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Stumptown 2008: CARPE DIEM, BITCHES!

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Apr. 29th, 2008 | 05:22 pm
music: Bouncing Souls - Hopeless Romantic

The title will make more sense when you read the report. I wrote it on the plane.


me and my brother-from-another-mother, Robin Enrico, at Stumptown (photo courtesy of MK Reed Enterprises Unlimited)

So here I am, sitting on the redeye JetBlue flight from Portland to NYC, the sun is coming up outside my window and there are still stars in the sky. It’s that weird in-between time when it’s not quite dark or light. Anyway, I figured as long as I’m trying to distract myself from the fact that we are 30 some odd thousand miles above the earth and can’t fall asleep, I might as well write up my Stumptown report, eh?

First things first – Stumptown was AWESOME. It was AMAZING. Portland was AWESOME and Portland was AMAZING. Ugh! I can’t even handle it! I flew to and from NYC with my two good friends of several years, MK Reed and Robin Enrico, who are both currently snoring in tandem with matching JetBlue face masks on while I watch the Bouncing Souls documentary on my laptop for the fourth time in a week. In any case, the three of us arrived on Thursday evening and Robin and I went to stay with our buddy Matt Bernier, who’s been living in Portland since October.


The inimitable Matt Bernier (photo by Sarah Glidden)

We woke up on Friday morning (I woke up around 7am out of habit, ugh!) and went with Robin and Matt to a brunch at Jesse Reklaw’s house, which was a great start to a great weekend. It seemed like every cartoonist I had ever heard of was there, we had delicious mimosas and scones and some kind of pecan rhubarb rolls. Also present at the brunch was our friend Sabin Calvert, who was on the flight to PDX with us. Sabin had never been to any comic convention ever before as an exhibitor, and only went to one other con (NYCC the prior week) as an attendee, so I was really interested in his opinions of the experience as a pretty much total newbie to the whole thing.


(Stolen from Sarah Glidden)


Me and a mimosa - photo stolen from Sarah Oleksyk

So yeah, the brunch was great, a ton of people were there. After the brunch, Matt took Robin and I on a walk around Portland just to look at all the great houses and such and we made our way over to Voodoo Donuts, which is a donut shop in Portland that has no NYC equivalent that I know of. I am a big fan of donuts so this was very exciting. I ate a donut shaped like a little man, with chocolate frosting and a little pretzel stick stuck in him, and it was filled with raspberry jam so he would bleed when you stab him with the little stick. Pretty much genius, right? We ended up going to Voodoo Donuts about three more times over the course of the weekend and I tried a total of 3 or 4 different kinds of donuts.

 

(Photo by Robin Enrico)

After that we went back to Matt’s house and I took a nap before heading out to Guapo Comics for an evening of readings (I was one of the readers) as well as the presentation of the Maisie Kukoc Award for Comics Inspiration (which I was nominated for). The reading went really well, and though I did not win the Kukoc, Sarah Glidden did so I was extremely overjoyed on her behalf because I was really rooting for her. Sarah also did a reading that night, so it was just a really fun and great evening!


the lineup (with Julia Wertz making a correction)


Sarah Glidden with her Kukoc!
(Sarah Glidden took these)

The next day was the first day of Stumptown proper and it was a great day for me, in every way. I heard a lot of people say after the first day that sales were not so good for them but they were having fun anyway and enjoying the show. My sales were great AND I was having a great time, so I was very happy at the end of the first day. A lot of people told me they saw my reading at Guapo the night before and thought I did really great and wanted to get my comic as a result, so that was pretty awesome. I had more than a few people come up and just buy everything I had, the MBH book, all the additional individual issues, Layover, and even the punk rock valentines which never ever sell anywhere else. So yeah, I was pretty psyched! I was also dressed really well and that always makes me feel a lot more confident, which probably is reflected in my mood which probably makes me more approachable to people who are thinking about buying comics. That’s my theory, anyway.


(photo by this Glenn Peters: http://flickr.com/people/aenigma/)

So that night we got a HUGE group of cartoonists together and went out to eat some Thai food. Our group was so huge we had two very long groups of tables pushed together and although some of us experienced really shitty service, my food was awesome and I was so pumped from an awesome show that I didn’t even care. After dinner I had to get another donut so we went to Voodoo again, and then we went off to Cosmic Monkey for the Saturday night party, which also included the 2nd annual Stumptown Trophy Awards.


