Know Your City publishes a wide range of Portland books and publications. KYC publications document information gathered from our tours and lectures and make history and contemporary issues publicly accessible. To create these publications, KYC has worked with local artists and writers, graphic designers and illustrators – Daniel Duford, Nicole Georges, Sarah Mirk, Jesse Reklaw, Khris Soden and many, many more.

Looking for the perfect Portland gift? We have you covered. KYC publications are currently sold in more than a dozen stores in Portland, with several outside the area. Publications can also be purchased here at our store. Publications are made possible, in part, by individual members and donors. For more information on supporting Know Your City, click here.

#009 – Comics For Change! Illustrated Stories From Oregon’s Front Lines
A woman who started a self-empowered soup kitchen for the homeless. A man who never stopped advocating for the African American community. A group who fights to protect Oregon forests from logging corporations. These stories have one thing in common: they celebrate people who are making Oregon a better place for everyone. This publication collects 10 excellent mini-comics in one box set by some of Portland’s best comic writers and illustrators. Whether you’re a die hard activist or have a new interest in social justice and art, you’ll be inspired to learn more and take action from Know Your City’s Comics for Change!
#008 – Tom McCall & the Vortex
Building off the success of our Oregon History Comics series, Tom McCall & the Vortex chronicles the life and times of former Governor Tom McCall. Written by reporter Sarah Mirk and illustrated by Daniel Duford, the comic examines the legacy of the Oregon politician – including McCall’s well-known visionary environmental accomplishments, as well as some of his political controversies – including his role in the Vortex Festival, a state-sponsored rock festival modeled after Woodstock and Altamont.

#006 – Don’t Move Out! Foreclosure resistance in Portland
Don’t Move Out! is the first in a series of fold-out posters KYC is creating that aims to add vitality to crucial debates about Portland’s future, while creating opportunities for designers to engage with social issues. The full-color over-sized poster unfolds in a map-style layout, and is intricately illustrated by comic artist Jesse Reklaw. The poster, produced in conjunction with We Are Oregon, is translated in Spanish on the back.

Download as a PDF (English)
Download as a PDF (Spanish)

#005 Oregon History Comics

Ten stories about Oregon’s history. Ten Oregon illustrators. Ten excellent history comics! Portland Mercury reporter Sarah Mirk and Know Your City proudly present Oregon History Comics: 10 short comic books telling little-known stories from our state’s history. From women’s suffrage in Oregon to the tragic Vanport Flood to the legendary all-ages venue, the X-Ray Café, this box set presents oft-dry histories in an exciting and accessible format — through bold illustrations from some of Portland’s best and brightest comics illustrators. Whether you’re a history buff or just a casual comics reader, you’ll find value in Oregon History Comics as a way of learning more about why Oregon is the way it is today.

#004 Walls Of Pride: A Tour of African American Public Art in Portland – SOLD OUT!

Walls of Pride provides a self-guided tour to twenty of the city’s African American public artworks through color photos, a detailed map, mural descriptions and artist bios. The book gives context to these vital works through interviews with artists Adriene Cruz, Henry Frison and Isaka Shamsud-Din, and and a transcribed conversation between history professor Reiko Hillyer and curator Robin Dunitz. Walls of Pride at once celebrates Portland’s African American art, while underscoring the need to preserve these oft-overlooked cultural contributions.

#003 Northwest Passage: 50 Years of Independent Music from the Rose City
Northwest Passage is an 88-page book and audio CD highlighting the history of Portland’s burgeoning independent music scene. Through oral history, essays and photos, the publication documents the organization’s successful music lecture series, with contributions from: The Dill Pickle Club, Mississippi Records, Oregon Historical Musical Society, PDX Pop Now!, Joe Kregal, Ural Thomas, Valerie Brown, Fred & Toody Cole, Vanessa Renwick & Erin Yanke, Calvin Johnson and Cool Nutz.

#002 Art for the Millions: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA
Art for the Millions is a 28-page guided tour of Portland public works projects of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a federally-funded program that provided relief to millions of idle workers during the height of the Great Depression. Detailing over nine WPA sites in the Portland metro area, the booklet includes an introductory essay and a list of WPA resources. Also included is a link to an audio podcast featuring interviews with David Millholand, Ginny Allen, Nina Olsson, Mark Humpal and Margaret Bullock on the WPA’s impact in Oregon.

#001 Brains, Brilliancy, Bohemia: Art & Politics in Jazz-Age Chicago – SOLD OUT!
Presenting photos and photocopies from Chicago’s ill-forgotten radical nightclub, The Dill Pickle Club, hobo gatherings and 1910s-20s ephemera, Brains, Brilliancy, Bohemia provides a timely look at the origin of American counterculture and working class art leading up to the Great Depression. New edition also includes a DVD of the short film, The More Things Stay The Same, a documentary on the life and world of hobo king and prostitute physician, Dr. Ben Reitman.