Friday, December 5, 2014

Two Cookie Celebrates Final Reading at Hungry Brain with an Explosion of Guts and Emotion

Two Cookie Minimum closed out 2014 this past Tuesday with an explosion of sorts for the final reading at Hungry Brain. It was part send off and celebration, an out of control party and a 100% typical Two Cookie reading. There was a diverse lineup of storytellers employing various forms. All readers brought out some great material. There were comics, a biblical parody, pieces inspired by music and even some Mad Libs. I appreciated how two of the series regulars, Alex Nall and Dave Roche, mentioned the series in their readings. This meant a lot confirming that others really do enjoy the series.

As this was the final Two Cookie at the Brain, I closed things out with a bang; literally that was the noise of me falling on stage and causing a scene. What kind of send off would be more appropriate for a man in his thirties who still calls himself Johnny Misfit?  I appreciate all who stuck around until the end and hope all had a good time. Special thanks to those who contributed to the donation basket. My goal was to give one last tip to the bartenders Dan and Merle for all their hard work over these years.

Now I move onto 2015 and have to consider what the future of the reading will look like. Though I doubt to ever repeat my antics' during this reading, that of me spewing my guts and emotions all over the stage, I ain’t going out like that. I want to pick up and carry on for a while longer. Stay tuned for more. Here’s to a great 2015. 

- johnny misfit

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"Saying Goodbye the Brain", Chicago Literati interview w/ Johnny Misfit

The good folks over at Chicago Literati thought it relevant enough to interview me about the Hungry Brain closure and what it means for Two Cookie Minimum.

"I feel the eccentricity of the bar, with its oddities and art on the wall, the killer music selection on the jukebox, and the revolving selection of tap beers… it’s the best home for Two Cookie."

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Two Cookie's Goodbye to the Brain

The Hungry Brain, the bar Two Cookie Minimum has held residency at since summer of 2012, will be closing this December. The last Two Cookie Minimum reading of 2014 will also be its last at its favored home. To end on a good note, the lineup will include a few old favorites, some new faces, and of course cookies.

On Tuesday, December 2nd, join the Two Cookie Minimum’s Goodbye to the Brain at the Hungry Brain 2319 W. Belmont at 9pm!
Readers include zinester Dave Roche, comics artist Neil Brideau, writer Tim Jones-Yelvington, and writer Oliver Hunt. Series regular and residence illustrator Alex Nall will share some of his favorite sketches as part of his Cookie Crumbs series. Two Cookie’s host Johnny Misfit will share some of the series’ highlights.

Homemade vegan cookies provided by Sarah W (Johnny's sister who has made countless batches of cookies and a few cakes over the years). Plus more homemade cookies provided by the fine folks at Graze literary magazine.
The reading is 21+. There will be a $5 donation asked to help send off the series and prepare for the future. Where the reading series ends up in 2015 is uncertain. Join the crowd this month to witness the bar and witness the series while you can.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Say it ain't so (whoa oh)

This post is a bit late, but I feel it needs to be said. The Hungry Brain, the bar TwoCookieMinimum has held residency at since summer of 2012, will be closing this December. That leaves one more month for the show at our beloved home. And then what?

That's a good question, one that I have been considering.
Do I find a new location and keep this going?
Do I revert back to a schedule closer to how the series began, booking events sporadically, here and there, with no set schedule?
Should this December's event be the final reading?
Do people care?
Does Chicago really need this reading series? 

That last question has hung on my mind for the last few months, prior to the news of the bar closure. Even with exposure like this week's Gapers Block article, it feels that Two Cookie is a but under recognized in the city's lit scene. Could it be that Two Cookie doesn't have a well know host? Or that even though each month there is a well rounded line up, it is not stacked with household names of published notables or welcoming to academics? Maybe I'm too close to everything and can't see the support the series actually receives. I take pride in the fact that Two Cookie has helped break the ice for some who've used the series to take the stage for the first time (we've had over a dozen readers do this). I work hard to make sure the series is home to self publishers by supporting zinesters, comics artists, illustrators and authors. There have been annual fundraisers for self-publishing events like Chicago Zine Fest and the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo. There have been a few touring readers pass through as well. Etc.