A washed-out Matt Bernier, Robin Enrico, and me outside the Thai place (photo by MK Reed)

The place was PACKED and it was NUTS. Just about everyone was there and I was really surprised by how big a space Cosmic Monkey was, and how many people were packed inside and spilling out on the street. We had been traveling there with a bunch of people, including Julia Wertz, and when we walked in Matt and I made it close to the stage when we heard that Julia had been awarded some special category for Best Name or something, but Julia didn’t hear them calling her because she was still outside, so everyone started chanting JULIA! JULIA! JULIA! But she still wasn’t coming to the stage, so Matt got the award for her. This is how crowded it was:


(photo by this person: http://flickr.com/people/57307523@N00/)

I was really exhausted from working behind the table all day without too much assistance (my husband Zane is usually my designated helper but we couldn’t afford for him to come so I had to rely on my friends who had their own tables to work, and therefore didn’t get away from the table much) so we headed back to Matt’s house relatively early so we could all get a good night’s sleep.

The next morning we all woke up again and got moving to the show for the second day. It was kind of magical because we actually missed our bus but then somehow ended up catching a different bus that actually got us back to our original bus that we had missed… somehow. I don’t totally understand how that happened but it was very magical. I had also run out of singles the previous day and needed to get to a bank, but it was Sunday so nothing was open. Luckily a very kind clerk at the supermarket made some change for me. Everything was working out it seemed!

The second day of the show was just as great as the first, for me anyway. Sales-wise I made roughly the same as I did at MoCCA 2007, which at the time was my personal sales record. It was within about ten bucks of that record. Yup, Stumptown was AWESOME for me.


MK Reed (another one from Glenn Peters)

Another thing I was doing over the weekend was interviews for Indie Spinner Rack. Charlie had loaned me a small portable MP3 recorder to use and use it I did! I got interviews with Sarah Glidden on Friday night right after she won the Kukoc, and then Robin Enrico outside Cosmic Monkey on Saturday night, then Sunday afternoon I teamed up with Jeff Chapman (jimmytrout) to interview Joey Sayers, Sarah Oleksyk, and Greg Means (separately) outside the hotel while Stumptown was going on. Across the street from Stumptown actually, in the park. Then Sunday evening I did more solo interviews with Matt Bernier, MK Reed and a very drunk interview/conversation/rant with Alec Longstreth (who I had avoided interviewing all weekend since he’s on ISR so often, but we were having such a great intense drunken conversation at the karaoke bar Sunday night that I just had to take him out to the parking lot and record). We’ll see if any of those actually make to the air – I hope they do! I got some really choice quotes from Longstreth during the interview. My favorites were:

-CARPE DIEM, BITCHES! Go watch Dead Poets Society and CHOKE ON IT!
-I love everybody. I love everybody who’s ever been born.
-Monkeys can’t draw comics! FUCK MONKEYS!
-Go suck on a comic!
-I'm your ANCHOR, bitches!
-Life is awesome! So get awesome about it!


Alec Longstreth: Get awesome about it! (Sarah Glidden took this)

I was actually REALLY fucking cranky on Sunday night when we went to the karaoke bar, because I was really exhausted from the weekend, and a lack of sleep, but I was trying so hard to get pumped and be happy! It was really difficult, but you know who made me feel better? My OTHER brother-from-another-mother, Alec Longstreth! Seriously, thank you Alec.

Okay so Sunday night! After the con, we all went and brought our stuff back to Matt’s house before heading out to eat some dinner and then meet up for the party at Pony Club, which we didn’t stay too long at, and then karaoke at Chopsticks II. A bunch of our usual karaoke compatriots were already there: Alec Longstreth, Liz Prince, Maris Wicks, Greg Means, and some other people who I can’t remember at the moment. Every time it was one of our turns to sing, we would all gather around the microphone area and sing along or dance around, which I think freaked everyone else out because everyone else there was just a normal person at the bar, singing shitty karaoke songs with no passion or feeling whatsoever. Also, Heferweisen was only $3.75! God, Portland was awesome.


Alec and I bringing the house down (but you can't see me because Liz Prince is rocking so hard in front of me) (photo by MK Reed) Note that Alec is missing a shoe from reenacting the line "don't look now but I lost my shoe."

So yeah, Alec and I sang a Weezer song (Say It Ain’t So at the end, and Buddy Holly at the beginning), which is officially tradition with us now, and we BROUGHT THE FUCKING HOUSE DOWN!! Our whole group was dancing and singing along and it was just a great way to end the weekend.

