Marv Newland burst onto the animation scene nearly 40 years ago with his oddball student film Bambi Meets Godzilla. Since then, his subversive, raunchy, and surrealistic short films have earned him and his studio International Rocketship worldwide notoriety. S.W. Conser catches up with Marv in Vancouver BC, on the final leg of the Words & Pictures road trip. Originally aired October 31st.
Platform International Animation Festival Did you know that the biggest animation event in the country is happening this summer, and the host city is Portland? Tune in to Words and Pictures to hear the preview from event organizers, Marilyn Zornado and Shawn Bowman. Originally aired April 24th.
S.W. Conser hosts a discussion with sculptor Joe Liptak about an exhibit on Viewmasters that the 3D Center is mounting. Also an episode of History Detectives coming up in June takes place at the 3D Center.
Words & Pictures welcomes celebrated stop-motion animator Teresa Drilling. Dividing her time between Portland and London, Teresa has brought alive characters for Aardman Animation ("Wallace and Gromit"), Sesame Street, and most recently, the American version of "Creature Comforts," airing on network TV this summer. Plus, she's got a lot to say about Jungian archetypes. No, seriously.
Special for the Platform Animation Festival - originally aired on Words & Pictures on June 26, 2007
Scott McCloud, the author of the landmark work "Understanding Comics" rolls into town on a 50-state lecture tour exploring the art of visual storytelling.
Special for the Platform Animation Festival - Originally aired on Words & Pictures on June 26, 2007
Rose Bond and Dryden Goodwin introduce the free animation installations that have been appearing in the Pearl District during the Platform Animation Festival. Rose is a celebrated local animator and visiting artist Dryden Goodwin has been featured at the Tate Modern Gallery.
Award-winning authors/film historians Amid Amidi & Jerry Beck have been rescuing forgotten animation from archives and festivals and collecting it on their website Cartoon Brew Films. S.W. Conser and Bill Dodge catch up with Amid and Jerry following their appearance at the Platform International Animation Festival.
Hundreds of artists, writers, and self-publishers converge on Portland State University every August for the annual Zine Symposium. Organizers Claudia McBarron and Patrick Devine offer a rundown of this year's events, joined by local cartoonist Erika Moen.
Academy Award-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom recently jumped into the director's chair to create the animated short "Lifted" for Pixar. Gary hosted a screening at this summer's Platform Animation Festival in Portland, and has plenty of stories about finding soundtrack material in the strangest of places.
Words & Pictures takes a loving look back at the brilliant and quirky UPA studio (started by Disney strikers after WWII) with animation historian Tee Bosustow. Tee's father Stephen helped found the haven for artists and oddballs, many of whom ended up blacklisted during the McCarthy red scares of the 1950's.
Mike and Laura Allred, the award-winning team behind such offbeat comics as Madman, The Atomics, and Red Rocket 7, sit down with Words & Pictures host S.W. Conser to discuss contemporary art, dream inspiration, and film adaptations of their work. Recorded during the 2007 Stumptown Comics Festival.
Up-and-coming Portland cartoonists Ryan Alexander Tanner (creator of the Xeric grant-winning comic Television) and Farel Dalrymple (author of the graphic novel Pop Gun War and artist for Marvel's offbeat title Omega the Unknown) share stories of building collaborative art scenes in Portland, perpetrating media hoaxes, creating comics for the Rose City Rollers, and occasionally managing to break into the big time.
Marjane Satrapi's celebrated graphic memoir Persepolis has been adapted into a major motion picture which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. S.W. Conser talks to Ms. Satrapi about animation for adult audiences, Persian art, Iranian politics, and the role of women in bringing about cultural change.
1970's Seattle is the setting for legendary Raw cartoonist CharlesBurns' epic graphic novel BlackHole that concerns the the universal and very real difficulties faced by young people trying to figure out the opposite sex and other "growing up" issues told with a backdrop of classic film noir horror and incredible detail.
Jim Woodring is responsible for some of the most mind-bending art and stories in the alternative comics scene, and his new book Seeing Things collects the most recent of his iconic imagery and nightmarish narratives. Jim is joined in the studio by Bob Rini, co-founder of the Seattle cartoonist collective Friends of the Nib.
