September 19, 2014

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Rose City Roll Call 2014: Periscope Studio Is Out in Force

Rose City Roll Call! Cambot! Gypsy! Tom Servo! Croooooow! Periscope! Dark Horse! Kurt Busiek! Ooooooooooonnnnni! It's another Panel Patter feature on creators and publishers who will be at Rose City Comic Con! You can find all our features for the show right here!

Last but certainly not least in our profiles before Rose City are the talented folks who work together at Periscope Studio in Portland. Individually, they're some of the best and most varied people working in comics. Together, they're a powerhouse team that support each other in their creative endeavors, sometimes in collaboration and at other moments, just there to provide a helpful reference or an idea to get someone past a creative block.

I admit I am a bit biased, because over time I've become friends with some of the people there and I speak frequently to the rest, but the collection of talent there is simply amazing. You're talking about people who have been nominated for or outright won Eisners, and whose work is critically acclaimed. When you seem them all together at Rose City, hanging out in what they call "Periscope Island," it's staggering just to walk around the booth and look at all the work they've put together.

I profiled a few folks this year for the show, but I wasn't able to get to everyone. So here's a complete list of who will be at Rose City from Periscope, with a few quick comments:

  • Grace Allison is the artist of Wander, an early Monkeybrain title and usually my main point of contact when I want to do something on Periscope Studio. I know she was working on something before Rose City, so if she has it completed, make sure you check it out.
  • Lucy Bellwood is part of the Cartozia Tales team and also draws her own mini comics, mainly with a nautical theme. I profiled her here.
  • Terry Blas has done cover work for Adventure Time and he also has his own series, Briar Hollow and Here Nor There. His work reminds of the things you might find in the old Flight anthologies, with a debt to animation that shows in the loose, more cartoon-like lines and bright colors.
  • Ron Chan is an artist and storyboard person who's done a variety of projects over the years, with the one I'm most familiar with being a short story in one of the CBLDF annuals with writer Josh Williamson. 
  • Ben Dewey may be the next person from Periscope on a rise to prominence. He did I Was the Cat with Paul Tobin and has an upcoming book with Kurt Busiek. The creator of the Tragedy series, which made obscure, silly, and inane situations funny with lavish, old-school style illustrations, he is one to get familiar with now, before he's insanely popular and everyone knows his name.
  • Terry Dodson is one half of the Dodson team, who always add a great sense of style to whatever superhero work they're currently doing, whether it was the good Harley Quinn series or covers for just about every book you can think of. I understand he has an art book out, and if you like art books (I do), and Terry has it at the show, definitely grab one.
  • Rich Ellis was the artist for Chris Roberson's Memorial, a simply gorgeous book that didn't get the attention it deserved, doing an urban fantasy story with lots of mystery, whimsy, and some really amazing visuals. More recently, he's paired with Steve Lieber on Superior Foes of Spider-Man, and I hope to see more work from him soon. He's incredibly talented.
  • Cat Farris's creations include the webcomic, The Last Diplomat, which features Samma and Tark as Samma tries to carry on the work of her family, namely diplomacy. It's only in its first chapter, but there is some great panel construction so far, and Samma is immediately a character you want to see succeed, even if things aren't going as she'd hoped.
  • Paul Guinan is a founding member of Periscope, and has a long history of credits with everyone from Dark Horse to DC Comics, where he co-created Chronos. Heartbreakers, a science fiction series, is currently being reprinted digitally via Monkeybrain. He's also go Boilerplate, about a mechanical man devised in the 1880s that may soon be a film from JJ Abrams.
  • Karl Kesel is one of my all time favorite inkers and writers, going back to when I was a teen. He's writing an amazing X-Files prequel mini, and I profiled him here.
  • Lukas Ketner drew the recent series, Witch Doctor and has also appeared in the new Creepy comics series from Dark Horse. He does amazingly detailed work that looks astounding in black and white.
  • Steve Lieber has been one of my favorites going back to Whiteout with writer Greg Rucka, and he's the primary artist on Superior Foes of Spider-Man. I profiled Steve here.
  • Aaron McConnell has done non fiction comics work for several publishers, including a graphic novel adaptation of the Gettysburg address.
  • Dylan Meconis is a creator I became familiar with when she was running a Kickstarter, and I was instantly interested in Bite Me (a comedic story of vampires in the French Revolution) and her other stories, which include Outfoxed and Danse Macabre, the latter of which is people trying to resist the musical call of death! Her linework is really amazing, and anyone who likes quirky books or my general taste (and if you don't why are you reading Panel Patter, anyway?) should look her up.
  • Erika Moen used to do a webcomic called DAR, and now she's out to give you bedroom (and any other room you'd like) advice with her Oh Joy Sex Toy column, which is also syndicated by Matt Bors on The Nib. Sadly, the first Oh Joy book won't be ready for Rose City, but she'll have a few copies of DAR, prints, and other items you can pick up at the show.
  • Natalie Nourigat was the artist for A Boy and a Girl, one of my favorite books in 2013. She's digitally publishing sketchbooks from her European trip right now via Monkeybrain. I'm not sure what she's bringing to the show, but I guarantee it will be gorgeous.
  • Jeff Parker (Meteor Men, Batman 66, Flash Gordon, Aquaman) writes both indie and superhero comics with equal care, skill, and wit. I profiled him here. 
  • Ron Randall's Trekkers was creator-owned back when that was even harder to manage than it is today. He's recently returned to the story, and Dark Horse put out an omnibus. If you remember any of Randall's superhero work, you know that it's got a slick presentation, with lots of fluid lines. Anyone who enjoys sci fi should stop by to see him!
  • Mike Russell has a varied career that includes doing newspaper strip work for the Oregonian and short comics that made it into Dark Horse Presents. He's been published in both The Wall Street Journal and Blookslut, which is absolutely amazing.
  • Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover created Bandette for the Monkeybrain launch, and while it's often a little bit of time between issues, every one of them is a treasure. Instantly beloved by everyone, it's their signature book. However, they also have many other books, together and separately. Coover often does guest work (such as a story in Batman 66), while the prolific Tobin is behind the excellent horror mini Colder, does kids stories in Angry Birds, wrote I Was the Cat, and much, much more.


Whew! That was exhausting, just writing about all of the great people at Periscope, and that's not even close to the entire studio. As you can see, what they do can be very different, but they all hold one thing in common--they're creators of the highest caliber, and you can make an argument that Periscope should be your first stop when you hit the floor at Rose City. You'll need a ton of money just for them alone!

Can't make Rose City? Learn all about Periscope on their website.