Monday morning we woke up kind of late and went out to the food carts and ate some delicious Indian food for like FIVE DOLLARS and then Matt, Robin and I decided to go to a park that I don’t know the name of. Hoyt Arboretum I think? Anyway, we had such a great time there. We climbed a spindly tree, rolled down a grassy hill, hiked around in the woods with no people anywhere around, followed the sounds of frogs to a small creek, and peed under a tree. Do you know how long it’s been since I peed in the woods? A REALLY LONG ASS TIME.


me and Matt Bernier in the woods (photo by Robin Enrico)


Robin in front of the gorgeous scenery. A few minutes later we all took off our jackets and rolled down that hill. (photo by me, but with Robin Enrico's camera and from his Flickr)

After a while we walked back to the train and traveled back into the city to have dinner at a really great sushi place where there is a little toy train that travels around the main sushi bar thing, and you just pick whatever you want from the train as it passes you by. Dude, I spent NINE DOLLARS on a shit ton of food at that place, it was GREAT.


(sushi train photo by Robin Enrico)

Then um… we went and got more donuts! I ate two this time, another Voodoo man one and also one that was chocolate frosting topped with rice krispies and drizzled with peanut butter. DELICIOUS.


a Voodoo Donut (photo by Robin Enrico)

By that time we had to get back to Matt’s house to pack up our shit and make our way out to the airport to go home. We met up with MK and Alec and also Shannon O’Leary at the airport because we all were on the same flight, and hung out for a bit before getting on the plane and that’s where we all are right now, all the fuck way up in the air flying over America! I am still awake, of course, because I am so deathly afraid of flying that I have a sort of paranoid delusion that if I fall asleep, I will stop thinking about keeping the plane afloat and it will just plummet us into a fiery grave. Stupid, huh?


So yeah, the verdict on Stumptown – AWESOME. There was not a single moment in the last four days in Portland that I wished I was anywhere else. Every moment was awesome and amazing and glorious. Portland is an amazing city, and Stumptown is a con that has really come into its own. If Stumptown is in April again next year (which I’ve heard it will be), then I will be coming back, no question.

Alright, there is some turbulence now so I clearly need to get back to thinking really hard about keeping the plane afloat.

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Comments {23}

Darryl Ayo Brathwaite

(no subject)

from: nervousystem
date: Apr. 29th, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
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Everyone has a crush on Portland!

And from what you're saying, Portland has a crush on COMICS, too!

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Liz Baillie

(no subject)

from: lizbaillie
date: Apr. 29th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
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Dude Portland was just as good as everyone says. I think more people would move there if there were more jobs to be had (the unemployment rate is apparently quite high there). Fucking GOOD beers were less than $4 in a bar! Can you believe it? In NYC the same beers are like almost ten bucks a pop!

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jimmytrout

(no subject)

from: jimmytrout
date: Apr. 29th, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
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Amen to all that, sister. Portland AND Stumptown are bad ass good times.

Great to meet you (in real life)!

Jeff

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Liz Baillie

(no subject)

from: lizbaillie
date: Apr. 29th, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
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Totally! BTW do you have a website I can link to? I put links on everyone's name that I could remember or knew of but I didn't know if you had one.

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jimmytrout

(no subject)

from: jimmytrout
date: Apr. 30th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
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I need to make a website. But that means I need to learn HTML, which I keep putting off. The closest I have for now is just my livejournal page: http://jimmytrout.livejournal.com/

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Liz Baillie

(no subject)

from: lizbaillie
date: Apr. 30th, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC)
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Done and done!

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(no subject)

from: longstreth
date: Apr. 29th, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
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Aw, you're welcome Liz! It was so fun hanging out with you at Karaoke. And listening to the drunken interview in the airport was probably the hardest I have laughed in a really long time. Finish up those last 5 days of work and then get ready to start drawing up a storm! You are MY anchor, bee-yatch!!!

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Liz Baillie

(no subject)

from: lizbaillie
date: Apr. 29th, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC)
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B'awwww! Yeah that was hilarious in the airport, hahaha... man. That guy sleeping on the bench behind us wanted to kill us I think, we were chuckling so hard! Anyways I only have TWO DAYS of work left (Thursday and Friday - I have off today and tomorrow) and I am SUPER PSYCHED to get to what's really important to me. And we are TOTALLY gonna have a middle-of-the-day comics drawing hangout after I'm unemployed!

