I grew up in Oregon. I lived there for 24 years, I read (and eventually wrote) my first zines there; so it was with a certain nostalgia that I enjoyed WELCOME TO BEND. I don’t know Bend that well – I was raised on the coast, while Bend is farther inland and quite a bit larger than Coos Bay, but like most towns in Oregon, Bend is not very big and is surrounded by wilderness.
Oregonians tend to have a fond relationship with the woods, and the many rainy weeks and lonely winters do foster a predisposition to crafting and general indoor hobbies. Issues four and five of WELCOME TO BEND perfectly encapsulate that way of life.
Issue four is filled with interviews with the key players in Bend’s apparently thriving bike culture. I guess this has little practical value if you aren’t residing in or around Bend, or planning to visit. But as a portrait of a community, it shows an exciting face of a town that certainly hasn’t had a great deal of exposure. (Posted on 8/13/12)