Here. It's heartbreaking for the story of it and heartening in the warning of it.
Cartooning encompasses a variety of professions many of which drive their practitioners toward a number of subtle physical hazards. I hope that everyone pays attention to those matters. In a wider sense, away from the unique wrist and hand and neck risks that cartoonists take, we all know that to one degree or another a life spent sitting while working (likely overworking) is an accelerant towards impairment and death.
I remain very fond of this show, spearheaded by Zack Soto and Francois Vigneault after the alt-/arts- community in Portland making a break away from a broader, more "indy"-oriented Stumptown Comics Fest. I thought Linework NW had a great vibe and specific-neighborhood feel, the venue was great, and that its inclusion of illustrators gave it a special boost. Any chance to visit Portland is a welcome one. I liked the parties, official and unofficial. I liked the breakfast options.
What Linework seemed to lack in this initial iteration was second-stage investment cash, making it very dependent on its community of volunteers and its organizers. Linework NW also, and I could be wrong about this, but in its first run of years Linework never quite seemed to evince that special extra 10 percent of need from its attendees or pros. That could just be laid-back Portland, but it just sort of seemed when the show was touch and go that the community could deal with "go," without it being there. The loss of similar shows in other cities might take that place off of the alt-comics map, period, but not comics-rich Portland. That's a hunch; I could be wrong.
My hope is that someone might step in for 2018 or 2019 with a little bit of cash and/or a whole lot of time and/or a plan that gets that city's comics culture and can take the show to the next level both organizationally and in terms of separating it conceptually from others, like the Rose City show where the other half of the old Stumptown festival community found root, or Seattle's Short Run up the road, whose dissolution would seem a greater loss to individual cartoonists in that great comics city. I'm not waiting up at night. I know how fragile these shows can be, how tough it is to sustain things past the initial magical weekend.