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 firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or well wishes.
Thanks for everything. Check back with info about the last show and any updates about the series' future.