The Stumptown Comics Fest is moving to a bigger venue next April, the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, in order to accommodate the ever-larger crowds that show up each year. “In recent years the exhibition hall has been packed to the gills,” notes the official announcement; “this move to the Convention Center will give attendees room to breathe with 30,000 square feet of exhibition space (nearly double the square footage) and will allow the amount of table to be increased with room for future growth.”
In other news, Indigo Kelleigh, one of the founders of the fest, is returning as its director. Kelleigh, who took some time off to focus on his own work (he is the creator of the Tintinnesque webcomic Ellie Connelly), is back in the director’s chair, and he plans to expand the show beyond its indy roots to include some of the more established creators in the area. This year’s guest list already includes Carla Speed McNeil, Molly Crabapple, Kurt Busiek, Larry Marder, and Barry Deutsch, who got his big break at Stumptown a few years ago: Agent Judith Hansen saw his comic, Hereville, at the show, and Scott McCloud, who had the booth next door, gave him a referral. Hansen took Deutsch on as a client and landed him a contract with Abrams, which will publish the book in October.