Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I'm combining Seattle and Portland into one massive post. It's done. It's finished. No more whimpering. Here we go.

For the most part this will be light on text (because, come on, really, who cares what I'm saying, right? Right.) and heavy on pictures.

Our hosts in Seattle, the ever reliable Eric Reynolds, and his wife, Rhea, showed us a great time in our two day stay there. After finding their house (and passing a car decorated as a boat carrying about ten screaming pirates, one of which lost his hat in the intersection, hopped out, scooped it up, and rejoined his slow moving band of lunatics half a block down the road), we grabbed dinner, and then headed to the event at the Fantagraphics store. It was sparsely attended but the art was arranged nicely, and the shop itself is a treasure trove. Some pictures from the event are here.

That evening we fucked shit up darts and billiards style with Eric, Rhea, and a special appearance by Fantagraphics movers and shakers Adam Grano, Mike Baehr, and Ms. Pacman. We had the Irish nachos (huh?): they were delicious, if confused about their ethnicity.

The next day in Seattle, after a stellar breakfast by Rhea, we went to Fantagraphics' offices, which are, as expected, a bit of a geeks paradise. But the real show was their next-door neighbor. This was the genuine article: true outsider art, manic construction, hoarding... call it what you like, it has to be seen in person to be believed or appreciated.

Gary Groth met up with us at the office and we headed to lunch, then back to the offices (where Kim Thompson now was, along with the Fantagraphics' wiener dog extraordinaire, Ludwig, who I took a liking to immediately). Juliane snapped a picture of Gary beaming over his domain, and we said our goodbyes.

Shortly thereafter it was off to see the Angry Monkeys, Eric's softball team (with shirt design by Adam). Sadly, we didn't take any pictures of this, as we were too wrapped up in the game, but the Monkeys won, apparently their first win ever.

Then it was a quick dinner, a quick final farewell to Eric and Rhea, and a quick couple hours down Highway 5 to Portland. We got to Farel Dalrymple's place around one in the morning, talked some incoherent nonsense, and went to sleep.

Our first full day in Portland was easy going, completely unhectic or scheduled. Farel took us around town, showed us his studio, The Burnside Skate Park, and Powell's. We spent a good amount of our time just perusing Powell's and I spent a good amount of my money on old Charles Addams books (I couldn't help myself! The place is evil). Zack Soto showed up and drew with Farel in the coffee shop while I spent all my money. Eventually we left Powell's, got some sushi, went back to Farel's place and for reasons that escape me watched "Mystery Men" while people drew, and then we collapsed.

The next day could not have been more opposite, bringin one event after another. I scheduled two get-togethers and briefly sat with Farel while I made the "Wise Guy in the Sky" mask for that evening's puppet show.

The moment I completed the mask it was time for the schedule to kick in: We met with "Mother, Come Home" editor Diana Schutz at Dark Horse comics, who gave us the tour and took us to lunch, then we met with my good pal Charles Hartman at his new gallery space in the Pearl District. Pictures from either one of those places? No, I am an idiot.

I had time for something (a muffin? a scone? I have no idea), and then it was time for the Powell's reading (which Juliane was kind enough to document). Craig Thompson and a slew of other people came out for the event, and it went amazingly well. The proceedings went this way: there was a puppet show (which I think was quite possibly the most amateur/best thing I've been involved with in a long time... including "The Wise Guy in Sky" running the computer (extra irony: this character, clearly symbolizing a powerless or incompetent God in the book, wasn't able to read his lines from his vantage point, so I had to read them for him. Perfect! Couldn't have planned it better) and then I did a short reading. Steve Duin described things a bit more thoroughly than I will here. Anyway, more pictures (whatever happened to not being text heavy?):

Having still had only one meal thus far that day, I was pretty wrecked after the reading and signing and in need of something in my stomach... but, whether from fatigue or something more specifically gastrointestinal, I didn't see consuming a full meal. What to eat when your body is shot, you're tired, and you're low on nutrients? Why, donuts, America!

Actually donuts sounded great.

And since the donuts in question were from Voodoo Doughnuts, and all named things to make your Sunday school teacher crap on her rosary, we really couldn't go wrong. Nothing picks you up like a Rice Krispie, peanut butter, and chocolate donut (yes, that's all on one donut).

Fortified by sugar with a chaser of sugar and a dash of sugar, it was off to Tube, to meet up with Zack Soto and various other sorts and see the (previously unknown to me) Glass Candy. They were amazing, they got my shaky donut brain back to solidity. The crowd was genuinely into it, moving, dancing (a hard thing to instigate with crowds here in Chicago) and Juliane took one of the best pictures of me I've ever seen (the second of these three below, the red fellow), as far as representing what it's like so often in my head.

Then it was time for a bit of a wind down, a brief sleep, and off to the airport to drop off the rental car, board the plane ( and a special thanks to the woman from the airline for getting us a nonstop flight that got in four hours earlier than originally planned), and back to the lower-key life I call my everyday.

Thanks to everyone who put us up, or who put up with me. Thanks to everyone who came to the events, especially the Paradox Players at Powell's (you guys deserved more than the button sets you got). It was a ball, if exhausting, and we'll all have to do it again some time, right after I wake up from my year long coma.


Jason H. said...

I've really enjoyed reading all of these tour reports. Thanks for taking the time to write them up.

Paul Hornschemeier said...

No, problem, Jason. I was afraid they were a bit longwinded, even after leaving so much out... Regardless, I'll be glad to get back to just posting about random strangeness. Like Monsterpiece Theatre. Coming up.

farel said...

radical timez in pdx. those pictures were fun.

Paul Hornschemeier said...

Radical indeed. Thanks for housing us and being our personal liaison to all things pdx.