Yet years later, will the series only be remembers as the reading that gave out free cookies? Once the cookies are gone, so are the memories.

With the bar closure coming so soon, there hasn't been much time to contemplate these questions. I found out two days before the November reading that the bar was closing. Its such a great place. I don't want to go somewhere else. Nor will there be a place quite like the Brain.

The fact remains that the last Two Cookie reading at Hungry Brain will be on Tuesday Dec, 2nd. I hope you can come out. If not for the series, come for the bar. Spend one last time taking it all in: the wide variety of art on its walls (from magazine collages to a hand painted Jesus portrait), the Brain collection behind the bar, basking in the Christmas lights, the video game machines (maybe they'll turn on the Galaga machine), or sit at the bar and order from Dan.

Feel free to email with any comments or well wishes.
Thanks for everything. Check back with info about the last show and any updates about the series' future.

Johnny Misfit

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Gapers Block calls Two Cookie "A treat"

Thanks to Gapers Block Book Club writer Alex Thompson for posting a review of last month's reading where Two Cookie celebrated hosts from other local reading series.

Read the Gapers Block article here.

This is a bit bittersweet. At the reading, I mentioned that the bar would be closing down. Finally we get press and the series is in limbo. So not sure what the future of the reading series will look like. I'll post about that later. For now, enjoy the article and the arctic weather hitting Chicago. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Two Cookie's Toast To Hosts!

Two Cookie Minimum takes the month of November to give thanks to all those hosts who preside over some of Chicago’s most vibrant reading series. On Tuesday, November 4th, join Two Cookie and raise your glasses to Toast the Hosts at the Hungry Brain 2319 W. Belmont, at 9pm!
Hosts from Chicago literary series will take the stage including, Carly Oishi of Miss Spoken,
Robbie Q. Telfer
of The Encyclopedia Show,
Elizabeth Harper
of Elizabeth's Crazy Little Thing,
Behnam Riahi
of Reading Under the Influence, and
Leah Pickett
of The Marrow.
To host the hosts will be Two Cookie’s Johnny Misfit.

Plus as they do every month, there will be free cookies available for the eating.The reading is 21+. There is no cover.

Steven Tyler's Mic stand will not be at the reading. I know, we apologize, it was double booked for an episode of The Voice or something.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

RESURRECTION! Silver Tongue Reading Series @ Two Cookie Minimum

Monthly reading series Two Cookie Minimum themes their October reading on Tuesday, October 7th with a Halloween bent, working to bring life back to the defunct Silver Tongue reading series. Silver Tongue was a student run reading series at Columbia College from 2008-2013. For the occasion, past Silver Tongue hosts, readers and staff advisors will take over Two Cookie Minimum for a night of readings, performances, zines, videos and face cake.  

Readers include:  Jill Summers, Dave Snyder, Lauryn Allison Lewis, Devan Perine, Andi White, Mr. Dan Shapiro, and Ian Jones.

Co-hosted by Two Cookie Minimum’s Johnny Misfit and former Silver Tongue host Mason Johnson.  Johnson will deliver a specially prepared eulogy for Silver Tongue readers.

At the Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont, 21+, 9pm. There will be a $3 donation to cover ghoulish giveaways. And as always, there will be free cookies at the event.
(Flyer by Mason Johnson)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Find Hidden Treasure at Septembarrgg's Two Cookie Minimum

Calling all Literary Scallywags, Poetic Pirates, and Comics Corsairs, on September 2nd Two Cookie Minimum brings you Hidden Treasure from the indie lit community.

Straight off the tall ships on Lake Michigan, a bountiful booty of readings and performances by Chicago buccaneers including:
writer Scott Miles,
poet Anthony Madrid,
comics artist Zelda Galewsky Art,
writer at Forgotten Chicago Daniel Pogorzelski aka Dan ‘Pogo’, and
Miden Wood, editor of Gaper’s Block Book Club.
Hosted by Johnny Misfit.

