Thursday, 26 March 2015

Know your city in comics (Portland, Oregon)

The ten-book set of Oregon History Comics

The Northwestern American city of Portland, Oregon, has a program called “Know your City”, which has published two collections of comic books with stories about the city’s history and some of its civic campaigners. 

The first collection is called “Oregon History Comics”. It includes the following stories:

Faces of Lone Fir Cemetery — Sarah Mirk
Life and Death of the X-Ray Cafe — John Isaacson
Dead Freeways — Don Barkhouse
Portland’s Black Panthers — Khris Soden
The Streets of Chinatown — Harry Lau
Voices of Celilo Falls — T. Edward Bak
The Vanport Flood — Nicole Georges
The Lives of Loggers — BT Livermore
Votes for Women — Suzette Smith
Oregon Bikes — Shawn Granton 



The second collection is called “Comics for Change”. It portrays various activists, such as: A woman who started a self-empowered soup kitchen for the homeless, a man who never stopped advocating for the African American community, and a group who fights to protect Oregon forests from logging corporations. 

The cover of the story about Cheryl Johnson, a
librarian who started  an environmental campaign.


Two pages from the Cheryl Johnson story. Artist: Hiller Goodspeed
These stories have one thing in common: they celebrate people who are making Oregon a better place for everyone. The quest for social justice is merged with art. The stories are written and illustrated by top-notch Oregonian writers and artists. 
The cover of the story on Dan Handelman, who started an organisation called
 Copwatch to monitor police activities in Portland. Artist: Terrence Nowicki.


Read more about the comics on these links:




Portland City must be congratulated for introducing such an inventive and profoundly positive use of the comics medium. City authorities around the world, emulate!

(posted by Leif Packalen)

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