This year's Stumptown Comics Fest—the second annual celebration of Portland's vibrant indie comic book scene—looks to be, in almost every way, an improvement over the first.
Kicking off the day before the fest (Friday, Sept 30) are two signings featuring Stumptown Fest guests: one at Cosmic Monkey Comics (10227 NE Clackamas, from 4-6 pm) that'll feature Steve Lafler, J.R. Williams, and Derek Kirk Kim; and another at Reading Frenzy (921 SW Oak, 7 pm) featuring Spiral-Bound creator (and occasional Mercury artist) Aaron Renier. On Saturday, the fest proper begins with a slew of guests—among the huge list of exhibitors/guests are Jeff Parker (The Interman), Scott Allie (a beloved editor at Portland's Dark Horse Comics), Michel Gagné (Nickelodeon's Insanely Twisted Shadow Puppets), Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man), and Bwana Spoons (Pencil Fight).
Stumptown also has a slew of kickass events lined up, from a discussion on censorship in comics to a locally produced documentary on the Portland comics scene. And it all concludes with an intense (and likely hilarious) comic art battle, during which fast-drawin' artists will face off under the stern guise of Changers creator (and ex-Portlander) Ezra Claytan Daniels. ERIK HENRIKSEN
PSU Smith Ballroom, 1825 SW Broadway, Room 355, Sat Oct 1, 9 am-6 pm, $3, for more info hit www.pdxcomix.com
Though Portland has a grand tradition in the pugilistic arts (boxing), it's a rare occurrence when matches are held within city limits. Now's your chance to check out the best local talent, in the fancy confines of the downtown Hilton!
It's the "Downtown Rumble," featuring some of the finest amateur boxers of the Northwest versus the roughnecks of Los Angeles. And the whole shebang is being put on by the Knott Street Boxing Club—one of the country's premier boxing organizations. Not only do they offer some of the finest boxing classes in town, they've trained national amateur champs, top-10 ranked professionals, and have even sent two members to the Olympics.
A benefit to help keep the nonprofit Knott Street Boxing Club up and running, these high-energy bouts will also be donating dough to JOIN, which specializes in transitioning the homeless into permanent housing. Besides, nothing gets the blood pumping like watching two talented fighters mixing it up LIVE. Cheer on the guys and gals of the Northwest as they take on the best LA has to offer, and support a great organization while you're at it! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
Hilton Hotel Grand Ballroom, 921 SW 6th, Sun Oct 2, first bout 1 pm, $20 advance, $25 door