WRITER • EDITOR • GOOD IDEAS
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Oregon History Comics

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In 2009, I started on what I thought would be a quick, fun educational project: Creating 10 small comic books about Oregon’s history. Over the last generation, Oregon has changed so far, with gentrification, development, and a changing economy reshaping the state in many ways. I thought comics would be a perfect way to help newcomers and native Oregonians alike build understanding of our surroundings in a relevant, accessible medium. While many people won't take time to visit a history museum or pick up a big, dense history book, comics help bring history to the people. The project grew bigger than I ever thought it would! Local arts and culture nonprofit the Know Your City published the series of 10 comics, which have now sold over 5,000 copies. 

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The comics also inspired several other graphic education projects. Based on the success and demand for the Oregon History Comics series, Know Your City published a series of illustrated biographies of Oregon activists called Comics for Change, an illustrated poster about foreclosures in Portland, and a graphic guide to renters rights. The group also published a stand-alone history comic about Tom McCall and the Oregon Vortex. In 2017, Know Your City commissioned 10 brand-new comics for a second edition of the Oregon History Comics.    

You can find Oregon History Comics at Know Your City, in bookstores, and at the Multnomah County Library.