Monthly Archive for May, 2008

Rauan Klassnik and Paula Cisewski

Jun ’08
7:00 pm

A reading by Black Ocean poets Rauan Klassnik, author of Holy Land, and Paula Cisewski, author of Upon Arrival.

The Performers:
Rauan Klassnik was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Now he spends most of his time in Mexico looking after birds and dogs with his wife Edith. His poems have appeared in such journals The North American Review, MiPoesias, No Tell Motel, Caesura, Sentence, Tex!, Pilot Poetry, and Hunger Mountain.

Paula Cisewski is the author of Upon Arrival (Black Ocean, 2006) and the chapbook How Birds Work (Fuori Editions, 2002).  She lives in the Twin Cities where she teaches writing and humanities courses and hosts the Imaginary Press Reading Series.

From early silent films to early punk rock, Black Ocean brings together a spectrum of influences and combines them with a radical social perspective on the nature of art and humanity. We manifest our aesthetic in the books we print, the shows we produce, and the work we promote.

Based out of Boston, New York and Chicago, our intent is to saturate the public with skillful and passionate forms of expression through a wide variety of mediums.
Other info:

Jessica Abel and Matt Madden

Jun ’08
7:00 pm

Join Jessica Abel and Matt Madden, authors of DRAWING WORDS & WRITING PICTURES as they talk about their new book and Jessica’s new books Life Sucks and the paper back edition of La Perdida.

Drawing Words & Writing Pictures is a systematic course on that teaches the alchemical art of combining words and pictures to make comics. In it, Jessica and Matt have laid out a complete, structured syllabus that guides students from creating narrative within a single drawing to orchestrating all the skills involved in creating a multi-page, complex story.

Life Sucks is the story of Dave Marshall. The girl he’s in love with doesn’t know he exists, he hates his job, and ever since his boss turned him into a vampire, he can’t go out in daylight without starting to charbroil. Undead life in its uncoolest incarnation yet is on display in this cinematic, supernatural drama told with gallons of humor and hemoglobin.  In striking, colorful, B-movie style artwork and light-hearted, intelligent writing by Jessica Abel, Gabe Soria, and Warren Pleece, Dave Marshall’s story comes alive – in a vampiric kind of way.

La Perdida is the story of Carla, an American estranged from her Mexican father, who heads to Mexico City to “find herself.” Her intense desire to make a connection with Mexico and her unwillingness to see the impact of her own history on her understanding combine to turn an innocent journey down a dark path. A story about the youthful desire to live an authentic life and the consequences of trusting easy answers, La Perdida is a story about finding yourself by getting lost.

Jessica Abel is a cartoonist and writer. Born and raised in Chicagoland, she moved in 2000 to Brooklyn, New York, after a two-year pit stop in Mexico City. In her “free” time, she likes to build things, garden, and cook, and hopes that doesn’t make her sound like the biggest dork ever. Along with La Perdida she is also responsible for the popular comic Artbabe.

Matt Madden started self-publishing minicomics in the early 1990s. He published his first graphic novel, Black Candy in 1998, and in 2001 published Odds Off. Madden lives in Brooklyn with his wife, author and cartoonist Jessica Abel. He works in comics and illustration, and teaches at the School of Visual Arts and Yale University.  His latest works appear in A Fine Mess, his bi-annual series published by Alternative Comics.

More info at
Wednesday, June 25th, 7:00 PM

Kathleen Rooney, Jasmine Dreame Wagner and Samuel Wharton

Jun ’08
7:00 pm

Join authors/poets Kathleen Rooney, Jasmine Dreame Wagner and Samuel Wharton as they read from their new books.

Kathleen Rooney was born in Beckley, West Virginia and raised in the Midwest. She earned a B.A. from the George Washington University and an M.F.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College. Along with Elisa Gabbert, she is the author of the collaborative poetry chapbook Something Really Wonderful and the collection That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness. Her poems have appeared in AGNI online, 32 Poems, and Cincinnati Review, and her essays have appeared in Gulf Coast, Gettysburg Review, Ninth Letter, Southern Humanities Review and Another Chicago Magazine. She currently lives in Chicago with her husband, the writer Martin Seay.