Dark Horse Comics founder Mike Richardson is the special guest of honor at this year's Stumptown Comics Festival. Known for his staunch support of free speech and artistic autonomy, Mike has maintained his Portland roots while blazing new trails in publishing, film production, and licensing.
Newly elected president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, Ted Rall has courted controversy across the globe. He's reported from war zones in Afghanistan and Pakistan, stared down right-wing pundits on the Fox News Channel, and written numerous books including Revenge of the Latchkey Kids, Generalissimo El Busho, and the recent Silk Road to Ruin.
Words & Pictures visits the Stumptown Comics Festival and talks with award-winning web cartoonist Nicholas Gurewitch, creator of the outlandish and wildly popular comic strip The Perry Bible Fellowship.
David Malki ! talks about and performs readings from his popular webstrip "Wondermark" and his book from Darkhorse comics titled "Beards Of Our Forefathers" featuring new humorous essays and colleced strips from Wondermark.com
Words & Pictures welcomes guest Mike Konopacki, a labor cartoonist who collaborated with author Howard Zinn and historian Paul Buhle to create a comics version of Zinn's A People’s History of American Empire. S.W. Conser talks with Konopacki about the power of images to raise public consciousness and the challenges of mixing caricature with historical portrayals.
Words & Pictures celebrates 65 years of the UPA animation studio with rare audio clips and stories from the people who were there. Guest Jack Heiter helped animate Mister Magoo, Roger Ramjet, and the forgotten 1960's classic Gay Purr-ee; and animation historian Tee Bosustow is the son of UPA director Stephen Bosustow, who co-founded the studio in the wake of the 1940's Disney strike.
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Bill Plympton pays a return visit to his hometown of Portland as his new short Hot Dog premieres in Mike Judge's upcoming Animation Show (beginning Oct. 26 at Cinema 21). Bill's latest animated feature Idiots and Angels opened to critical acclaim this spring at the Tribeca Film Festival and will be arriving in Portland theaters in early 2009.
Just in time for the 2008 election, investigative reporter Greg Palast has published a comic book, Steal Back Your Vote, with the cooperation of Robert Kennedy Jr. and cartoonists Ted Rall (America Gone Wild), Lloyd Dangle (Troubletown), and Lukas Ketner (Witch Doctor). KBOO's S.W. Conser talks to Greg and the comic artists about steps that citizens can take to counteract voter fraud and suppression.
Words & Pictures travels north to Bellingham, Washington, to visit Canadian comics and animation wizard Michel Gagne, whose work runs the gamut from the abstract jazz-inspired film Sensology to concept design for Disney and Pixar.
Gagne's bewildering take on the Dark Knight for DC Comics (Batman: Spore) infuriated traditional superhero fans, and his recently unveiled project Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet breaks the mold for computer-based gaming. Recorded with the kind assistance of KUGS-FM Western Washington University.
For more than 40 years, maverick stop-motion animator Bruce Bickford has been constructing dreamlike landscapes and bringing them to life, gaining notoriety in the 1970's as the fertile mind behind the Frank Zappa films Baby Snakes and The Amazing Mister Bickford. The subject of an award-winning 2005 documentary, Monster Road, Bickford still works out of his Seattle studio and has just re-released his surreal magnum opus Prometheus' Garden, which screened at the recent SuperTrash Film Festival.
For the first time in three decades, Pulitzer prize-winning graphic novelist Art Spiegelman (Maus) has gathered his early groundbreaking comics into one volume. The new edition of Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! includes a new graphic memoir opening a window into both a personal and cultural history of the late 20th century.
Art talks with S.W. Conser and Bill Dodge about comics as high art, breaking the media censorship of the Danish Muhammed cartoons, and creating picture books for children and grownups.
Stop-motion animator Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) spent more than three years bringing the Neil Gaiman story Coraline to the big screen. On the eve of Coraline's world premiere at the Portland International Film Festival, Selick sits down with S.W. Conser to talk about art, commerce, and the future of hand-crafted animation.
