Each convention has it’s own personality, just like how every city has it’s own personality. Stumptown Comics Fest has one of the best personalities of all the conventions I have attended. It has a very do-it-yourself feel to the entire convention, with a strong feeling of optimism. Most of the artists and storytellers are self employed, or a part of a small artist collective. In fact, most of the tables are webcomics.
The indie attitude of the convention tends to attract many upcoming artists, and is an excellent place to find new things to read. It is also good for artists and writers as much of the focus of the convention is networking, and educating. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has a large table to help creative minds navigate the labyrinth of copyright and legal rules. Many panels are dedicated to helping them understand how to get their works published, or how to self-publish. The largest mainstream comic presence would be from Dark Horse and Oni Press; both of which love and encourage indie comics.
One of the things I like best about Stumptown Comics Fest is the art. At every convention there is plenty of loot to buy. But at Stumptown most of the loot is in the form of beautiful art. There are of course tons of comic books to be had, and in most cases they are being sold by the actual artists and writers who will gladly sign them for you.
Overall I would say that Stumptown has a much more personal feel to it than most other comic conventions. As a fan you get to actually meet the artists, and talk with them. I had the opportunity to talk to Kel McDonald about her plans for her stories (http://www.sorcery101.net/). Aaron Diaz told me about how he prefers to stand while he draws on his computer, much like how classical artists would with their paintings (http://dresdencodak.com/). Jason Janicki and Leigh Kellogg let me in on bits of their plans for their new update schedule (http://www.wayfarersmoon.com/). Dylan Meconis told us how much she likes the Heifer International and that her favorite picture is the llama wearing socks (http://www.dylanmeconis.com/). Angela Melick recounted the woes of apartment renovations (http://www.wastedtalent.ca/). These personal interactions are the ones that make a fan love the work even more, because then not only do they like the art and story, but they also like the creators.
Blue was born with a keyboard and an Atari 2600 joystick in his hands. He enjoys telling longwinded stories, art, video games, programming, and especially loves when they overlap. He is a geek-of-all-trades with a dabbling in everything geek related without any particular focus.