Monthly Archive for August, 2019

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Kevin Huizenga The River at Night – Release Event, Oct 4th

Oct ’19
7:00 pm


In The River at Night, Kevin Huizenga delves deep into consciousness. What begins as a simple, distracted conversation between husband and wife, Glenn and Wendy Ganges—him reading a library book and her working on her computer—becomes an exploration of being and the passage of time. As they head to bed, Wendy exhausted by a fussy editor and Glenn energized by his reading and no small amount of caffeine, the story begins to fracture.

The River at Night flashes back, first to satirize the dot-com boom of the late 1990s and then to examine the camaraderie of playing first-person shooter video games with work colleagues. Huizenga shifts focus to suggest ways to fall asleep as Glenn ponders what the passage of time feels like to geologists or productivity gurus. The story explores the simple pleasures of a marriage, like lying awake in bed next to a slumbering lover, along with the less cherished moments of disappointment or inadvertent betrayal of trust. Huizenga uses the cartoon medium like a symphony, establishing rhythms and introducing themes that he returns to, adding and subtracting events and thoughts, stretching and compressing time. A walk to the library becomes a meditation on how we understand time, as Huizenga shows the breadth of the comics medium in surprising ways. The River at Night is a modern formalist masterpiece as empathetic, inventive, and funny as anything ever written.

Praise for The River at Night

Glenn Ganges in: The River at Night is perilously philosophical, goofily logical, lovingly wild. In Huizenga’s hands, an ordinary day reveals its acme holes of infinite regress and counterfactual calamity. A wonderful book, to read and read again. 

 Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances and Little Labours

Unexpectedly poignant and occasionally magical… While Huizenga’s architectural, fine-line style is clearly influenced by Chris Ware… the vast spaciousness of this surreal night flight is all his own. Glenn’s reveries will pull readers into multiple deserved rereadings. 

 Publishers Weekly

A mix of John McPhee and Richard McGuire’s “Here,” The River at Night is about making the best of life when you know that the world’s been around for billions of years and will go on long after you, too, are gone. How wonderful to spend time with these sweet, gentle characters as they stare straight into the unfeeling universe and decide to make the best of it. A truly beautiful book. 

 Paul Ford, National Magazine Award-winning Technology Critic

Wow! I was not prepared for this: The River at Night is a surprising, beautifully rendered, mind-expanding, heartwarming exploration of what it means to be human, to have thoughts, to lie in bed all night after guzzling too much coffee, to follow your thoughts on a journey that maps the universe and makes light of the electrical activity of a brilliant mind. Kevin Huizenga is a kind of dreamer who gets us to think, to love what’s in our heads, to love what’s in his. Everybody will dig this book! 

 Matthew Klam, author of Who is Rich?

Facebook Event Invite here.

THE ENVIOUS SIBLINGS Release Event with Landis Blair & Eddie Campbell, Oct 8th

Oct ’19
7:00 pm


Landis Blair was the winner of the Best in Adult Books at the Excellence in Graphic Literature awards in 2018. He illustrated Caitlin Doughty’s recently New York Times bestseller From Here to Eternity and is the author of the prize-winning graphic novel The Hunting Accident. Now this award-winning author presents a macabre yet playful book in the tradition of Edward Gorey and Tim Burton, with a decidedly twenty-first century sensibility. Landis Blair’s THE ENVIOUS SIBLINGS [W. W. Norton & Company; October 8, 2019; $20.00 hardcover] contains eight nursery rhymes that are both mordant and macabre, as playful as Charles Addams —and every bit as unnerving.  

THE ENVIOUS SIBLINGS begins with “The Malicious Playground,” a recognizable landscape of youthful horror. Little fingers get caught in the slats of a rope bridge, sand from the sandbox is kicked into young eyes, while “The jungle gym at best condones / The shattering of all your bones.” This last bit features a stark illustration of a half dozen kids smiling as one of their friends goes sailing off to his or her doom. In the title story, sisters Abbie and Angie fight so viciously that, in the end, the mother is depicted happy and resting on the ground: “Mother, tiring of the fuss,” Landis tells us, “Murdered both and envy thus.” This is the delightful genius of THE ENVIOUS SIBLINGS: every story catches humans at our worst and yet revels gleefully in all of the horrid imperfections.

