ILLUSTRATION BY JEFF SMITH
Now in its sixth year, the Stumptown Comics Fest is hitting its stride. Not only does the festival include a barrage of local talent, but this year's guest of honor—artist/writer Jeff Smith—is a downright legend. Smith began the all-ages adventure comic,
in 1991, and kept it going for an unbelievable 13 years. His puffy, shmoo-meets-Disney characters (see above) have become some of the most iconic figures in modern comics, and his latest series,
—still in its early stages—proves that Smith hasn't lost his taste for adventure or his artistic touch.
Those not impressed by Smith's epic creations (and shame on them) will still find plenty to love at Stumptown. The two-day celebration features readings, workshops and lectures, as well as a jam-packed exhibition floor full of comics and graphic novels that you'd best allot yourself extra time and money to experience, or avoid altogether. We all have an inner comics nerd, and it's time you got in touch with yours.
WEDNESDAY APRIL 15
Philly's Dr. Dog is one of the most fun, loose and jangly pop groups around. Let the good times roll!
FRIDAY APRIL 17
Steve McQueen (nope, not the Steve McQueen you're thinking of) reenacts Bobby Sands' hunger strike in Northern Ireland. One of the year's best films—though it's going to make that large popcorn seem obscene.
Fourteen forward-looking musical works by some of the 20th century's finest composers, plus contemporary films and videos! Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church, 2828 SE Stephens St., 490-3170. 8 pm. $5-$20.
After years spent basking in Devendra Banhart's (admittingly hairy) shadow, things are looking up for his former backing band, Vetiver, after the release of Tight Knit, one of the year's best albums. Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside St., 231-9663. 9 pm. $12 advance, $14 day of show. 21+.
SATURDAY APRIL 18
Sample grub from 17 food carts in one place, plus live tunes and beer at PDX's only food-cart fest.
[MUSIC] RECORD STORE DAY
Jackpot Records pulls out all the stops with the Shaky Hands and Loch Lomond playing the store's downtown location at 2 pm, and a hot after-party featuring Mayor Sam Adams, WW's Casey Jarman and others behind the turntables that night. And it's all free. Jackpot Records, 203 SW 9th Ave., 222-0990. 2 pm. All ages. Ace Cleaners, 403 SW 10th Ave. 9 pm. 21+.
Ron Howard's film adaptation of this play about David Frost's 1977 interview with Richard Nixon was lousy, but Peter Morgan's original play was widely praised in the Broadway production. Rose Riordan directs. Gerding Theater, 128 NW 11th Ave., 445-3700. 7:30 pm Tuesdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays, alternating 2 pm Saturday and 7:30 pm Sunday shows. Closes May 10. $30-$66.50.
TUESDAY APRIL 21
With a crazy frontman and a new concept record about astral travel, it's finally time metal's best band made it big.