Sunday, July 31, 2016

Always Allows Two Cookies - August Reading Info!

Coming off our 6 year anniversary last month, now into August we’re back to form with a lineup of talented storytellers you don’t want to miss. On Tuesday, August 9, Two Cookie Minimum welcomes Jill Howe (co-founder of Story Sessions), writer Darwyn Jones, author Vincent Francone, and journalist Kathy O'Neill with musical accompaniment of Mark Piekarz.

Readings are scheduled monthly on the second Tuesday each month at 8pm at the Comfort Station 2579 N Milwaukee Ave. The readings are open to the public.  The series is sponsored by Chicago Publishers Resource Center, a nonprofit that provides programming the local publishing community. Donations will be accepted at the door to support future readings

Thursday, July 14, 2016

How we spent our 6 Year birthday!


That's such an unbelievable statement for me to consider. Since the summer of 2010, the series has been welcoming writers and self publishers out for monthly readings. This month's reading was a bit special for obvious reasons. As a gift, not only did the lineup include many supporters who've read at past events (including yours truly as host), but with the release of Cookie Crumbs 3 zine.

Issue 3 included the first year of the series at Comfort Station. The zine includes drawings and comics from Alex Nall and Eric Bartholomew from the 2015 readings. A few past readers also sent in some of their thoughts on our new home. Layout by Anna Jo Beck. Printed at CHIPRC on a Risograph GR2750.

As for the readers, the night began with myself, Johnny Misfit reading from my zine Field Manual for the Human Body. For that project, I worked with good friend Dean Johnson who illustrated various images of the human anatomy to fit the text. For this occasion, Dean colored in his artwork which really made the difference. Enough about me.

Second up was long-time TCM supporter, comedian Tom Simmons. I met Tom at the readings when we were at the Hungry Brain. The first time I was introduced to him, I asked what he did and if he'd like to read sometime. I found out he was a writer and comedian and that was all it took. For this anniversary show, Tom read 3 pieces. The first were Yelp reviews for an assisted suicide hotel. The next two were open letters from pizza chain mascots: A random bro from Toppers and then Papa John. Each was funnier than the first. Sides were split and eyes watered. He could have easily ended the night and everyone could have left. But alas the night wasn't over yet.

The third reading was by Alex Nall. He's be one of the top supporters of the reading series, coming out consistently for 3 years now. Not only has he documented the monthly readings through comics and illustrations, but he's read at it often. And usually his readings are a bit more than simply sharing comics. This time he shared a narrative from his Teaching Comics, introducing his reading with a parody of the PBS children's show Mr. Rogers.  He did everything from a costume change to a special delivery from a mailman (played by zinester Eric Bartholomew). He read his Teaching Comics paired with comics from his students and an audio speech from Mr Rogers. The theme of community, support and caring were appropriate topics to share at an anniversary show.

Closing the night was Dave Roche. He's been a supporter of the zine community for decades and has ended many of a TCM reading (he was the last reader we had at our farewell show at the Hungry Brain in 2014). Being a seasoned Two Cookie reader, Dave shared an old letter he wrote to his friend and zinester Kieth Rosson who published it in Avow zine. It was a story of Dave giving away cupcakes in Wicker Park and the ensuing people he met.  Dave's always brought humor to TCM, and this time he literally did; bringing a handful of joke books, from which he shared some with us. There was a book of jokes about the USSR, Hillbillys, and Pickles. In true Roche form, he shared his opinions about each joke. He also downloaded an app of crowd noises which he fired off when the jokes were clunky (think of a rim shot followed by audience clapping). It was the way the night was meant to end.

Now we can look forward to what the sixth year brings. For 2016 there are two more summer readings at the Comfort Station in August and September. There may be a winter reading at CHIPRC to close out the year.

To all the audience members, venue staff, journalists that wrote about us, cookie eaters, and most importantly the readers, I wanted to extend a huge THANKS for letting the series last this long. Without that support, there couldn't be a Two Cookie Minimum.

Johnny Misfit

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Two Cookie Minimum Hits The Six Year Mark

On Tuesday, July 12, Two Cookie Minimum begins its sixth year. Things have definitely changed since the first reading back in 2010. But this month, I’m not looking to dwell on the past, simply reciting the accomplishments that have gotten the series this far. Sure its been doing great things over the past six years. There have been give or take 55 shows, a few hundred readers and performers, and thousands, nay millions of cookies consumed (forgive my math). The longevity of the series has been a testament of the self-publishing community, one that has exploded since our inception. Two Cookie couldn’t survive without your support. So how will this month stack up?

Here are the six things you can count on this month at Two Cookie Minimum.
  1. A live performanative reading from comics artist and teacher Alex Nall
  2. Side-splitting humor from writer and improv specialist Thomas Simmons
  3. Honest storytelling from zinester and CPS teacher Dave Roche
  4. A reading of not-so-practical health tips from host Johnny Misfit
  5. The release of the third issue of Cookie Crumbs, a 2015 year-in-review zine of the series with comics and art by Alex Nall and Eric Bartholowmew, notes from past readers, and layout skills by Anna Jo Beck
  6. Millions of free cookies! (you may recall my math skills from earlier)
The readings begin at 8pm. Donations will be accepted at the door to help support the reading into the next year. Everyone can grab free cookies and zines. I hope you can join us as this should be a fun one.