Stop by the Hungry Brain 2319 W. Belmont at 9pm, 21+, no cover.
Free cookies for all you sea salts. Scurvy optional.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Two Cookie Minimum Anniversary Messages (part 16 FINALE)

This is it! For the big finish, here is Part16 in the series of Two Cookie Minimum Anniversary Messages. 
The message was an anonymous submission. I have been playing Sherlock for some of the messages. At times I know the person's artwork, wording or tone. I feared was from zinester Dave Roche. I confirmed my assumptions by emailing him.

So I want to talk about Dave Roche for a minute. Dave's is a bit of a wild card. He's been a regular at the series, has read quite a few times (one of those times he did an ad lib reading of stories about his family). He's got a great stage presence and can tell a story like no one else. He's got charisma and a never ending collection of stories. Dave is the kind of reader that you'll find booked at Two Cookie. Without performers like him, the series wouldn't be as well rounded as it is. So thank all your writers and artists who have performed making the series into what it is. I look forward to the next year where I can welcome even more talent to share the stage.

Ok now onto the final message. Its a doozy.

                                    Two is the minimum for anything as far as I'm concerned. 

And there you have it. Thanks to all those who wrote these messages, really couldn't have done it without you. And thanks to all of you for reading. Hope you enjoyed them.

Tomorrow is August 5th meaning Two Cookie Minimum is back at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W Belmont, 9pm. Free cookies and great readers.  Hope to see you out there.

Johnny Misfit

What the meaning of all this? During July's Two Cookie Minimum reading, which was the series' 4 year anniversary, attendees and readers were given the prompt, "When I think of Two Cookie Minimum..." These are those responses.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Two Cookie Minimum Anniversary Messages (part 15)

This is the week's last post in the series of Two Cookie Minimum Anniversary Messages. Next Monday will be the final one! Then on Tuesday August 5th, come out to the Two Cookie Minimum reading to kick out our 4th year!

This submission is from Keiler Roberts. She didn't sign it, but I took a stab in the dark and guessed it was her. Her message shows exact the kind of fun that readers and audience members have at the series. By that I mean, yes you feel good, but there's cookies and sarcastic comments heard throughout the night (mainly by me on stage).

                                                           What is that? Llama, Alpaca or Guanaco? 

Come back Monday for one last message.

Couldn't do this without you all.

Johnny Misfit

What the meaning of all this? During July's Two Cookie Minimum reading, which was the series' 4 year anniversary, attendees and readers were given the prompt, "When I think of Two Cookie Minimum..." These are those responses.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Two Cookie Minimum Anniversary Messages (part 14)

We're up to part 14 in the series of Two Cookie Minimum Anniversary Messages. This one is a favorite of mine. All were anonymous submissions, but based on the message, I had an idea who wrote this.
I confirmed my hunch was confirmed by asking poet, zinester and Two Cookie regular Collin Brennan if this was his message. That he said, "I wrote the one about the 98 Bulls. Of course." 

Collin's read at the series a few times and we've found we share a common interest in basketball. Being he's a frequent regular, he he knows the score (another sports pun). I really like his comparison of Two Cookie to the 98 Bulls. That was the last season the Bulls won a title. The team was a rag tag bunch with veterans, a flamboyant bad boy, an overseas star and two future hall of fame players (arguably two of the best ever to play the game). Like that team, each month I look to book a diversity of readers. There have been established writers, students, zinesters, comics artists, musicians, shadow puppets, comedians, mutli-media, etc. So if you've been on the Two Cookie roster before, thanks for making it a winning series (last sports pun). 

There are only two more of these message left. Don't miss them. 

Johnny Misfit

What the meaning of all this? During July's Two Cookie Minimum reading, which was the series' 4 year anniversary, attendees and readers were given the prompt, "When I think of Two Cookie Minimum..." These are those responses.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Two Cookie Minimum Anniversary Messages (part 13)

Lucky 13 in this series of Two Cookie Minimum Anniversary Messages. Its another anonymous submission. I like how they keep it simple, short and sweet, much like the reading series.
A two cookie emoticon.

There's only a few more of these left to post. Check in until August 5th and then go to the Two Cookie Reading that night. It's gonna "Fun and Always Different" for sure.

Johnny Misfit

What the meaning of all this? During July's Two Cookie Minimum reading, which was the series' 4 year anniversary, attendees and readers were given the prompt, "When I think of Two Cookie Minimum..." These are those responses.