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Thank you, Dylan Williams.

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There aren’t words to express how much Dylan Williams meant to me, yet I have trying to find them since I heard the news of his passing on Saturday.

As a friend, Dylan was kind and honest. He was able to say the things that I would offer to friends but had trouble remembering for myself, the things I needed to hear in a way that I actually heard them. There are so many examples I could give about this throughout our friendship, I can hardly figure out where to start. Instead, I will say that I always took his words and advice to heart and his support and encouragement changed my life. When Dylan confided in me about a couple situations with his friends asking what I thought, I felt like I had one a special prize of maturity, since I so deeply looked up to him.

There was so much I turned to him for, that we commiserated about, that we laughed about, that we worked on… He was vegan, he published, he taught, he created, he organized, he had similar parental issues as I did, he got mad about the same things I get frustrated over (but acted WAY more diplomatically about it). Often, the times when I was confiding in him were when I was trying to reel in my confrontational nature or to channel it more constructively. Conversely, often the times when he confided in me was to determine a way to be more confrontational or direct with someone about something. I laugh and cry just thinking about all of it.


As I search for photos of us together, I see countless emails between us over the years and it breaks my heart that I will never have a chance to work on anything with him again. I wish that I could call him and ask him what he thinks the best way to deal with any of this is right now. If you want to see a really amazing photo of Dylan, check out Theo’s blog about Dylan here. 

So many times before I got to know her, I thought how lucky Emily must be to be Dylan’s partner. As I got to know her better, I realized it wasn’t luck at all, it was because she is completely amazing as well. I got to know Emily more and more working on the Portland Zine Symposium together and I can’t imagine what she has been through or is going through because I saw so much love and support between the two of them. They worked on projects together (like PZS and Sparkplug) and supported each other in a way any of us would be fortunate to have with anyone. Knowing Dylan was an inspiration, but knowing Emily and Dylan and watching them care for each other was also a great personal inspiration to me.

When I talked to Emily on the phone yesterday, I felt helpless because I wish I could somehow make everything better. She is such a wonderful and strong person, I know she will get through this, but please consider buying comics from Sparkplug, contributing to any of the many benefits in Dylan’s honor, or showing her some kind of love.  Alex Wrekk and I were talking about doing a Delivered Dish Certificate for her, I have been thinking of just cooking some food and bringing it to her, and stuff like that.

Even in the midst of Dylan being in the hospital, Emily still helped with PZS. We all felt a gaping hole not having Dylan there this year, as he was in the hospital. We passed around a giant card for people to sign (you can see it in this video: http://youtu.be/dytCOyE3tNA, but let me know if you have a photo of that card), but I didn’t  imagine he would not be there next year. Thinking of the Portland Zine Symposium without Dylan there breaks my heart. Like most things Dylan worked on, he brought so much to it.

As a role model to me, Dylan was hardcore. Dylan got shit done. Dylan was an inspiration to see because he followed through on his ideas with action. Dylan was an inspiration to me because we had so many similar values and passions, he embodied those values and passions through his work, successfully. His work and his life showed me what was possible in helping others, building community and being a good friend. I am passionate about many ideas and projects, I try to act constructively and follow through on those ideas and projects. So often, I feel I see people talking about values and ideas without action to back their words up. Dylan didn’t just talk about comics, he made them. Dylan didn’t just support others’ comics, he published, distributed and taught comics. Dylan was an alternative before there was much of an alternative and he didn’t buy into any ideas about how comics should be, he supported anyone in making comics in their own way. He didn’t view anything as “more legitimate” just because it was mainstream, he truly found value in comics as art and supported artists making what they were inspired to make. Dylan didn’t just show compassion, he was kind to people he didn’t even agree with, something I struggle to do in my own life and often fall short on. Knowing and talking to Dylan about such conflicts has helped me improve on that and I can try to continue improving on remembering how he approached those he didn’t agree with. Even when he saw people in the Portland comics scene abandoning more independent, community-driven roots, he was thinking about starting a new independent fest. He could have just complained, but he was starting to think of new ideas to grow something instead. Dylan built community, attending zine and comics fests across the nation, contributing to other’s zines and more. When I started Stumptown Underground, his support meant so much to me. Then, when he contributed, despite all the other shit he was working on, I felt like I must be doing something worthwhile.

I also volunteer at IPRC, where Dylan taught as well. I watching him treat his students with such encouragement and dignity. His teaching philosophies were so spot on and it was reflected in I saw his students’ work grow while working with him. Always bringing people together, he would get on them to submit to Stumptown Underground or table at PZS, too.

