Monthly Archive for August, 2011

Anders Nilsen Celebrates Big Questions at Lula Cafe with Quimby’s 8/30

Aug ’11
7:00 pm

Anders Nilsen’s graphic novel collection of Big Questions is coming out, and we’re going to celebrate with him at Lula Cafe on August 30th at 7pm.

A haunting postmodern fable, Big Questions is the magnum opus of Anders Nilsen, one of the brightest and most talented young cartoonists working today. This beautiful and minimalist story, collected here for the first time, is the culmination of ten years and over 600 pages of work that details the metaphysical quandaries of the occupants of an endless plain, existing somewhere between a dream and a Russian steppe. A downed plane is thought to be a bird and the unexploded bomb that came from it is mistaken for a giant egg by the group of birds whose lives the story follows. The indifferent and stranded pilot is of great interest to the birds–some doggedly seek his approval, while others do quite the opposite, leading to tensions in the group. Nilsen seamlessly moves from humor to heartbreak. His distinctive, detailed line work is paired with plentiful white space and large, often frameless panels, conveying an ineffable sense of vulnerability and openness.

Big Questions has roots in classic fable–the story’s birds and snakes have more to say than their human counterparts and there are hints of the classic hero’s journey, but the easy moral that closes most fables is left here as open and ambiguous. Rather than lending its world meaning, Nilsen’s parable lets the questions wander out to go where they will.

Paperback, 7.25 x 9.25, colour, 658 pages

Anders will be joined by John Porcellino of King-Cat Comics and Stories, and local fiction writer Kyle Beachy (The Slide) and Zak Sally (Like a Dog Recidivist, former bassist of Low, editor of La Mano Press).

Please note that this event is NOT AT QUIMBY’S!

It is at Lula Cafe which is at 2537 N. Kedzie Blvd, Chicago

Carrie McGath Reads From So Sorry to See You Go

Aug ’11
7:00 pm

Carrie McGath’s first collection of poems, Small Murders, was released in 2006 from New Issues Poetry and Prose. Ward-Eighty-One and The Chase are her self-published, limited-edition collections released in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Her newest self-published chapbook, So Sorry to See You Go is in a limited 50-edition run with the cover design by Bailey Romaine. The poems are inspired by Carrie’s thesis research at the Newberry Library about the presence of the circus in the Midwest. Carrie grew up in Youngstown, Ohio. Youngstown’s strange persona remains with Carrie, along with her dark Irish ancestral roots seeped in secrets, illness, and superstition. Carrie currently lives in Chicago where she is a poet, visual artist and art writer for Chicago Art Magazine She also contributes to Art:21 Blog’s “Open Enrollment” column. Her blog is devoted to film, literature, art, and other nooks of culture where dolls appear.  She lives with her sweet and spoiled cats, Seamus and Hortense.

“Juxtaposing imagery of fractured delicacy, birds’ wings, eggshells and doll’s heads, with uncompromising hardness of gun barrels and wooden chests, she captures an uncanny world where a semblance of normality veils overripe fantasies and violence.”    ~~ Aisha Motiani, Milwaukee’s Shepherd Express

For more info:

Christopher Boucher reads from How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive with Adam Levin (The Instructions) 8/24

Aug ’11
7:00 pm

By the time Christopher Boucher reaches Chicago he will have driven nearly 3,000 miles across America in his 1972 Volkswagen Beetle, reading from How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive, playing the novel’s theme-song on his banjo, and reading to people, roadsigns, potholes, old barns, paramedics, flowers and railroad tracks. “I see this tour as a natural extension of the book,” he says. “The novel was written in a whimsical, playful style, but it was inspired by…my father, and the sense of wonder that he instilled in me.  That sense of wonder propelled every sentence in the book, and I want it to fuel the tour as well.”

In How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive Christopher Boucher has created a zany literary universe, a place where metaphors shift beneath your feet, familiar words assume new meanings, objects talk, trees attack, and time actually is money. Modeled on the cult classic 1969 hippie handbook of the same name, How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive is an astonishing tour-de-force that calls to mind the off-kilter comedy and inspired fabulism of Richard Brautigan, Kurt Vonnegut, and George Saunders. The prose summersaults, but the book also tackles some of life’s biggest questions: How do you cope with losing a parent? What’s the secret to raising a child? How do you keep love alive? How do you get your car to start?

“Writing to save your life—and your 1971 Volkswagen—is at the heart of this wildly imaginative debut… Readers are in for a fresh, memorable ride with this inventive ‘collage of loss’”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A new, exuberant novel-world. Goofiness and grief are in perfect harmony in this impressive, moving debut.”—Sam Lipsyte

Also joining the bill is Chicago author Adam Levin, author of The Instructions (McSweeney’s).

More info:

Wed, August 24th, 7pm