Jasmine Dreame Wagner is a recent graduate of the MFA program at the University of Montana – Missoula. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Verse, American Letters & Commentary, Colorado Review, Indiana Review, Seattle Review, North American Review, Columbia Review, 32 Poems, and others. A graduate of Columbia University, she was a writer-in-residence at The Hall Farm Center for Arts & Education in Townshend, Vermont. Her chapbook, “Charcoal,” surveys and deconstructs the language and visual field of the American urban ruin from the remains of the 9/11 site and the Greenpoint Terminal Market fire to the eroded mines and mills of the former western frontier. “Charcoal” was published this spring in collaboration with printmaker Matthew Trygve Tung and is part of a commission on the behalf of Windows Gallery (formerly PS2 Gallery) in Long Island City, New York. Wagner also performs in the experimental folk collective Cabinet of Natural Curiosities.

Samuel Wharton has had poems published in various journals, including, most recently, The Concher, Otoliths, & Death Metal Poetry, & his work will appear in Outside Voices 2008 Anthology of Younger Poets . He is the editor of the online poetry journal, Sawbuck . Wharton’s chapbook, Welcome Home, was released by NeOPepper Press in May, 2007, and his music criticism appears regularly at He lives and works in Chicago.

More info at:
Kathleen Rooney
Jasmine Dreame Wagner

Ray Bawarchi reads from The Dirt People

Jun ’08
7:00 pm

Ray Bawarchi will read a chapter and discuss the book, The Dirt People.

About The Dirt People:
In the future, environmental degradation has forced humanity to live within giant domed cities.  The Corporate Sponsors, which have supplanted nation states, have brought humans to the pinnacle of civilization through a social order determined only by wealth. Information along with everything else has become a commodity. Life is good and only silly myths about “Dirt Men” plague the society. Follow one man as he challenges the social order and witness his transformation to a reluctant revolutionary.

Ray Bawarchi is a writer who lives in Asheville, NC. He is the author of the novel, The Dirt People. His next novel, Voltaire’s Walkabout, will be in the Stores by Christmas 2008. He has recently written several Opinion and Analysis columns for New Europe: The European Weekly, a newspaper serving Europe and the world.

For more info check:

Mods vs. Rockers Comic Release Party

Jun ’08
7:00 pm

Join us for the release of Mods vs. Rockers #1, a 20-page comic book. This will be a meet and greet with artist/writer, Martin Cimek and Co-Publisher, Larry Fletcher of the Ton-Up Club Chicago Motorcycle Club. Enjoy complementary Hobgoblin English Ale while supplies last. Pick up a copy of the comic and get it signed by the creators. There will also be Mods vs. Rockers t-shirts, patches and posters for sale. This release will coincide with the 4th annual Mods vs. Rockers vintage motorcycle and scooter show (held at Delilah’s & Bottom Lounge June 14th).

About The Performers:

Martin Cimek: The bold imagery of Mods vs. Rockers is the product of graphic designer and illustrator, Martin Cimek. Since relocating in 1991 to Chicago from Grand Rapids, Michigan his career has included: logos, magazines, annual reports, advertisement, music packaging and websites. In 2002 he started his own company, Martin Cimek Design (MCD), and has also become a well known and published silkscreen poster artist. He has done numerous posters and commissions for many of Chicago’s most popular rock venues.

Larry Fletcher: Larry has been a longtime fixture on the local Chicago scene. He worked for years in the nightclub industry managing China Club and Kaboom and later serving as VIP ambassador at Crobar. His love of vintage motorcycles led him to open the Ace Cafe Chicago in 1997, An English style pub/cafe that had a vintage motorcycle motif. It’s at the Ace that Larry started hosting motorcycle events and shows. Through the years, his motorcycle shows have grown and evolved. In early 2005, Larry founded the Ton Up Club Chicago and immediately began planning Mods vs. Rockers I with his longtime friend Mike Miller of Delilah’s. 2008 marks the 11th anniversary of his first show at the Ace Cafe.

Check out their websites at:
Martin Cimek Design

Ton-Up Club Chicag0