HIGH FIVES!

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BT (Bigtime) Livermore

(no subject)

from: radrobot
date: Apr. 30th, 2008 11:16 am (UTC)
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That first picture was like exactly my view all weekend long. I'm glad to hear you had such a good time both at the fest and in Portland.

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Liz Baillie

(no subject)

from: lizbaillie
date: Apr. 30th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
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haha, thanks! Portland was awesome and Stumptown was just fabulous!

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ztoical

(no subject)

from: ztoical
date: Apr. 30th, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC)
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stumptown was awesome! I got me a Tara McPherson print so that was me happy for the weekend. Only downside was the travel time I left at 7am yesterday and only got home now but it was worth it.

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Liz Baillie

(no subject)

from: lizbaillie
date: Apr. 30th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)
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Daaaag that's some harsh travel time! Yeah Stumptown was the SHIIIIIIIIT!!! I can't wait to come back next year.

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raina

(no subject)

from: goraina
date: Apr. 30th, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
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I hate flying too, but it sounds like you might hate it more. Nightflights don't help--I was lucky and got moved to a seat with tons of leg room so I didn't even have to bother the nice old couple sitting next to me every time I got up to use the bathroom (which is like every 10 minutes). Woulda sat with Dave like normal, but a couple with SIX CHILDREN asked if we'd move so they could all sit together.

And, uh, that was a pretty cheap city, huh? When a nice dinner costs $7 with no sales tax, it seems like somehting's up. But no!

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Liz Baillie

(no subject)

from: lizbaillie
date: Apr. 30th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
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Aw man, SIX kids??? I don't know how people with that many kids do it. Dag.

But yeah I still can't get over how cheap everything was there. Matt was telling me his PDX friends don't believe that beers are actually almost ten bucks in a bar in NYC! Personally, *I* still can't believe how well I ate for roughly five to ten bucks a meal!

Portland rules!

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Nicholas Gazin

(no subject)

from: skeleteen
date: Apr. 30th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
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Whoa! Matt Bernier! I haven't seen him in forever. Probably because he lives in Portland.

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Liz Baillie

(no subject)

from: lizbaillie
date: Apr. 30th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC)
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Well he's only lived in Portland since October, but before that he was living in Maine, so that's probably why.

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(no subject)

from: anonymous
date: Apr. 30th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
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I bought your comics at the fest. I read it, re-read it, and re-read it again in one day and I have to say, I loved it every time. Thanks for coming to PDX! We hope you come back soon. :)

Cheers!
Mary

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Liz Baillie

(no subject)

from: lizbaillie
date: Apr. 30th, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC)
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Aww thanks so much! Well you can count on me coming back again next year for sure! Portland rules!

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(no subject)

from: anonymous
date: May. 1st, 2008 08:21 am (UTC)
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It was great visiting your booth at stumptown. I bought your MBH book (thanks for signing it by the way!), and I have to say I am totally hooked. I love your stuff and can't wait to read more.

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Liz Baillie

(no subject)

from: lizbaillie
date: May. 1st, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
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Aw, thank you so much!

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Commander Sabin Reporting

from: anonymous
date: May. 1st, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
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Liz, you're gonna be so jealous!

We got a bucket of Voodoo donuts for THREE BUCKS!

And then I played Dance Dance Revolution for the first time and then went to Floating World where I found a present for you!

Wait for it...

Wait for it...

A DEGRASSI HIGH ZINE!!! It's called "Degrassi Digest" and the by-line is: "Putting the zine back in laziness"

Let me know when I can get it to you (and don't drool!)

Yes, Portland was tits! It was so sad to leave (and even sadder to head to work as soon as I jumped off the plane!). I really want to go next year, but I might try and go to APE instead.

PS When are you doing drawing nite? I work later on Saturday and would love to hang out more. K.I.T.

Reply | Thread

Liz Baillie

Re: Commander Sabin Reporting

from: lizbaillie
date: May. 1st, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
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Holy shit!!! Okay I'm gonna email you about drawing night.

I am SO JEALOUS about your donuts!!! Man those donuts were the shizzzz....

And yes, I am trying SO HARD not to drool over the Degrassi zine... I am looking forward to reading it, like really hard!! Thanks for picking it up! I visited Floating World but didn't spend enough time to really browse so I'm glad you caught that!

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Re: Commander Sabin Reporting

from: anonymous
date: May. 15th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
Link

http://www.degrassidigest.com dudes...

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