June 2, 2018

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A Visit to the IDW Portland Office

Last night, I had the pleasure of stopping by the IDW Portland office for the first time, as part of an open house they set up to recognize Full Bleed (IDW's massive comics-related journalistic foray) and also the release of IDW's new Judge Dredd: Under Siege. Writer Mark Russell was on hand to sign copies of the first issue:

Mark Russel, seated, in conversation, while Dirk of IDW (plain shirt) talks to guests)

The office itself, located in inner SE Portland, sits in the basement of a building once known for gay rights organizing, which I thought was pretty cool. It also has a recording studio, which kept kids busy and me extremely jealous.

They have a wall of cool posters leading up to the upstairs offices, as you can see in the signing photo above and then the lower part of the office/breakroom has a ton of reproduced pages from their Artist Editions:

I spent entirely too long staring at these walls.
Dirk Wood, the host, did an amazing job of making everyone feel welcome. He made sure he greeted everyone, right down to the kids. Every child left with at least one single issue comic and a graphic novel or trade, hand-selected by Dirk based on their interests. It was really cool to watch.

(Speaking of those graphic novels, it was very hard not to try and sneak all those hardcovers of Haunted Horror or the Dick Tracy reprints sitting around on the shelves, heh heh.)

Looking over the shelves, which had IDW books, books from Top Shelf, and some IDW games, I was struck by just how many IDW books I've read over the years. While not everything has worked for me, IDW is a very solid publisher with a lot of good things going on. And with Black Crown in full swing, Top Shelf still going strong, their licensed properties, and other projects, I expect that to continue for some time.

I didn't get much time to talk to Dirk or any of the others from IDW, but it was a really well done book party, and I hope they do it again for another debut with one of Portland's many local creators. I'd definitely stop by again. If you get a chance to go to one of these, whether in Portland or in some other city, I highly recommend it. It's cool to see behind-the-scenes like this--even if they don't let you near the drums!