Friday, July 17, 2015

Gift Wrapped, TCM 5 Year Reading Recap

This week TCM celebrated its 5th year of doing what it does best, providing a reading space for the self publishing community and giving out free cookies. The event was super special as the readers were all long-time supporters of the series. Leslie Perrine read at the very first Two Cookie in 2010! Jonas and Ben Spies each respectively have read multiple times each over the years. Their presence was exactly what we needed to celebrate.

If that wasn't enough, we released the second issue of Cookie Crumbs,  a zine showcasing the series in 2014. This wouldn't be possible without the assistance and talent of cartoonist/illustrator Alex Nall. Every month last year, Nall documents each reading with doodles, full page comics and caricatures of the readers. Additional content included flyers, Two Cookie 4 year anniversary messages, and some notes from past readers. (The zine is available at Quimby's to purchase, along with issue 1 documenting 2013).

Still not enough? Well, thanks to Sarah W, we helped ourselves to some homemade vegan chocolate chip cookies. Celebration complete.

This group photo is a bit dark, but it represents the celebration. I appreciate all those who came out, that supported us over the years, and to our venues past and present.

Here's to the start of another year!
- Johnny Misfit

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Two Cookie Hits the 5 Year Mark

Two Cookie Minimum has been going strong for 5 years and to celebrate will hold an anniversary reading on Tuesday, July 14.

Through the years, the series has been home to Chicago’s self-publishing community, supporting the work of comics artists and illustrators, independent publishers, students, authors, poets, visual storytellers, and musicians.

The night's performers Include: Comics artist and illustrator Leslie Perrine, Zine publisher and writer Ben Spies, and Independent author and zine publisher Jonas. Hosted by Johnny Misfit.

To give a bit back to the Two Cookie audience, other having free cookies available at every reading, this anniversary will feature the second issue of the self-published zine Cookie Crumbs. The first issue featured the work of resident Two Cookie artist, Chicago cartoonist Alex Nall, who included sketchbook drawings depicting the readings. The new issue will supplement Nall’s artwork with essays from past performers and readers, commentary from host Johnny Misfit, and various photos and flyers from the past year.

The reading begins at 8pm at the Comfort Station, 2579 N Milwaukee Ave. Donations will be accepted at the door benefiting CHIPRC. Two Cookie continues on the second Tuesday of every month at the Comfort Station through September. And it wouldn’t be a party without free cookies. The event is all ages.

A bit of history:
Two Cookie Minimum held its first reading in 2010 at Lakeview’s Fritz Pastry. It held residency at Roscoe Village staple The Hungry Brain until that establishment closed its doors in the winter of 2014. Its current home is the historic Chicago Park District space The Comfort Station in Logan Square. These five years have seen more than 45 shows featuring over 200 readers, boasting a few out of town guests to boot. Recognized in press outlets Chicago Literati, Gapers Block and Newcity, the series has carved out a niche for itself.

Two Cookie’s ties to the independent literary community are clear from past readings that have supported Chicago Zine Fest, Chicago Alternative Comics Expo, Columbia College’s Fiction Writing department, and numerous literary presses. Their many themed readings showcased all female artists, local comics and illustrators, Chicago’s Polish community, and students from academic programs. The series is now supported by Chicago Publishers Resource Center (CHIPRC), a literary nonprofit, that helps its patrons share their work through the reading series.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Everyone gets thier cookies

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.” - Justice Anthony M. Kennedy

Friday, June 12, 2015

New Cookie June Reading

Two Cookie just keeps getting better at the Comfort Station. The reading this week featured some great stories and performances while being surrounded the the CS monthly artwork which included various rocks and geological specimens regionally from IL.  Thanks to everyone who attended this standing room only crowd. And the saving grace was there was air conditioning, nothing less from a placed called the comfort station.

The first reader was Todd Herskovitz who read at TCM back in the Hungry Brain days. He had a fun piece about nature, man's involvement in it, and how we are essentially all living parts of life on Earth. He was reading from a laptop facing a window, so I got a funny shot of him from outside the station.

Next up was Cathy Hannah who read her comic The Unemployment Line. It mixed forays into job hunts with short breaks for profiles of her favorite fine artists. Cathy took some extra time to clean up her comics for an all ages crowd, replacing all curse words with BLOOP! It read really well and killed. Cathy leads the Chicago Woman's Comic Collective which meets at CHIPRC, check out their next event on June 17.

