As some of you may know, I’m currently up in the Pacific Northwest in Portland, Oregon. It’s a great city with many of the things I enjoy most about life: coffee, beer and free wi-fi. There’s also an abundance of great food and people who are very friendly and don’t act like the world owes them something.
Sure, Portland also has its less favorable elements too but in my experience (rather limited, I grant you), these negatives don’t really detract from the positive experience as a whole. In other words, I like it here. So, now that I’ve professed my love for the city, why am I up here in Stumptown?
Well, my fantastic, talented, intelligent and extremely manly editor at Comic Book Resources, Jonah Weiland, has me up here doing a story about the Portland comic book scene. Yes, among its many virtues, Portland is also home to a very big comic book community of artists, writers, publishers and others who work in and around the comic book world.
Dark Horse, Oni and Top Shelf are some of the main publishers here and many super-talented folks like Brian Bendis, Greg Rucka and Rick Remender live and work in Portland as well. To be honest, I am beginning to understand the attraction to living here. The town seems geared to fostering the creative forces necessary to make something: be it a comic book, a song or something else.
At the moment, I’m sitting in a coffee house on SE Belmont Ave. ( I would name it specifically but that would mean rising from the couch that has sucked me almost entirely inside itself) taking full advantage of the great iced coffee and free wi-fi. In addition, there’s some great music playing (The Cure, btw) which is not so loud that I can’t hear myself think but instead is volumed just right (volumed? look, i make up words. no extra charge!). Some other coffee houses could take a lesson from the correct song volume demonstrated here (yes Starbucks, I’m talking about you).
Another nice thing about this place is that people are leaving me alone. Not once has someone come over to ask me to borrow my paper or ask for change or to buy their rap cd with “clean” lyrics or to tell me that the table I’m sitting at is usually reserved for people eating lunch. Instead, I’m sitting, Powerbook in my lap, enjoying my iced coffee and writing this post without a care in the world and with no annoying distractions that are counter to the creative process.
Thank you Portland for allowing me to rest comfortably and spend a little time creating something. See you again soon.