This is not an exit

Covering comics

In Uncategorized on February 5, 2013 at 2:57 pm


I’ve been working on a couple of projects for Flux over the last few weeks. The larger — and admittedly more ambitious of the two — is a look at the difference in ideology between urban and rural Oregon, a debate exacerbated by the proposal to build coal shipping facilities in Coos Bay. The other story, although smaller in scope, is nonetheless just as interesting and much more fun to work on. This term I’ve followed the progress of a ragtag group of aspiring comic bookers based in Springfield, all of whom found each other through Craigslist. Multimedia producer Julia Reihs and I had the opportunity to sit down with Mason Welsh, the man behind the effort, and talked shop, discussed his past and hopeful future and, of course, got to nerd out on everything to do with comic book culture.

Mason was gracious enough to let us use some of his art (shown above) as a backdrop for our interview on Saturday and his wife, Pam, has also been extremely accommodating, allowing us to take over her training room at Northwest Christian University where she works as a physical trainer.

I’ve always been amazed by how compliant people can be when you’re working on a story on them. The Welshes have, as I said, been extraordinarily accommodating even when it means taking one or two hours out of their busy lives to chat with us. I haven’t had too many opportunities to write features, which is why this attitude seems so foreign to me, but I also hear it’s something you come to appreciate more the longer you’re in the business.

As I told Pam and Mason last time we met for an interview, I’m used to writing news where your interviews are less research and more quantification. Yes, we know the budget is in bad shape. But what are you going to do about it?

This time around, I’m listening for bits and pieces that bring these people to life in writing and it’s proving more difficult than I had anticipated. It’s easy to sit down and write a 600-word news story when you’ve been following developments and you have a book full of numbers and figures to refer to. It’s entirely different when you’re telling somebody’s life story. Then again, moments like the one we shared with Pam and the statue of Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon Mason made her make it a little easier.

Julia Pam

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