Raising Eyebrows

Comic book people do love their origin stories. The tale of the University of Oregon program in comic studies dates back some seven years, to the 2009 opening reception of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art’s Faster Than a Speeding Bullet exhibition of superhero comic art. Then-UO President Richard Lariviere was on site to help launch the exhibition.  “I don’t think he was terribly interested,” says Ben Saunders, UO professor of English and guest curator of the show. “I think he was doing due diligence.”  Continue reading 

Spirit of Aloha

Kapu Hut’s bar runneth over with more than 60 rums. Photo by Kathleen Nyberg.

Some things come standard with a McMenamins dining experience — craft brews, tater tots, exposed wood beams — but Dan McMenamin, a second generation co-owner of the business, says individualism is key to the success of his family’s empire. “We try to let each location have its own story, its own identity,” McMenamin says. The 50-plus restaurants themselves, he says, “can lead you down the path to what they want to be.” Evidently, what McMenamins North Bank wants to be is something exotic and a bit tongue-in-cheek: a tiki bar. Continue reading 

Raygun Dreams

2012's sci-fi graphic novels

The past year produced some incredible graphic novels, especially in the science fiction arena. One of 2012’s strongest premieres is Saga, Vol. 1 (Image Comics, $9.99). Against a backdrop of interstellar war, creators Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples cast an intimate story of one young family’s struggle to survive. Alana and Marko, a pair of (quite literally) star-crossed lovers, take a break from trying to kill one another long enough to go AWOL from their respective extraterrestrial armies, elope and produce a hybrid baby. Hijinks ensue. Continue reading