Maurice Isserman with Willamette Bridges

Maurice Isserman, the Publius Virgilius Rogers Professor of American History, was a member of a panel at the Oregon Cartoon Institute’s Underground USA symposium on Oct. 15. Among the topics the panel discussed was “What makes Portland so comics and cartooning friendly?”

In addition to Isserman, artists Bill Plympton and David Chelsea, and writers Norman Solomon and Richard Gehr discussed their early experiences with the Portland Scribe. Isserman was the paper’s editor.

According to the Underground USA Facebook page, the symposium is a “public history/arts education event which focuses on one chapter of Oregon print cartooning history.” It notes that “two underground papers, the Willamette Bridge (1968-71) and the Portland Scribe (1972-78), provided first jobs for a generation of artists and writers who went on to have national careers.”

While in Portland, Isserman also appeared at a book signing for his new volume, Continental Divide - A History of Mountaineering, at the well-known Powell’s Books.

Isserman also recently published a review of Radicals in America by Howard Brick and Christopher Phelps in The Common Reader, which is a semi-annual publication of Washington University in St. Louis

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