Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Wake me up, September has Ended for TCM

This past Tuesday Sept 8 was the last TCM of the summer. The lineup was solid with a mix of about everything you'd expect at one of our readings: comics, poetry, fiction, a shadow puppet show, zines and of course cookies. The readers all excelled at their craft and the series was grateful they shared their time with all of us. I'd like to recap a bit now about the night and our year at Comfort Station.

The comics reading of Marnie Galloway shows work so polished and crisp, with a playful creative nonfiction story and a smooth and touching delivery in the reading. What a pro. This is her tattooed arm hard at work moving between panels.

In the comic Hard Decora by Kamilha Jones, she wonderfully mixed anime over landscape photos (which she mentioned where snapped around Logan Square, what a coincidence). This was the first time she shared this new work with an audience and we were so glad she did!

Erin Nederbo's short story about carnival season, those pop up neighborhood festivals with kids rides and bad hot dogs, was appropriate for this time of year. Her story captured so well the life of residential South Side Chicago, I always forget she's from northside neighborhood Jeff Park. The fiction was vivid, painting the image of her characters so they could be memorable after we left, something only great fiction can do.

It was awesome to welcome back the sisters Summers, Jill Summers and Susie Kirkwood for a shadow puppet show. The accompanying story read was by author Chris Bower (from his new short story collection that was also illustrated by Susie). Our venue was a great location to have such a show. Its always an amazement for our audience to see how this visual storytelling adds another dimension to the story being read.

It was also special to invite long-time TCM supporter Collin Brennan to read. He plans to move to LA this fall and this was my way offer thanks and goodbye at the same time. His poems played with form: a letter addressed to Tragedy; a poem about love and loss with Chicago at its center; a personal recollection of his father and the frailty of life. We'll miss him, but know he'll be back. Or maybe he'll host his own series in LA?

Another treat, besides the cookies, was to have not one, but two hands working to document the reading through illustration. Our resident artist Alex Nall was joined by last month's fill-in Eric Bartholomew. Both have their own style and eye for capturing the scene. We'll collect their works for next year's Cookie Crumbs zine. Can't wait to see this work!

As I close out the year, I not only wanted to detail and thank this month's readers, but all those who made our 2015 happen. It was so good to have our regulars follow us to our new venue people like our artists Alex and Eric. It was a treat to welcome all the readers and attendees from LUMPS zine who I invited as readers this year, adding new faces and sharing their talents. And its always comforting to know members of the zine, comics, and indie lit community follow us: Violet Fox, Matt Davis, Neil Brideau, Julie Koslowski, Ben Spies, Collin Brennan, Jon Drawdoer, Gina LoBianco, Kerri Gannon, Elizabeth Harper, Todd Herskovitz, Dan Pogo, Ed Blair, Noami Huffman, and others I am forgetting to mention. Most have read at the series and its great to see that support. Thanks for my family support: my sister Sarah for making homemade vegan cookies and my wife Jill for performing, attending and kicking my ass to have good lineups. And thanks to everyone how has been part of the audience. You all are what makes this series thrive. Now into our 5th year, you all help sustains us. So thank you all.

Lastly, TCM was so thankful for the Comfort Station, letting us call their space home this summer. Thanks to Raul from their Comfort Films program who was our lead, introducing the space each month and making sure we had all the tech under control. TCM has been fortunate that every venue we've called home has been so welcoming as well as historic to the city. We look forward to coming back to the Comfort Station for another year next spring. Things look good and I'll share spring 2016 information later this fall when all the scheduling is worked out. Until then, our sponsor CHIPRC will host an end of year reading in December. More to come on that.

Again, thanks for 2015. Be back soon.
Johnny Misfit

TCM Summer Ender (opps don't mind my finger in the way).

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