Opinion Staff

Ira Kortum
The pissed off artist.

Now before anyone goes off on or about the name of this column or sees way more into it than is necessary, lets try for just a moment to keep things as simple as they actually are.

I am easily pissed off. Not so much from many different things in any given formula as much as a few simple things, which just happen to coincidently be in massive amounts of abundance on this planet.

Also, I am an artist.

I write, study the arts in its many various forms and have been a stage performer since I was 10. Hence, the title, The Pissed Off Artist.

Now, it’s time to share with you all what it is exactly that pisses me off, what really fries me to no end. It’s people with no concept of responsibility.

Now what I mean by this is people who think it’s OK to attack or slander someone without putting their name to it.

The whole Miss America thing with the flyers really started to honk me off. If you write it you put your name to it. Otherwise, zip it.

Which brings us to another big no-no, the “I’m right and you’re wrong and I don’t have to explain myself or know what I’m talking about because I’m right,” way of thinking.

We’re all higher education people here, there’s no reason to be unable to explain why you think or feel the way you do. If you can’t take the time to try to figure out why you think, respond or act the way you do then I don’t have the time to listen. But if you do I will listen. Even if I don’t agree with it, at least I can respect it.

In diversity lies strength and God Bless America.

So what I mean by responsibility is to be responsible to yourself. Think, listen, don’t take the easy way out and follow the herd. Those that don’t will be the ones I write about. Not, however, as though I am some all-wise, all-knowing, omnipotent being. I’ll make mistakes, contradict myself and have my facts botched up or just flat out wrong at times. Because I’m human and these are things we all do.

If you catch me at any of these things, tell me. If I piss you off, tell me. Whatever it is, if you’ve got clear reasons for it, I’ll give you a verbal pat on the back myself. At least you’re paying attention.

Ryan Hume
Out of left field

R. Hume spends most of his time indoors. His favorite plant is the artichoke because the flower is sold upside down and then ingested.

The author occasionally abandons his dwelling and ventures to the Oregon coast, where he hangs out with whatever life form – usually starfish – may be present at that time in one of many tide pools, all of which are possibly in various undisclosed locations.

His politics border somewhere between radical fundamentalism, plain radicalism and apathy: depending solely on the placement of the moon. His favorite color is blue.

The author has pledged to one day to wear a cape more often. He believes strongly that nothing really ever happens “soon enough,” as some people might have you believe.

The money generated by this column will be put into an empty coffee can and then buried in the backyard, until there is enough money in the can to adopt a chimpanzee. The two unlikely companions will then take a walking tour of the Southeastern coast of the United States, where they will undoubtedly find themselves in some zany adventures.

When he is not drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon on the porch, please do not bother him, although – the author informs me – it is okay to leave a note.

Matthew Hein
Hello. This is where I go to school. My goal is to become as smart as possible. I am here to serve you.

Gene Kelly was a great dancer.

Kickboxing is not the sport of the future.

I don’t drive, but I do engage in lots of other stupid activities.

Sometimes I get a little crazy when I work with computers.

I’m old enough to remember when our current mayor Vera Katz was just another member of the Oregon Legislature who thought Portland State University should be the Portland Campus of U of O and OSU.

I’m too young to recall local authorities assuring the low-income residents of Vanport (PSU’s original location) they wouldn’t all be swept away in the flood. “To the stars through difficulties.”

Sara Wilder
Marvel girl

Some people have this idea that comics are for nerds. Not true I say! Comics, whether in book or strip form are about as close to pop art as one can get these days. I am not the only person of this opinion either; just ask any of the people you meet at the Portland Comic Book show, they’ll tell you! Well …ok … so that’s a bad example. In any case, I have the privilege of delivering my little bit of comic art to you, the reader, along with what I see as a healthy dose of political commentary.

But who am I? I am a dark soldier of the night, clouded in mystery, forged in the very pits of hell! Ok, so that a big fat lie. I’m no soldier, and I’ve never been to Hell – though, after living in the Ondine last year, I’d almost say I have. However, clouded in mystery, I most certainly am – but not for long.

Born right here in sunny Oregon, I’ve visited such places as England, France, Spain, Australia, Fiji and even the far off and ever so mystical California. The computer tells me I’m majoring in History, though Archeology is more where it’s at. I’m sounding nerdier and nerdier by the minute aren’t I? Well, while I’m at it, I might as well talk about comics some more.

Aside from working with the Vanguard, I’ve been lucky enough to find myself associated with both a web comic, and a small indie-press company by the name of Spiffyco. I’ve self-published two ashcan books (comic writer lingo for black-and-white book printed and stapled at Kinko’s at 4 a.m. the night before the show), with more on the way, and I’ve got a veritable plethora of strips posted on the World Wide Web (shameless plug: Spiffyco.com).

Anyway, as I draw this to a close, I hope you, the reader, enjoy my work, because lord knows I enjoy making it for you. No lie. Honestly. So keep tuning in, same Viking page, same Viking paper, for more earth shaking – and ever so clever, adventures of me. Well … not of me, but you get the picture. Enjoy.