Work In Progress is our monthly meet-up. Bring whatever you’re working on and share it for feedback, come to meet folks, or just to hang out and soak it up. See you there!
There will be snacks.
Joe Janes does not believe in writer’s block. To prove the point, he wrote a full comedy sketch a day for a year and posted them live on his blog for everyone to read and comment on. Pretty brave for a teacher at the famed Second City and Columbia College. Many of his best friends tried to talk him out of doing 365 Sketches, but Joe decided to put his butt on the line. The general quality of the scenes were so high and the topic and styles so varied, all 365 sketches were performed at Strawdog Theater in a WNEP production earlier this year over the course of eleven nights with 26 directors and over 175 actors. The book is being lauded for not only being a fun read, but also a primer for comedy writers.
Joining Joe Janes will be some of Chicago’s finest comedic actors; Kevin Gladish, Chloé Ditzel, Bernie Balbot and Heath Cordts. They will be performing some of the most popular comic monologues from 365 Sketches.
For more info: http://365sketchesbyjoejanes.blogspot.com
Adventure on the high seas! A cursed skull! Fearsome pirates! Wicked sea-witches! And almost certain peril! Boy inventor Walker Bean and his scruffy new friends must summon their courage to face the direst scourges of the sea in this all-new graphic novel by Aaron Renier. For this signing, Quimby’s presents a unique event with Aaron, with a signing followed by piratical interactive drawing activities.
“So beautiful are the drawings that I can smell the sea salt and feel the spray as giant creatures of the deep draw near the ocean’s surface. Outrageous and wonderful!” – Jeff Smith, creator of Bone
“Aaron’s work makes me feel ten years old again. He makes me want to whip up a root beer float, climb into a pirate-ship-playhouse, slap on a record of sea chanteys and read Walker Bean over and over. The guys’a bit of a mad genius.” – Lane Smith, illustrator of The Stinky Cheese Man
“The Unsinkable Walker Bean is gorgeous. Jump feet first into this rip-roaring, wild-eyed, high-sea adventure story. Join up with a young, pudgy, bespectacled hero, a brave powder monkey, a terrifying girl with the best red pigtails since Pippi Longstocking, and two seriously revolting sea witches. Be prepared. You’re going to love it.” — Brian Selznick, creator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret
For more info: http://aaronrenier.com/
One Bloody Thing After Another is a funny, strange, and sad book about the horror of losing family, and the things people will do to hold on. Jackie’s mother, who died of cancer, is still around. Glowing in the dark, vomiting into the toilet, but nobody else can see her. And Jackie has a crush on a girl named Ann, though Ann has other things to worry about. Her own mother and sister have turned into violent creatures, and she has to keep them locked in the basement so they won’t hurt anyone. But they need to be fed living things, so Ann starts hunting neighbourhood pets. She’s against this idea, but, you know, family is important.
Joey Comeau, writes the comic A Softer World, which has appeared in The Guardian and been profiled in Rolling Stone. He’s the author of Overqualified and Lockpick Pornography. You can find him online at http://www.asofterworld.com.
“The tone is poignant, sometimes wistful, and deadpan funny . . . The novel is more eccentric than gory, and what’s really shocking about it is that all the mayhem is finally about family ties, both severed and reconnected.” — Booklist
“Canadian author Comeau, best known for his darkly surreal Web comic, A Softer World, turns his adaptable talents to overt horror in this oddly touching novel of ghosts, friendship, bloody secrets, and family relationships. . . . the crescendos of terror are leavened by moments of unexpected humor and warmth.” — Publishers Weekly
For more info: http://www.ecwpress.com/onebloodything
When asked about her influences, Susan Slaviero points to three enduring sources: popular culture, feminist theory, and a fascination with the lyric tradition. Not a likely combination for a poet, but one that has brought forth Cyborgia (Mayapple Press), a stunning debut collection that explores the intersection of female identity, technology, and the body. Filled zombies, robots, “nickel marionettes,” and “electric women,” Slaviero’s book presents physical reality alongside the artificial and constructed, skillfully blurring the boundaries between the two.
“Melding the language of sci-fi and sensuality, Cyborgia wallows delightfully in its rhythm and vocabulary, yet remains sharp and meticulous, slicing through the barriers of mechanism and the female body, of systems and viscera, where the women are filled with milk and smoke, rainwater and wristwatches, fractals and fish”—Kristy Bowen
Also reading is Kristina Marie Darling, a St. Louis author whose first book of poems, Night Songs, was just released by Gold Wake Press. Kristina is the author of several chapbooks, which include Fevers and Clocks (March Street Press) and The Traffic in Women (Dancing Girl Press). Awards include residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, VCCA, and Ragdale.