Next we all welcomed Annabel Lang who walked up with a plastic grocery bag (more on that in a moment). Annabel was part of the Wasted Pages Poetry workshop at CHIRC this spring. One note, all her readings were memorized and performed from rote. She recited a few poems before mentioning she was going to be performing a two woman show Mannabel this month. The next piece she read was a selection from that show. She then reached into that grocery bag and began throwing out ziplock baggies of popcorn. It was all part of the act and one the crowd didn't seem to mind. 

Lastly we had art and prose from Jon Drawdoer. He read a list of things running through his head one weekend night from applying face cream to trying on new socks. The mundane is very
relatable and was a cause for the many laughs echoing around the room. His art was very abstract, depicting what thought patterns or brain activity might look like. It was an engaging mix for sure. 

Until next month, when TCM celebrates its 5th year anniversary, you'll have to wait for more. Sorry the photos are so bad, I'm not adept at using my cell phone camera, and am fine with never being able to. You'll have to come out a reading for better quality. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

June showers us with Cookies, Comics and more

Flyer by Jon Drawdoer
Two Cookie Minimum is back in the swing of things and welcomes summer with a great lineup for their June reading.  The series has settled into its new home at the Comfort Station in Logan Square, 2579 N Milwaukee Ave.
The next reading, Tuesday June 9th at 8pm, will feature
Writer/performer Annabel Lang
Comics Artist Cathy Hannah
Author Todd Herskovitz and
Comics Artist Jon Drawdoer
Hosted by series curator Johnny Misfit.

The series is sponsored by Chicago Publishers Resource Center, at 858 N. Ashland. CHIPRC supports the local publishing community. Donations will be accepted at the door benefiting CHIPRC.

And yes, there’ll be free cookies! The readings are all ages.
Reminder, new location and time. Two Cookie is on the second Tuesday of every month, 8pm at the Comfort Station through  September.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Alex Nall does it again: The first full Two Cookie Comic Strip

Cartoonist Alex Nall has been a regular at Two Cookie for the past few years. We welcomed him when he moved to Chicago and gave him room to grow be it reading on stage or supporting his drawings of our readers each month. He writes for Chicago Literati and they have published his first Two Cookie comic strip.

Alex will be working on a commemorative comic, a follow up to his release last year of Cookie Crumbs, which will be full of his drawings and stories. Look for it at our July Two Cookie 5 year anniversary. 

Two Cookie Minimum Returns!
Its true, there is no drinking at the Comfort Station. Also, my mustache does not have a name.
Two Cookie Minimum Returns! 2
Two Cookie Minimum Returns! 4
 Its true, I did wear a Bulls shirt and I did have fun. Thanks Alex.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

New Cookie Minimum

The first Two Cookie Minimum at the Comfort Station is in the books. Upon entering our new space, one could be taken aback by the history of the space as well as the artwork that included patches of sod all over the floor. A plate of cookies and many smiling faces provided the old Two Cookie familiarity.

The reading on Tuesday, May 12th was the first reading in five and a half months. That is a long time and there was concern that people would have forgotten about the series or interest would wain. But we have some great fans and apparently offer a good time for attendees and readers alike. The first reading of our summer stint at Comfort Station was a packed house.
We had many returning regulars, new readers and guests, plus some foot traffic from the neighborhood. This was more than could be expected and Two Cookie is very thankful for the support.

We had 4 great readers of varying styles and topics, the typical lineup you'd get at a Two Cookie. There was a personal essay from Gina Marie LoBianco about getting prepared for her wedding, some creative nonfiction from Andrew Edwards about dressing up like Mario for a Nintendo promotion, person illustrations about family and ghosts from Laura Grothaus and a fiction story in 8 parts by Jillian Schumann.

Our resident cartoonist and documenteur Alex Nall had his notebook out easily capturing all the nuances and readers as he has done for the past 2 years. His work will find a home at Chicago Literati (we'll post those as soon as they are up).

This reading was a perfect gauge for what to expect this summer at Two Cookie. Stop by each month for a packed crowd (make sure to get there early for a seat).  Get turned on to some new authors, graphic artists, performers and self-publishers. Enjoy the history of Comfort Station and its patch of outdoor space in the middle of Logan Square. And as always, cookies cookies and more cookies.

Gina LoBianco and Laura Grathaus at May's Two Cookie