Who was the real Che Guevara? Idealist? Revolutionary economist? Media icon? In the wake of anniversary celebrations and Hollywood blockbusters, Words & Pictures poses the question toSpain Rodriguez, author of Che: A Graphic Biography, during his appearance at the Wordstock literary festival. Himself an icon of the alternative comics scene, Spain has been an outlaw biker, political correspondent, and creator in the 1960's of the first underground comics tabloid, Zodiac Mindwarp, for the East Village Other.
Hosts S.W. Conser and Bill Dodge sit down with Don Hertzfeldt, award-winning filmmaker and co-founder (along with Mike Judge) of the touring festival The Animation Show. A young animator who embraces the pre-digital tools and techniques of the previous century, Don plunges his simply-drawn yet evocative characters into such poignant, bizarre, and hilarious short films as Everything Will Be Okay and I Am So Proud of You.
Mayor Sam Adams has declared April to be Portland Comics Month in honor of the strong base of independent talent making their home in Oregon. Mike is joined by comics artist and PNCA instructor Neal Skorpen, who is leading a collaborative workshop at Stumptown on The Instant Graphic Novel.
A short story by Seattle cartoonist Jim Woodring about the wonders of childhood and the mysteries of the great wide world is brought to the radio airwaves by director S.W. Conser and the One Take Pony players: David Chelsea, Zoe Loranger, Emily Young, and Mike Russell.
Portland artist Arnold Pander has teamed up with Brother Jacob to create projects as diverse as nightclub murals and erotic short films shot in infrared. The Pander Brothers' latest releases are the independent film Selfless, an identity theft-themed thriller with an existential twist, as well as the self-published graphic novel Tasty Bullet, about an energy drink with strangely alluring properties.
Comics artist Josh Neufeld met and talked with survivors of Hurricane Katrina while volunteering with the Red Cross in 2005. The result of these conversations is the graphic chronicle A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge, a critically-acclaimed collection of first-person accounts from the Crescent City's various cultures, races, income groups, and neighborhoods. S.W. Conser spoke with Josh during the 2009 Wordstock Literary Festival.
Special thanks to Emily Young for her invaluable production help on this program.
Nearly half a century ago, the UPA animation studio was a haven for misfit geniuses struggling to create relevant cartoon films in the face of political and cultural repression. Gambling the future of the company on an hourlong television special featuring their most popular recurring character, they created a wildly successful holiday classic.
Award-winning Canadian cartoonist Graham Annable now makes his home in Portland, where he recently drew storyboards for the film Coraline. A leader in the new generation of indy cartoonists, Graham brought together the team behind the comics compilation Hickee, and now brings a graphic sensibility to the short-story form with his critically-acclaimed Book of Grickle.
Portland artist and self-styled "war junkie" Joe Sacco has carved out a niche in the publishing world for his war reportage comics. For twenty years Sacco has plunged into global hot spots to bring back detailed graphic stories of civilian bystanders. His books include Safe Area Gorazde, Notes From a Defeatist, and Palestine, which won him an American Book Award and led to a Guggenheim Fellowship. His latest book Footnotes in Gaza takes us back to the Palestinian refugee camps to reveal first-hand accounts of a massacre that was officially suppressed for fifty years.
Oregon Cartoon Institute founders Anne Richardson and Dennis Nyback are working with cultural organizations around the state to spotlight the historical importance of locally-grown animators and cartoonists. They're joined in the studio by musician Heather Perkins, OCI's artist-in-residence, who is composing an original concert piece inspired by Bugs Bunny and (Portland-bred) voice artist Mel Blanc.
Distinguished Professor of Education and Fugitive Days author Bill Ayers has teamed up with cartoonist and ex-Portlander Ryan Alexander-Tanner to adapt his groundbreaking education textbook into comics form. The result is To Teach: The Journey, in Comics. Host S.W. Conser asks Bill and Ryan about their struggles to translate mountains of text into narrative art (while avoiding Fox News cameras during the 2008 election); Bill's fights against the No Child Left Behind juggernaut; and the transformation of a famous mug shot into a cartoon icon.
A page spread from Shannon Wheeler's Gulf coast sketchbook shows a sand-cleaning machine on the beach at Grand Isle, La.