And, you know, that’s the thing about Dylan. He could make you feel special, he could make you laugh, he could put things in perspective with no bullshit, he could give support in a way that made you feel like what you were doing mattered. Why? Because it does matter! Dylan was genuine and it mattered to him in a real way.

Humbly, without ego and without selfish ploys for credit, Dylan pushed forward ideas, compassion, support and projects for the sake of doing it, because he believed that was the way to be.

And, damn, is he right. Reading posts by others who knew him, it all shines through. It is only sad to lose Dylan because knowing him was such joy and inspiration. That his life was cut short is only a loss because he gave so much.


I could go on and on, but I am still processing. One of the ways I deal with pain is through creative expression. I want to thank everyone who has written about Dylan so far (I have already personally emailed some, I imagine I will have more people to thank soon). All your positive and loving stories are amazing to read and it makes me want to figure out a way to preserve a lot of this for each other, for those who may not have known Dylan as well, or for those who will never get the chance to know him in person.

I have started sending out emails about doing a zine dedicated to / in remembrance of Dylan. I am not sure what direction it will take, but maybe it will just be really loose, anything people who have known him would like to contribute, stories about him, his ideas, his work, etc. I would like help putting it together and help giving the whole idea shape. I think I would like to make it something widely available for free, leaving it in comic book stores around Portland and taking it to conventions, etc. Or maybe continually printing and supplying the to Sparkplug and letting Sparkplug sell it? I am not sure. One of the many values Dylan and I shared was a passion for collective, equal organizing. I would love the organizational help in an equal way from anyone who is interested. If you want to help me organize it or just to contribute, please email me at lovemotionstory [at] gmail [dot] com, I would love to hear from anyone who knew Dylan about this. I also am thinking about starting another independent comics fest in his honor, as we’ve seen more indie comics people coming to PZS looking for a place to express their voice.

Thank you for everything, Dylan Williams. You lead your life in such a kind, sincere and active way. We are all so lucky to know you.


Here are other posts about Dylan that specifically meant a lot to me:

Alex Wrekk – http://alexwrekk.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/1576/
Tom Neely – http://www.facebook.com/iwilldestroyyou/posts/10150296855268051 – “he was better than all of us. and he only wanted us to be ourselves. that’s all i can say right now.”
Tessa Brunton – http://tessab.net/2011/09/11/in-peace/
Gabby Playhouse – http://www.gabbysplayhouse.com/?p=1934
Austin English – http://dominobooksnews.com/2011/09/11/
Elijah Brubaker – http://elijahbrubaker.com/?p=1311
David King – http://www.reliablecomics.com/2011/09/dylan-williams/
2D Cloud – http://2dcloud.blogspot.com/2011/09/dylan-william-publisher-at-sparkplug.html
Katy Ellis O’Brien – http://blog.trumpetflower.net/?p=725
If you are interested in reading more about Dylan and all the wonderful things people have to say about his life, you can check out The Comics Reporter page of the collective memory of Dylan Williams: http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/collective_memory_dylan_williams_rip/

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Written by lovemotionstory

September 12, 2011 at 8:06 pm

What I am making time for…

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We only have the time we’re willing to make.

I haven’t been to Jazzkat’s Coffee Bar in ages, because I don’t live or work near there. So, I made sure make the time to go there today and it’s still as awesome as ever. I love you Whitney Baskins! Plus, do all my vegan friends know that a new vegan tattoo joint has opened up around the corner? When I got to Jazzkat’s today, Whitney walked me around the corner to introduce me to the new vegan tattoo shop owners of Ritual Art Tattoo and Body Piecing, which happens to be a queer-owned vegan tattoo place, no less. There is another empty space next to Whitney’s for rent, so I was joking to her that we needed to get another vegan shop there to create a second vegan mini-mall. Maybe FoodFight needs a second location? There are already a couple grocery stores in the neighborhood though. Since Whitney’s place has coffee and sandwiches, I wouldn’t want to see something that competed with her.Maybe another Herbivore? Hm..

