January 26th, 2009 | by Brandon Seifert News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

Beep, Bleep, Beep, Bleep, Wedding Bells Are Ringing

You know the intersection of Northwest 5th Avenue and Couch Street? The corner with Floating World Comics, Ground Kontrol, Backspace and Compound? I always call that spot Geektopia. Then again, given Portland's outsized pull on the the national comics community, maybe I should expand that term to cover the whole city. We've got another nationally-known independent comics company in the metro area now, and last week an out-of-town comics couple came to PDX to get married. At Ground Kontrol.

The staff at Old Town's ‘barcade' report being surprised when what they thought was just a reception turned out to be an actual wedding, between Seattle comics creators Michael Avon Oeming and Taki Soma. Oeming created was a series artist on Bulletproof Monk (made into a Chow Yun-Fat flick in 2003) and collaborates with our own Brian Michael Bendis on the acclaimed cops-and-capes series Powers, while Soma does the weekly webcomic You'll Never Die. Bendis (Secret Invasion, Ultimate Spider-Man) served as Oeming's best man, and his wife, Alisa, was Soma's maid of honor, while California Kentucky artist/writer David Mack (Kabuki) got himself ordained to officiate the ceremony.

The modest guest list was a who's who of the local and national comics industry, including Dark Horse VP David Scroggy and editor Diane Shutz; Mike and Laura Allred; and Oeming collaborators Ivan Brandon and Bryan J. L. Glass (who flew in from NYC and Pennsylvania, respectively). Adding to the Portland quotient was the catering: Voodoo Doughnuts, Escape from New York pizza, and a cake shaped like a spaceship from classic arcade game Space Invaders. “Taki and Oeming loved it!” Mack reported on his message board.

The newlyweds are collaborating on a new comic called Rapture, due out in April from Dark Horse. No word yet on whether the couple will be changing their surname to “Soemaing.” But wouldn't that be great?

WW
has also learned that well-known indy comics publisher Bluewater Productions relocated from Bellingham to the ‘Couve in December. Bluewater brings the roster of major independent comic publishers in the metro area up to five, joining Dark Horse, Oni Press, Top Shelf and Image Comics imprint Shadowline.

Darren G. Davis, Bluewater's president, says part of the reason to bring the company to Vancouver was personal (his father lives in Portland), and part was professional. “[Bluewater] needed to be near some airport,” he says. “Like, an airport that wasn't an hour and a half away.”

Bluewater, publisher of the acclaimed series 10th Muse and a line of works based on the films of Ray Harryhausen (the stop-motion animator responsible for Clash of the Titans), hasn't just moved to the area. They've also embraced some very Portland ideals—keeping it local and making it sustainable. This week Bluewater announced that Tigard's B&B Print Source will be taking over the printing for their publishing line, and making it 100% green too.
 
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