A Documentary Film About Seattle area Cartoonists & Comic Artists

Movie Poster

“Comics are an inherently humble medium...” begins Frank Young.

“...done by introverts"” cuts in James Gill.

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Bezango post card by Mike Tackett Bezango, WA, the new film directed by Ron Austin and Louise Amandes, tells the tale of cartooning and comics in the Seattle area, focusing on the alternative community. The film chronicles both the past and the present, while featuring Frank M. Young, co-creator of the Eisner Award winning graphic novel "The Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song," and James Gill, a cartoonist, and mostly-cheerful introvert of the finest class.

Frank and Jim take us through the film with a special “all comics” edition of their podcast, The Jim and Frank Show ( trickcoin.net. ). Inspired by “The Umbrella Man,” one of the most famous Seattle cartoon characters from 1910-1927, Frank and Jim set out to create a graphic novel about his life. During this process they also highlight dozens of artists and scene-makers from the Northwest comics community. This includes cartooning weatherman Bob Cram from KING-5 TV, Gary Groth, co-founder of Fantagraphics, David Horsey, a two time Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, Steve Willis, creator of Morty the Dog and Ellen Forney, award winning creator of “Marbles” graphic novel, just to name a few.

Frank also shares his experience of creating The Carter Family graphic novel with co-creator David Lasky. They let us in on some of the highlights of their four year project with early drawings, seeing the book published for the first time, and their biggest award winning moment.

The film showcases an eclectic range of artists. Some produce graphic novels. Others create zines, old-fashioned comic books, editorial cartoons, or autobiographical tales. Some, like Jim Woodring, produce whole universes populated by wild, unlikely, and impossible beings, shifting landscapes governed only by dream logic.

But they all start out with a pencil or pen.

And they must all, one way or another, make their way to a certain place. Through a certain quest. A not-quite-solid state of mind and heart.

That place, is Bezango, WA.

Frank M. Young James Gill
David Lasky Steve Willis Pat Moriarity Ellen Forney Peter Bagge Jim Woodring Roberta Gregory David Horsey Brian Basset Gary Groth Donna Barr Shannon Wheeler Shary Flenniken Megan Kelso Eroyn Franklin Larry Reid Kelly Froh Fantagraphics Short Run Intruder

(Interviews,footage & cartoons by the following)
Louise Amandes

Louise Amandes Filmmaker

Louise Amandes grew up in the Mid-West in a large creative family. Music, art, comedy and theater were a big part of everyday life. Her Dad instilled an early love for film making by following the family around with his Super 8 camera. He taught her how to edit by splicing and piecing film together and this became the early inspiration for her desire to make films.

Currently Louise and film partner Ron Austin (the guy on the right) are in post production on a feature documentary entitled, “Bezango, WA”  They’ve also collaborated on several short films that have premiered at STIFF, NW Projections and The International Black Rock Film festivals.

Louise received a B.F.A. in Interior Architecture from Northern Illinois University and a Certificate in Animation and Motion Graphics from Bellevue College.  Louise also plays drums and bass and has done improv theater for many years.   She also is a practicing Licensed Massage Practitioner.
Ron Austin

Ron Austin Filmmaker

Ron Austin is currently an instructional designer and media developer. He earned a Bachelor of Arts at The Evergreen State College and a Master of Education from the University of Washington. He is an adjunct professor at Bellevue College, and has taught web development, film studies, and digital media arts since 2000. He has also contracted with a variety of businesses including Microsoft, The Meacham Insurance Group, InfoSpace, and The Creative Group,

He has born in the Pacific Northwest and grew up reading comics and cartoons by Ray Collins, Shary Flenniken, David Horsey, and Brian Basset. For a few years he drew cartoons for The Evergreen State College’s newspaper, The Cooper Point Journal, and dreamed of making a living as a political cartoonist.

He has worked with Louise Amandes since 2009 producing short films and animations. Bezango,WA is their first feature-length documentary.

-Kickstarter Backers-

Your contributions have helped make this film possible. Thank you!!

Grace Amandes,   John Amandes,  Tom Amandes,  Vince Amandes,  Nusha Ashjaee,  Fred Austin,  Zoe Bermet,  Peter L. Brown,  Susan Charrette,  Bruce Chrislip,  Craig Christensen,  Ray Collins,  Wendi Dunlap,  Jan Eliot,  Kelly Froh,  Denise Gibbs,   Stu Gilkison,  James Gill,  Steve Greenberg,  Korcaighe Hale,  Stefan Hansmire,  Jay Hill,  Doug Holverson,  Kimarie Johnson,  Michael B. Johnson,  Craig A. Jones,  Alana Kelton,  Robert Kelton,  Cher Ann Kier,  Sarah LaFleur,  Caitlin Lustig,  John Lustig,  Fern Meira do Valle,  Midnight Fiction,  Jonathan Miller,  Ken Miller,  Mark Monlux,  Juanita J. Neitling,  Lorena O’English,  Lee P.,  Mike Pascale,  Nancy Pope,  Riley Prigg,  Grace Reamer,  Leonard Rifas,  Deb Rosof,  Dick Rogers,  Brian Rowe,  Janet Sayre,  Lara Schneider,  Jennifer Schofield,  Sly Studios LLC,  Kelsey Smith,  Candice Stephens,   Stesmo,   Mike Todd,   Annette Toutonghi,   Paul Tumey,   Sylvia Unwin,   Maureen VanderPas,   Timothy Vernor,   Lorraine & Pete Wilke,   Jeff Willis,   Lewis Winter,   Roxanne Wolfe,  
CD Woodbury,   Dorothy Woodbury,   Melodie Woods  

