Comics are an important part of Portland’s cultural landscape. Creators, consumers, conventions, cosplayers — they can all be found here. It is therefore, with great pleasure, that I introduce a new project group that began this term within Ooligan Press: The Graphic Novels/Picture Books Exploratory Committee. The group consists of Alex Haehnert, Molly Hunt, Bess Pallares, Brian Parker, and myself. We are tasked with researching the viability of Ooligan Press becoming involved in graphic novels, picture books, and related projects which may involve creating a new imprint at the press. Exciting, right? It certainly has the comic geeks among us excited.
There have been some exciting developments at Portland State University regarding comics, lately; I’ve already written about the new Comics Studies program, which you can read about here, is the most prominent example. Now, one of the projects that our group is considering is a comics journal, which could be done in conjunction with the Comics Studies program. Unlike a lot of other academic subjects, comics journals are a rare breed. One noteworthy example is The Comics Journal, but there are a few others. With that in mind, this possibilities for a journal are limitless — there are no rules limiting what we could include and who we could involve in the process of making it. Submissions would be easy to come by in a city full of comic creators, but Portland is also in the excellent position of being surrounded by other colleges that have comics studies programs and courses.
Because we have free rein to decide what we would want our potential comic journal to be, I thought it would be a nice idea to democratize the process somewhat by creating a survey. The purpose of the survey is to get feedback on what kind of content people would like to see in a journal and where we should draw submissions from. We want to involve as many people in this process as possible, so the survey is open to anyone who wishes to share their opinion on this potential future project.
If you have the time, please take the survey and let us know what you think of a comics journal. Feel free to share it with others who you think will be interested, as well.