There's a kind of energy to Stumptown that's incredibly uplifting. It wasn't nearly as crowded as I expected, which was kind of a nice surprise - you get to actually have conversations with people, and they're actually happy to see you because they haven't been burned out from lines of fans demanding sketches. There is something about being in a room of super talented and creative people who love what they do and and the people who are enthusiastic and supportive enough to let them do it full time that makes you hopeful.
Due to my getting horrifically lost and taking an unexpected tour of Portland's north district (this city is sort of like a bigger and better cousin of edmonton...Hawthorne Blvd. is Whyte, downtown is offices and upscale shops, west is the zoo, north is rundown residential areas and warehouses), I only made it to one panel. Luckily it was the Beaton/Meconis double header, in which they discussed how to cheat with reference photos, the Tesla revival, being internet famous, and the relative sexiness of historic figures (Spinoza was a dreamboat, I guess).
On a side note, Kate Beaton hardly has an accent at all, I don't know what the hell Jeffrey Rowland is on about. He should meet someone from Newfoundland.