Words and Pictures
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.
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.
R. Sikoryak is a artistic chameleon who got his start in comics with the Art Spiegelman - Francoise Mouly compilation RAW, designed covers for the New Yorker, and created the G.W.Bush "Decider" character for The Daily Show. His new book Masterpiece Comics boasts a hilarious and eye-opening collection of "mashups" in which such classic literary figures as Franz Kafka's Gregor Samsa find their iconic counterparts in the likes of Peanuts' Charlie Brown.
This audio file is the membership drive version of R. Sikoryak's appearance on Words & Pictures. An expanded version of the interview will be added to the site soon.
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.
S.W. Conser welcomes Stumptown Comics Festival director Shannon Stewart and Stumptown Comic Book Foundation president Kaebel Hashitani to talk about upcoming events this month — including the cartoon art show at the Portland Center for Performing Arts and the Comics Fest April 24-25 — now that City Hall has kicked off the third annual Portland Comic Book Month.
Host S.W. Conser welcomes Dame Darcy, painter, fashion designer, reality TV star, and frontwoman for the band Death By Doll, as well as the creator of the charmingly macabre comic Meat Cake. Formerly based in New York and L.A., Darcy currently finds the murky climate of Portland much more to her liking.
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.
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.
Syncopated is a new anthology of non-fiction "picto-essays" created by a broad range of contemporary comics artists, including Alec Longstreth and Sarah Glidden, who join host S.W. Conser to discuss this unique storytelling form.