Monday, April 18, 2011

Post Stumptown Winddown

      It's Monday afternoon, and the 2011 Stumptown Comics Fest is one to be put down in the books. A few months ago our frustration and annoyance was at a peak level, when it appeared that the "selection process" for this years show was going to shut us out as exhibitors. However, a turn of events and a few connections with people we call good friends (I a'int gonna name drop here, but they know who they are) found a way around the seeming favoritism that runs too rampant here in the Portland art scene in general. Long story short, we got a great table with a prime location and made the most out of what marks the first year for Stumptown in its newer (and in my opinion better) location at the Oregon Convention Center.
      I had a great time with the team of super nerds/friends (Ben Perkins, Jason Zachary Pott, and Allen Bennett) I choose to work for and with, and both days flew by. We experienced brisk sales of books, posters, original artwork, and got in some much needed face time with friends (both old, and new). While we may not have broken the bank or made our first million selling properties to some muckity-muck who'd probably fuck it up making it into a movie anyway, the point of this show was never completely lost on me throughout the weekend. You wanna know what that is? I know you do...
      ...for those of you who don't spend hours in a cramped space churning out creative commodities, it may come as a shocker that creating ANYTHING is a shit load of work. Unfortunately, living in this digital society filled with constant opportunities for instant gratification, we forget the hours that someone spends alone in an all too often over priced space, making things that will garner them little to no monetary profit, and even less notoriety. We do not just whip out a piece of paper, pens, and pencils and POOF!! you've got comic gold(well some do, but I hate those f'ers). In fact, the supplies are the least of our work. There is time spent creating concepts for the worlds our stories take place in, time spent hashing out what our characters look like, and time spent figuring out where the hell that story goes (realize this little list, too, is an oversimplification of the process). It's the same for anyone making anything that can't be taught in a manual and mentally regurgitated at the appropriate time. I think this fact is lost on a vast majority of the populace. I mean why pay for something original when you can get framed art at Ikea, or Target? Isn't that the same thing? 
        ("Yeah, yeah" you say "But whats the point man? What is a small indy show like Stumptown all about? Wrap it up!!") 
     The point is, its an opportunity for us to come out of our collective caves, to touch base, hang out, and show off the ends we're working towards. Its a way to kinda keep tabs on your development, when compared with where you were one year ago. It's an opportunity to celebrate the reason every visual storyteller has for getting into the game in the first place, the love of, and the progression of the media. Granted its one of the few industries that can generate so much capital off what most others would term "Slave Wages", but that's not the point man. You wanna be a millionaire? Be a fucking doctor, a lawyer, a Fox News nut job, but give the decorators of your world their due and always remember, we had to start somewhere. The ones that forget, are the ones poisoning the well...that's all I can say about that.

Daniel DePaolo

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