In all of his illustrious history, man has yet to invent a purer form of artistic expression than cartoons. From Miyazaki to King of the Hill, animation kicks real life's ass, a fact that's sure to be demonstrated at the first-ever Portland Indy Animation Fest.

"There's a whole bunch of unemployed animators in Portland, and they're all very talented," says festival organizer Petr Sorfa. "About 40 to 50 percent of the stuff at the festival is going to be from local people, and those [films] are the best of the bunch."

And while I happen to believe the greatest animation of all time has the words "the," "real" and "ghostbusters" in the title, Sorfa's next statement makes me think I could be proven wrong.

"About 80 percent of the animation is [going to be] something people have never seen before. People will be really surprised at how good independent animators are," he says. "Some of the quality beats the professional stuff you'll see out there." ERIK HENRIKSEN

Half of the films show on Sunday, August 24 at 7 pm at The Know (2022 NE Alberta). The other half will show on Tuesday, August 26 at 8 pm at Nocturnal (1800 E Burnside), followed by an awards ceremony. On Thursday, August 28 at 9:30 pm at the Laurelhurst (2735 E Burnside), there'll be a "best of" compilation of the fest. Tickets are three dollars for each night.