A few weeks back, Jack Ohman, Matt Bors and I gathered in Portland for a super top secret, 1/40 scale test launch of our exciting new convention model. As you might imagine, it was very successful and reinforced to me why it’s so important for us to continue to meet at least once a year. Well, now we’re ready to roll out the full-scale version as the AAEC goes back to school when we convene at Portland State University, June 16-19.
Born out of necessity in this day of disappearing newspapers, vanishing sponsorships and eliminated travel expense accounts, the upshot of the university-partnership model, in addition to having the potential of being a sustainable method to continue our annual get-togethers, is that it liberates us from the confines and expense of the overpriced convention hotel.
Jack has nailed down a perfectly fine hotel, with big suites and balconies overlooking a nice pool, immediately adjacent to downtown and the Portland State campus where we will be holding most of our events. We’ll be sending out registration packets sometime between now and the next issue of the Notebook.
Wednesday night’s opening reception for example, which quite often is held in a uninspiring hotel conference room, this year will start off at the Portland State Alumni Association’s Simon Benson House, a beautifully restored Victorian house and courtyard.
As I found out during our mini-convention, Portland, among other things, is a surprisingly geeky and cartoon-loving town. Expect to have a number of opportunities to cross-pollinate with our adoring public and the local avant-garde cartoon scene, like when we take over the legendary Powell’s Bookstore in downtown. Call it Powellapalooza, if you will. Only to be followed by an all night pub-crawl with Portland hipster Bors as our guide.
We will most likely hold our daily sessions on campus at PSU’s Academic Halls. Different, yes, but cool. And appropriate — as we continue to redefine editorial cartooning, explore new possibilities in our field and create new opportunities for AAEC members.Rex Babin