Meet The Panelist: Richard Gehr

UNDERGROUND USA will culminate in a panel discussion led by Richard Gehr, who skillfully moderated a 2014 SVA panel discussion featuring Sam Gross, Arnie Levin, Lee Lorenz and Victoria Roberts, four of the artists profiled in his book,  I Only Read It For The Cartoons: The New Yorker’s Most Brilliantly Twisted Artists.  

Richard asks the best questions. “Did you set out to be a trangressive cartoonist?”, he asks politely.

Richard’s other hat, besides writing/thinking about cartooning, is writing/thinking about music. He’ll be talking about his evolution as a music listener, and music journalist and critic, at UNDERGROUND USA.

What was Richard’s connection to Portland’s underground press? The Scribe was sold on the street, for 25 cents (later 35 cents), and Richard, in high school,  was one of the Portlanders who did the selling.

I asked a Scribe staff member which outlet reliably did the most sales. She said no single outlet led in sales, but the neighborhood which did the best sales was Portland’s downtown business core. Far  and away, she said, it was the sellers standing on downtown street corners who sold the bulk of Scribes.

There is a history of Portland newsboys making good. Ernest Haycox, Mark Rothko, Max Gordon, Mel Blanc all started out selling newspapers on the streets of downtown Portland. Pretty good company, Richard!

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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

Meet The Panelist: Bill Plympton

This two & a half minute reel begins with Bill’s Oscar nominated work in 1987 and continues up to 2015. A great crash course!

Bill will be making two UNDERGROUND USA appearances: the symposium on Oct. 15 at White Stag Auditorium and a screening, where he will introduce his short films, on Oct. 16 at Mission Theater.

I wrote about Bill’s generous gift of his time and expertise during the 2009 Oregon Sesquicentennial Film Festival. Learned so much from him! Thank you, Bill.

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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

Meet The Panelist: Three Q’s for David

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Anne: David, after you had finished working for the Scribe, did you continue doing the same kind of work?

David: I moved to New York shortly after I stopped working for the Scribe, and began freelancing as an illustrator almost immediately, mostly for obscure trade magazines. There was far less editorial freedom, but the pay was better. Oddly, though I had fought hard to get my comics into the Scribe, I stopped drawing comics once I left Portland for New York, and didn’t start again for nearly a decade.

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

David: I was thrilled to see my work in print, but I mostly saw the illustration work as a way for me to get a foothold at the paper so I could get space for my comics. As for pay, one of my illustrations bears the signature “David Celsi $5.00”. I think covers paid $10. Money hardly mattered to me, since I was still living with my parents.

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?

David: If you take the rhetoric of those working at the Scribe at face value, ushering in independent media making was far too modest a goal. They were out to Smash The State and usher in The World Revolution- beyond that, possibly they saw themselves staffing a state-run information organ in the Post-Revolutionary Order. The present-day Portland, for all its weird trappings, would have struck them as insufferably bourgeois.

More here about David.

Breaking news: David will join host S. W. Conser on Words & Pictures Thursday Oct. 13 from 11:30 to noon (PDT) on KBOO Radio 90.7FM. KBOO’s real-time webstream is available online at http://kboo.fm/listen, or via the new KBOO mobile app for iPhone or Android devices. More info and links to recent Words & Pictures audio archives can be found at http://kboo.fm/WordsandPictures, and on Twitter: @WordsandPicture

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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

Joe Sacco: Keeping It Real

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Joe Sacco flexes his muscles, as a graphic journalist who specializes in eyewitness accounts of war zones. Working the other side of the street from superhero comics.

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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

Lynda Barry Nails It

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Lynda Barry will be present in spirit, hovering over the panelists at UNDERGROUND USA, as she provides the guideline for our discussions: Things That Happened/Things That Never Happened/Both.

Tickets: http://undergroundusa.eventbrite.com

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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

Thanks, Stumptown!

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Stumptown Coffee has taken steps to make sure UNDERGROUND USA won’t be under caffeinated. Very much needed, and very much appreciated.

Our coffee captain is Gretchen Harmon, who doubles as the first mate in charge of hospitality. Gretchen has her own connection to Portland’s historical pop magnificence, which she wrote about here.  Yes, if you bring her book, she will sign it!

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Tickets: http://undergroundusa.eventbrite.com

Check to see if you belong to a non – profit organization which receives 50% discounted admission for its members: OHS, NHN, KBOO, KYC, IPRC, OCTE, and alumni of Oregon Cartoon Institute’s 2015 & 2016 Oregon Film History Invitationals.

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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

Meet The Panelist: Three Q’s for Norman

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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 http://kboo.fm/listen, or via the new KBOO mobile app for iPhone or Android devices.

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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