Too Much Coffee Man's Shannon Wheeler returns to Words & Pictures, and he's had a busy year. He's become an occasional cartoonist for the New Yorker magazine, written and drawn a Captain America story for Marvel's Strange Tales II, and most recently visited the Gulf states in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon spill with the local group PDX2GulfCoast. Oregonian columnist Steve Duin joins Shannon to talk about the pair's adventures in and around New Orleans, and the upcoming graphic novel that they're writing together.
Ted Rall and Matt Bors spent the month of August traveling across Afghanistan without official handlers, meeting the local residents and sending stories back to their blogs in comics form. Ted is the immediate past president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists and author of several books including the recent Anti-American Manifesto. Matt is a syndicated cartoonist whose work appears occasionally in the Oregonian; he's also illustrated the stories for David Axe's book War Is Boring.
Additional web-only stories of Ted & Matt's Afghani odyssey can be heard at this link.
Words & Pictures pays a visit to the Maryhill Museum in the sleepy Columbia Gorge hamlet of Goldendale, Washington, where the works of 40 Pacific Northwest comics artists are currently on display. Back in KBOO's Portland studios, we chat with Sarah Oleksyk, one of the featured artists at the Comics at the Crossroads exhibit and author of the forthcoming graphic novel Ivy.
Twenty-five local cartoonists attended a special dress rehearsal of Puccini's Turandot at the Portland Opera, where they captured their impressions of the evening in comics form. Comics Night at the Opera is the brainchild of Portland Opera's publicity and publications manager Julia Sheridan, P.R. and marketing coordinator Claudie Fisher, and CulturePulp's Mike Russell, who join S.W. Conser in the KBOO studios.
Words & Pictures tours the studio of comics artist, illustrator, voice actor, and bon vivant David Chelsea, teasing out the twists and turns of a thirty-year career in the lively arts.
David's new book and DVD setExtreme Perspective! For Artists has just been published by Watson-Guptill. Years in the making, the book features surprising tips and entertaining background history about the role of perspective in art, and the DVD includes resources useful to both mainstream and experimental cartoonists.
A book signing is scheduled for Saturday, March 12, from 2 to 4pm at Cosmic Monkey Comics in Portland.
Special thanks to Emily Young for editing this month's show!
Two very odd and popular webcomics are collected in book form by mainstream publishers, while their creators continue to innovate on the fringes of the internet. Axe Cop, a fever dream of a comic featuring gun-toting dinosaurs and ninja moon warriors, is written by six-year-old Malachai Nicolle and illustrated by his 30-year-old brother Ethan. Dash Shaw's BodyWorld originated as the digital equivalent of a biblical scroll, telling the otherworldly yet strangely familiar story of a quiet community entranced by a plant with telepathic powers.
Special thanks to Mel Reslor, who edited the Dash Shaw segment, and to Liam Delta for his recording assistance on the AxeCop segment.
You can support KBOO and add to your graphic novel library during our Spring Membership Drive by clicking here and joining at the $60 level. Enter the appropriate code below.
Axe Cop Ethan & Malachai Nicolle BK AXECOPn1
Unemployed Man Gan Golan & Erich Origen BK unemploy
For over 25 years, Chel White has been breaking new ground in both animation and live-action filmmaking - mining poetry, mythology, and his own dreams for material while pioneering such technologies as Rapid Prototyping and Smallgantics at Portland production house Bent Image Lab. Now, with the assistance of producer and co-writer Laura McGie and a number of grants and awards, Chel has directed his first full-length feature. Bucksville has been chosen as the closing-night presentation at the 2011 Northwest Filmmakers' Festival.
The creative team of Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan follow up their epic steampunk saga Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel with the companion book Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention. Combining the artwork and storylines from forgotten dime novels with real events of the Victorian era, Anina and Paul bring the swashbuckling character of Frank Reade back to life, warts and all. As in Boilerplate, meticulously sculpted miniature models find their way into the "archival images" of Frank Reade, leading readers to wonder where reality ends and fiction begins.
Anina and Paul will be appearing around Portland throughout the month of February, along with local costumers and scale models of the vehicles. More information will be available at FrankReade.com.
