UNDERGROUND USA is a one day public history/arts education event which focuses on one chapter of Oregon print cartooning history.
Two underground papers, the Willamette Bridge (1968-1971) and the Portland Scribe (1972-1978), provided first jobs for a generation of artists and writers who went on to have nationaI careers. We invited five of them – artists Bill Plympton and David Chelsea, and writers Norman Solomon, Richard Gehr and Maurice Isserman – to return to Portland to taIk about these earIy experiences.
They will be joined by Patrick Rosenkranz, author of Rebel Visions: The Underground Comix Revolution 1963-1975, who will give the keynote address.
Among the questions the symposium addresses: What makes Portland so comics and cartooning friendly?
Journalist Norman Solomon wrote for the Portland Scribe. Historian Maurice Isserman edited it. The King Of Indie Animation, Bill Plympton, drew covers for it. Graphic novelist David Chelsea illustrated it. Village Voice columnist Richard Gehr sold it on the street.
What was the underground press?
Who read it?
Who wrote it?
What role did underground comics play in creating the sensibility of the underground press?
Was Portland’s current affinity for comics/cartooning already in evidence during this forgotten period of regional media making?
Through talks, presentations, onstage conversations and one gigantic culminating panel discussion, UNDERGROUND USA participants will explore these and other questions.
UNDERGROUND USA is open to the general public. It is presented by Oregon Cartoon Institute in partnership with UO Comics & Cartooning Studies and PSU Comic Studies, and with support from Oregon Historical Society.
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 is at Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park Ave, until 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