Anyways, I have been working harder to re-socialize myself, making time and spending time with friends I have neglected the last year and half. I had coffee with Noah last week and it was the first time I had seen him in forever. It felt so good to sit and talk, it also seemed that we had some mirroring experiences since the last time we’d really hung hung out. I also had an affirming get together with a guy I dated off and on for a year before the big-bad-ex, in which he apologized for not being a better friend while he had starting dating someone else. I had gone into meeting him expecting to still be mad but hoping to make amends, so I was pleasantly surprised when we talked and I felt he was sincerely reaching out to me. I tried explained to him that I could understand where he was coming from because I had neglected a lot of my friends while I was doing a big, unhealthy thing for over a year, so it would be pretty hypocritical not to try to offer a bit of forgiveness and understanding for his attempt at reconnection… But I would also like to be friends with him anyways, which is why it hurt to feel like it didn’t matter to him before. So, yeah, all kinds of resolutions happening, all kinds of reconnecting, all kinds of new connections.

There are some new connections happening too, which are interesting. I am dating a boy who actually is enthusiastically poly and already has a relationship going with another lady long before me, which is actually a new position for me. I am usually the lady that’s already with the guy, navigating the new ladies in the guy’s life. And often the guys haven’t been good at being honest and open with their other goings on and the ladies haven’t been very friendly to the relationship that already existed. So, in a weird way, I feel I am getting to be the kind of woman I would have liked to see in my life and I am really loving the opportunity. The other lady came to Trek in the Park with us, then her and I had coffee last week, then we all had coffee yesterday. There are some obstacles for us, mainly that she has a couple of guy friends in her life that I had bad interactions with a few years ago (I am not a fan of them and, as a result, they are not a fan of me) and that poly is still very new to her. If there has ever been one universal motivator for me, it’s been to succeed in spite of other people’s negativity or bad shit in the past. There is also the idea that polyamorous relationships are different for each set of people trying to have them, so even if the boy and his lady weren’t at all new to this, we’d still have a lot to navigate and sort out between us and I have been just blown away with the level of communication and open-heartedness from both of them.

In other news, the ocean-themed submissions deadline for Stumptown Underground is just around the corner (July 23rd) and I hope you all make time to submit to it. The submissions for the summer-themed issue were low enough and we’ve been so behind on things within SU, that is looks like we’re may combine the summer and ocean issues.

I completed the PZS 3rd Annual 24hr Zine Challenge this past weekend, but I kind of hate what I made. So, unless you sponsored me for the challenge, donating $10 or more to the Portland Zine Symposium, you probably won’t ever see this zine. I have more thoughts about the 24hr Zine Challenge for another post soo

Also, we’re doing the bike-in movie night again for PZS this year, this time with Whiffies new mobile, yellow beast. We had an open vote on the movie this year, which has finished and Triplets of Belleville was chosen! The bike-in movie night is happening on July 29th, you should all probably come.

In slighted related music listening linkage, here is a kind of dorky song I am have been liking…

I’m a zine hustler…

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Making the Portland Zine Symposium update yesterday, reminded me to update my blog. Then I quickly realized I am majorly lacking on updating my blog again. Oh, sigh.

I better use this opportunity to announce that I organizing and doing the 3rd Annual PZS 24hr Zine Challenge this year. I would encourage most any zinester/comicker to try a 24hr project at some point in their creative life. It’s really exciting, scary and fulfilling. Even if you don’t finish (I didn’t the first year), you inevitably learn a lot. If you’re not up to the challenge, please consider sponsoring me (I only have one sponsor, but that jerk Alex Wrekk has, like, a million). Speaking of which, my one sponsor is the ever-awesome Neil Brideau. He is a friend of mine that lives in Chicago, makes awesome comics, and helped start / organizes the Chicago Zine Fest.

If you sponsor me for $10 or more, you get a free copy of the zine (but you only pay if I finish) and PZS gets a donation, so everybody wins. So far, the 24hr Zine I made last year is the only zine of only my work I have ever made, so this will, hopefully, be the second.

I am not sure where to begin. My life is totally swamped with PZS, I am super behind on Stumptown Underground‘s summer issue organizing. I am asking the others for help, but Katie A. is in the same boat as me, Katy O’Brien is in Sweden being an au pair for the summer, Kirsten is still in Korea, Jon just got a job (congratulations, dude), and hopskotch is just always busy. Oh, by the way, did you know Stumptown Underground is a collective and we’re open to new members? Because, yeah, we could sure use some more, dedicated hands.

Oh, also, the deadline to submit to Stumptown Underground ocean issue is July 23rd. If you submitted to the summer issue, you should her from us soon!

ocean issue, zine submissions call

I will make a more personal update soon, I swear…