What happens when an industrial Krautrock band gets mixed up with the radical Red Army Faction in 1970's Berlin? Find out on this special expanded edition of Words & Pictures' Winter Membership Drive special.
Joining us in the studio is Courtney Taylor-Taylor, co-founder and frontman for protean Portland band The Dandy Warhols. Courtney has teamed with chamelonic artist Jim Rugg and actor/musician/historian Donovan Leitch to craft the new graphic novel One Model Nation, set in an alternative version of Berlin where the burgeoning era of glam, noise, and punk meets the explosive anarchy of the Baader-Meinhof gang.
As part of KBOO's Winter Membership Drive, limited copies of the One Model Nation hardcover will be available as thank-you gifts for your $60 pledge of support. Also available at the $60 membership level will be the One Model Nation companion CD Totalwerks Vol. I (1969-1977).
You can join KBOO by clicking here and entering the appropriate code (below).
One Model Nation hardcover Titan Books BK ONEMODEL
Totalwerks Vol. I (1969-1977) The End Records CD ONEMODE
Political cartoonist, sportsman, world traveler, and gadfly Homer Davenport has been called "Oregon's first media superstar" and "the last casualty of the Titanic." In the centennial year of his death, historian and author Gus Frederick invites host S.W. Conser to Silverton, Oregon, to tour Homer's ancestral home GeerCrest Farm, learn about the political ferment of the gilded age through a newly annotated collection of Davenport cartoons, and preview the Homer Davenport Days celebration coming up August 3rd through 5th.
Nation Institute Senior Fellow Chris Hedges (American Fascists, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning) and comics journalist Joe Sacco (Palestine, Safe Area Gorazde) have teamed up to produce Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, a sweeping portrait of the American underclass and the institutions that profit from their misery. Sitting down with West Virginia coal miners; immigrant farmworkers in Florida; Sioux activists at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation; elderly residents of Camden, New Jersey; and Wall Street occupiers in New York, Hedges and Sacco bring together wrenching stories of crisis, despair, survival, and hope, the personal histories brought to life with Sacco's painstaking illustrations.
Seattle comics artist, writer, teacher, and illustrator Ellen Forney has always brought a refreshing mix of frankness, whimsy, and fluid linework to her non-fiction comics, whether she's dealing with childhood nostalgia (I Was Seven in '75) or adult "playtime" (Lust: Kinky Online Personal Ads from Seattle's The Stranger).
Forney's new graphic memoir Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me is her most confessional book, a heady mix of creative ferment, societal and psychological studies, and personal stories (following her initiation into "Club Van Gogh") that she hopes will shed light on the often misunderstood phenomenon of bipolar disorder.
Celebrated Portland comics artists Barry Deutsch and Jenn Manley Lee have been collaborating and inspiring each other since high school. Their separate projects, Barry's Hereville and Jenn's Dicebox, began as epic web comics but have now been collected and printed in hardcover graphic novel form. Barry and Jenn sat down at the KBOO studios with host S.W. Conser to discuss how comics are changing our conversations on gender, culture, politics, technology, and mythology.
Along with discussions of The Hinterland and other projects in the offing, listeners will hear tales of John and Chad's adventures in Belize (some never before discussed in either the print or the broadcast media) as well as some of John and Chad's ideas for film and game production in Portland.
Ever since he left the fundamentalist household of his youth, Mark Russell has become an amateur theologian, sharing his cockeyed take on the scriptures with the secular world. Now Mark has teamed up with cartoonist Shannon Wheeler, and the two of them have compiled a less-than-canonical romp through their favorite Bible stories. 31:33 minutes (12.64 MB)
Comics journalist extraordinaire and occasional Portlander Joe Sacco returns to Words & Pictures with a project unlike any other. The Great War is a 24-foot long panorama depicting the first day of the Battle of the Somme, July 1, 1916. 37:53 minutes (15.18 MB)
Comics artist Lucy Bellwood has teamed up with journalists to report on Islamic environmentalists and the Women of Gitmo, and with modern mariners to tell the stories of life onboard historical sailing ships. Her new art show "Down To the Seas Again" will open in September at Portland's Sequential Art Gallery.
29:49 minutes (11.94 MB)