Goodbye, So Long, Farewell…

I have been staring at the screen for a while now, trying to figure out some poetic or snappy way to make the announcement that I am shutting down STR.  But I guess I just did it.

And that feels about right.

As of today I am officially ending Stumptown Trade Review.  It is bitter sweet because the reason I am doing it is not because of a lack of interest, or some subversive outside forces, or even just a lack of material.  I am closing it down to focus on creating and publishing comics.

Like most people, I started out reading comics as a child.  I’d doodle in my notebooks and imagine what it would be like to be Iron Man.  As I grew older, I kept reading, but wanted to get more involved.  When Thor made the suggestion that we should have a podcast about independent comics, I jumped at the chance.  Soon I was interviewing creators, reading books, and writing reviews.  It was fantastic!

Then I met Keri.  She was an artist looking for something to draw.  I opened up a new tab on my computer and pounded out the script for what would become Paris in the 20th Century.  Lo and behold, two years later I held the published book in my hands.  A few short weeks later and we had sold our first issue to someone neither of us knew.  I was officially part of the comics publishing world.

I met Vaughn, another talented artist in search of a project.  We teamed up and began working on Shelby Stone and the Tomb of Ta’aora.  With two titles under my belt, I launched Kilted Comics as an opportunity to share these comics and the comics of my friends and collaborators with the world.

And then a funny thing happened.  I found myself thinking more about Kilted Comics than STR.  I found myself with new ideas for my own books.  Every time I read a book for review, instead of opening the laptop and writing that review, I polished a script or jotted down a new idea.  STR languished.

So it is time to pull the plug.

It has been an amazing journey.  I have met some truly fantastic people, and had opportunities which boggle the mind.  None of this would have been possible without STR and the people who read it.  So thank you all who visited, read, commented, or just stopped by to see an interview.  It has been wonderful.  But now it is time to move on and take the next step.  What fantastic people will i meet?  What mind-blowing opportunities will come my way?  There is only one way to find out.

So I’ll be seeing you.


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Ana DuPre and the Eye of the Kraken page 16

Ana DuPre and the Eye if the Kraken page 16 is live!  Check it out below (or read the entire comic here)


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Go To This: The Pander Brothers

If you are anything like me, the Christine Spar version of Grendel holds a special place in your heart.  Great character, fun plot, and amazing art by the talented Arnold and Jacob Pander.  Tomorrow, Muse art and Design is having a special morning lecture from the Bros. Pander and it is FREE to the public!


A creative discussion with Portland visual artists, graphic novelists and filming team, The Pander Brothers, who will discuss their collaborative process in a wide range of media. The Pander Brothers recently exhibited a new body of oil paintings on velvet and digital photography works on metal at Mark Woolley Gallery (on view until September 14th). The award-winning graphic novelists are currently illustrating a new book for Dark Horse Comics due out in 2015 and their new short film Subtext is currently in the festival circuit and will play the Bend FilmFestival in October.

What: Artist lecture with the Pander Brothers
When: Saturday, September 27, 2014 – 9:30am
Where: Muse Art and Design
4220 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Portland, Oregon 97215
Cost: FREE

See you there!

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Gearing up for RCCC 2014!

Rose City Comic Con is just around the corner, and we are getting excited!

This year, our sister site, will be back, bigger than ever!  Not only will we be there with copies of Paris in the 20th Century, but we will also have previews of Ana DuPre and the Eye of the Kraken, the debut of our mini-comic, If Coffee Were Like Comic Con, and Keri is debuting an amazing variety of art (prints, originals, and a calendar!).

750ss arturo chinchilla giraffe nerds widow5 winny

















So come check us out at booth E-05!



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Comic Review: Sisters

sistersSiblings, and more specifically sisters, have a unique relationship.  You spend a good deal of your life trying to distance yourself from them, but one day realize that the person you need the most in your life is that self-same sibling you have been trying to avoid.  All the years of arguments, lack of privacy, and shared family trauma mellow with time and form the basis or an unbreakable bond.

Or at least that is what it is like when you look back on it as an adult.

When you are a kid, you can’t get past the annoyance that is having someone around you all the time,  especially when it is expected that you always have to be “nice” to that person.

Raina Telgemeir had a similar experience growing up with her sister, Amara and chronicles one particularly difficult episode in her latest book, Sisters.  Jumping between a family road trip to visit cousins in California, and vignettes showing the relationship between Raina and Amara throughout the years, Sisters is part travelogue and part family drama.  Each sister places expectations on the other that are either unspoken or unrealistic (or both) which deepens a divide which neither one wanted, but are both seemingly helpless to repair.  This divide mirrors a greater divide in the family which both girls are just becoming aware of.

Both girls are deeply invested in their own worlds, their own desires, and their own dreams and find it difficult to share them with each other.  For Raina, it is the desire for solitude and peace and quiet (something in short supply in a crowded house with three children).  Amara loves to draw but wants to do it on her own terms.  The fact that her skills rapidly outpace her older sister’s does nothing to help Raina like her more.  Since they are trapped for weeks together on this trip, tensions boil to the surface and things get downright ugly.

That ugliness is ironic given Telgemeir’s light and fun art style.  Her characters perpetually seem poised to sing or dance, and the colors of the book contribute to the exterior happiness which belies deep frustration and resentment.

As is always the case with Telgemeir’s books, Sisters is a fast read, taking no more than an hour for most middle readers to devour it.  But, as with the rest of Telgemeir’s books, Sisters is eminently re-readable.  There is no great mystery to be solved.  There is no “will they or won’t they???” romance to be requited.  This is a good old-fashioned road trip where the adventures along the way are just as important (if not more so) as the destination itself.  Because of that, kids can pore over scenes in the book time and again, reveling in the dialogue, scanning the art, or imagining what they would have said in the same situation (or remembering what they did say when something similar happened to them!).

Telgemeir’s books are in heavy circulation at our school library and are perennial best sellers when the book fair comes around.  Sisters should continue both those traditions, so be sure to pick up a copy for you, or your kids.  Or, better yet, pick up two copies so you don’t have to share with your annoying sibling!

Check out a seven page preview here.

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SDCC 2014 Interview with Christian Gossett

We chat with Christian Gossett about his work on The Red Star, Star Wars, and the Star Trek prequel.

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SDCC 2014 Interview with Paul Pope

We chat with Paul Pope about Battling Boy, Aurora West, and not dumbing things down for kids.


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