Getting On With It

Today on the site, Paul Tumey continues his look at the Northwest comics scene, presenting a chat with the filmmakers behind a new documentary on that subject. 

Back in 2011, filmmakers and documentarians Louise Amandes and Ron Austin set out to make a movie about artists in the Pacific Northwest who make comics.  They thought they were making a simple film about a beloved subject and then discovered they were in the middle of a cultural surge, firmly rooted in history.

Among many others, they filmed James Gill, Frank Young, David Lasky, Steve Willis, Pat Moriarty, Ellen Forney, Roberta Gregory, David Horsey, Brian Basset, Donna Barr, Jim Woodring, Gary Groth, Shannon Wheeler, Shary Flenniken, and Peter Bagge (to mention the top-billed folks on the film’s official poster).

On September 30, 2015, their ninety-minute documentary entitled Bezango, WA, premiered in Seattle and is making the rounds of various film festivals. It will soon be available on DVD.

Bezango, WA is a respectful film that refreshingly approaches the subject of making comics from the points of view of the artists involved. There are no animated “Pow!” sound effects or comic-book-like special effects. It’s the sort of approach you might expect to see in a documentary about people who make fine musical instruments: lots of craft, lots of love. We visit with artists drawing and inking comics with consummate patience and skill while they frankly discuss their lives and art.


Slow news day, heading into a busy weekend, so I leave you with our own Frank Santoro profiled in the UK.