Kickstarter Campaign
Production, Cinematography and Editing

Ron Austin & Louise Amandes

Bezango Poster: Pat Moriarity | Bezango Postcard: Mike Tackett
Contributing Video: James Gill, David P. Moore, Liam Austin
Contributing Photography: James Gill, David Lasky, James McFarlane, Jacob Fennell,
Marc Palm, Jacq Cohen, Doris Austin
Writing Contributions: Andrew Hamlin, Frank M. Young, James Gill
Music: Bad Mitten Orchestre, C.D.Woodbury, Jack Moriarity, Robert Kelton,
Brian Cobb, Gerry Amandes, Louise Amandes
Title Illustrations: Mike Tackett | Voice Over & Animation: Howie King
Umbrella Man comix: Frank M. Young | Bezango original idea: Steve Willis

Thank You  Peter Bagge, Chelsea Baker, Scott & Georgia Ball, Donna Barr, Marybeth Barr, Brian Basset, Peter Blecha, Kevin Boze, Charles Burns, Mark Campos, Todd Clark, Max Clotfelter, Ray Collins, Bob Cram, Keith B. Curtis, Jan Eliot, Shary Flenniken, Ellen Forney, Eroyn Franklin, Kelly Froh, Jason Fruchter, James Gill, Allen Gladfelter, Roberta Gregory, Gary Groth, Bob Hale, Billis Helg, Jaime Hernandez, Gilbert Hernandez, Hooked on Comix, Ben Horack, David Horsey, George Jartos, Stasia Kato, Megan Kelso, Robert Kelton, Howie King, David Lasky, T. Lewis, John Lustig, Marie McCaffrey, Dan McConnell, Mark Monlux, Pat Moriarity, Bill Morse, John Ohannesian, Marc Palm, Larry Reid, Eric Reynolds, Darin Shuler, James Stanton, Kazimir Strzepek, Bruce Taylor, Paul Tumey, Jen Vaughn, Steve Willis, Frank M. Young, Tom Van Deusen, Maureen VanderPas, Shannon Wheeler, Jim Woodring, Scottish Ninjas

Special Thanks  Emily Austin, Liam Austin, Fred and Donna Austin, Grace Amandes, Lorraine Devon Wilke, Pete Wilke, Deb Rosof, Gerry Amandes, Vince Amandes, Natalie Strazzera, Mark Plampin, Michael Gwynn, Julio LaFleur, Carol Lay, Matria O’Hora, Hothouse Spa, Bellevue College, Emerald City Comicon, The Evergreen College, Fantagraphics, The Comics Journal, James Keblas, Frank Hussey, The Olympia Comic Festival, The Comics Reporter, Dok Hager, Robert Patton (Umbrella Man), Intruder, Leonard Rifas, Timo Virkkala, ScareCrow Video, Short Run, Jacq Cohen, Lynda Barry, Matt Groening, Kelton Sears, Valerie Snelling, Mike Tackett, The Hugo House, Spice, Leo, Ollie
San Diego Comic Con logo Friday July 22 11:05am-12:50pm
Bezango, WA. has been accepted to screen at the San Diego Comic Con. Pacific Ballroom 23 (1st floor) San Diego Marriott Marquis 333 W Harbor Dr, SD, CA 92101

Seattle Central Community College Bezango, WA will be giving a guest lecture at Seattle Central Community College for Professor Leonard Rifas’ course on comic theory. We will speak about Bezango,WA and the history of comic art in the Pacific Northwest, Tuesday, March 18th 1:00-3:30.

Short Run Small Press Festival We were accepted to showcase about twenty minutes of footage, works-in-progress, at Short Run 2013. This is the premiere small press Festival in the Seattle area. November 30th, 2013.

Olympia Comic Festival We were invited by the Olympia Comic Festival to speak about Bezango, WA, and show excerpts of the film in progress, June, 2013 .

NW Film Forum Louise and Ron Austin were honored to have had their film idea, and early video edits, accepted to the short list of the Northwest Film Fund 2012, $10,000 film grant award.

Chelsea Baker Cartoon We were interviewed in 2012 by cartoonist Chelsea Baker. She did a fantastic job of transcribing the interview to cartoon format for the Olympia Power & Light independent newspaper

Louise Amandes
Ron Austin

Cartoon by Chelsea Baker

Web design by Louise Amandes and Ron Austin | Web development by Ron Austin
Bezango WA © 2015 Ron Austin and Louise Amandes
Bezango, WA is derived from a mini comix created by Steve Willis.