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Stumptown merges programming, awards with Rose City

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Organizers of Stumptown Comics Fest have announced they will end the 10-year-old show as a standalone event and will instead move its panel programming and convention awards to Rose City Comic Con, which debuted last year. Stumptown Comics Inc., which achieved nonprofit status earlier this year, now plans to focus “more on its educational goals.”

“From the very beginning, Stumptown’s goals were to bring an artistic and educational focus on comics to Portland,” Shawna Gore, chair of Stumptown’s board of directors, said in a statement. “In those early days there was only one other comics convention in Portland, so the Fest eventually took the shape of a more mainstream-style show to give us a place to gather creators and fans together for our workshops and symposiums. But now Portland has multiple comic and pop culture cons. By partnering with Rose City Comic Con as a venue to present both our programming and our awards, we can focus on new ways to pursue our organizations educational mission.”

She told The Portland Mercury said the organizations plans could include a guest-lecture series, and partnerships with schools “to bring comics education directly to students.”

Tom Spurgeon offers commentary about the move, noting that the creator-focused event “was a strange show the last couple of years. It is the most complained-about show of any I attended in the last three years. It had a strange relationship to some in the Portland comics community.” The Mercury’s Alison Hallett also cataloged some of the festival’s problems.

Rose City Comic Con 2014 will be held Sept. 20-21.

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