Bits ‘n’ Pieces: Clark County production ‘Nightbumpers’ premieres



Clark County residents will get a chance to see the premiere of a locally made horror film this weekend at the Kiggins Theatre.

The production, by 66-year-old Vancouver playwright and filmmaker Dennis Sparks, has taken about a year to complete, not including the writing process.

“We averaged about one day a week shooting, just because it was an all-volunteer effort,” Sparks said.

Sparks finished the final editing process June 5. He said he was inspired by the old TV show “The Twilight Zone” and by comic book stories from Stan Lee.

“‘Twilight Zone’ was sort of my bible growing up, as far as writing is concerned,” Sparks said.

“Nightbumpers” is the story of a graphic artist whose drawings suddenly come to life, including a dark figure who doesn’t want to be exposed and comes after him for revenge.

“The theme of my movie is the importance of stories and storytellers in our civilization,” Sparks said. “That’s what I’d like to see people take away from this.”

Sparks plays a supporting role in the film, which was shot entirely in Clark County with actors from the county and the Portland area.

The film will premiere at the Kiggins Theatre, 1101 Main St., at 8:15 p.m. Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Prices are $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. The movie is not recommended for children. For more information, visit the “Nightbumpers” Facebook page at

— Sue Vorenberg

Illustrator pens images for ‘Loowit’s Legend’

If you’ve got the idea, Diana Thewlis can supply the images.

The Vancouver artist and illustrator’s father was an accountant for the magicians who made artwork, dioramas, sculptures, backgrounds and visual displays of all sorts for monuments and museums in Washington, D.C.

“I really fell in love with … all the wonderful things the artists in the warehouse were doing,” she said. “I knew I wanted to have a career in the arts. And I really lean toward what they call commercial art.”

Thewlis and her husband came to Vancouver about five years ago, to be involved grandparents. Thewlis was hired by author Erin K. O’Connell of Hood River, Ore., to illustrate a children’s book, “Loowit’s Legend,” which retells the local myth of the two brothers, Pahtoe and Wy’east, who compete for the love of a beautiful maiden. In doing so they defy the Great Spirit and set in motion the creation of the Cascades — including the mountains we now call Hood, Adams and St. Helens.

“It was a very enjoyable project,” said Thewlis, 64, “and it gave me a chance to get to know my environment a little more.”

The book is intended to have mass-market appeal. It’s available at Barnes & Noble and at the Fort Vancouver Regional Library. You might spot it in cultural centers and tourist shops such as Made in Oregon. Or take a look at A portion of all proceeds will go to the Columbia Land Trust.

— Scott Hewitt

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