Dennis Nyback were on the planning committee for Oregon Historical Society’s COMICS CITY USA exhibit.

UNDERGROUND USA is designed to compIement and support COMIC CITY USA, the first OHS exhibit about the history of print cartooning in Oregon. COMIC CITY USA opened in August 2016. UNDERGROUND USA wiII take pIace in October 2016.

Who has partnered with Oregon Cartoon Institute in the past?

Oregon Cartoon Institute has partnered with Disjecta, Marylhurst University, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Jewish Museum, OMSI, Portland State University, Ethos Music Center, Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission, Karl Lind Films, Hollywood Theatre, The Late Now, Northwest Animation Festival, James and Richard Blue Foundation, Southern Oregon Historical Society, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, MovieMaker Magazine, SIFF Cinema, and Western Washington University.