In “The Awful Underground,” a wordless comic told only through illustration, Landis uses his considerable skill to create a crosshatched and ominous underground landscape where a little girl becomes separated from her mother in a subway station. As this is a common fear of children and guardians alike, the reader is compelled to continue turning the pages, expecting some resolution, some help—and yet the ending, while perhaps unhappy, is both amusing and unexpected. And, in “The Refinement Tree,” Blair narrates the story of a boy who climbs a tree that those who read “The Giving Tree” will relish (a drawing near the end of the story nods to the Silverstein classic). As the boy in the story tumbles down branch by branch, he feels his life falling apart:

With his head now a growing expanse,
His shins became known to a branch,
The flourish of feet
Along with a beat,
Young Simon forgot how to dance.

It is the poignancy of these tales, the refusal to look away from human violence and cruelty, yet with an almost sweet optimism that things will work out, that makes THE ENVIOUS SIBLINGS so groundbreaking. Landis Blair has created a book that is both enormously enjoyable and an unexpected balm for readers of all ages in this difficult century.


Landis Blair illustrated the prize-winning graphic novel The Hunting Accident and the New York Times bestseller From Here to Eternity, and has published illustrations in the New York TimesChicago magazine, and Medium. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

“Landis Blair’s work is a fusion of Grand Guignol horror and delicately layered poignancy that can’t be found elsewhere. He is a singular, morbid talent.”

— Caitlin Doughty, best-selling author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and From Here to Eternity

“Rarely have I seen an artist whose crosshatched phantasms are more evocative or more disturbing. Landis Blair weaves a world of dark discontents that is as disquieting as it is addictive.”

—Emil Ferris, author of My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

The Envious Siblings gave me the fantods, in the nicest possible way”

—Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Bizarre Romance

“Good grief, Landis, this is a bit gruesome.”

—Eddie Campbell, artist of From Hell

More info:

Landis Blair on Twitter

Joining Landis will be artist Eddie Campbell. Probably best known as the illustrator of From Hell (written by Alan Moore), Campbell is also the creator of the semi-autobiographical Alec stories collected in Alec: The Years Have Pants, and Bacchus, a wry adventure series about some of the Greek gods surviving to the present day. The Fate of the Artist, in which the author investigates his own murder, and The Lovely Horrible Stuff, an investigation of our relationship with money, are also among his graphic novels. A Disease of Language is a collaboration with Alan Moore, The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountain is with Neil Gaiman and in Bizarre Romance Eddie turns the short stories of his wife, Audrey Niffenegger, into comics. Eddie is also a historian of cartooning and comics; the Goat Getters is his first large scale work in this field.

Facebook Event Invite for this event here.

Steve Macek of Project Censored (& Guests) Discuss Censored 2020 at Quimby’s 10/17

Oct ’19
7:00 pm

Project Censored’s yearbook Censored 2020: Through the Looking Glass (Seven Stories Press) examines the most important but underreported news stories of 2018-2019. These stories expose the corporate news media’s systemic blind spots while underscoring the crucial role played by independent journalists in providing the kind of news and information necessary for a vibrant democracy. The book also examines this year’s lowlights in “junk food news” and “news abuse”– revealing how corporate media often functions as propaganda by entertaining rather than informing—and highlights the work of exemplary organizations that champion “Media Democracy in Action.” Additional chapters address the importance of constructive journalism, the untold story of Kashmir, news coverage of LGBTQ issues in the Trump era, “fake news” as a Trojan horse for censorship, and online memes as a form of political communication.

Professor Steve Macek of North Central College, who edited Censored 2020’s Media Democracy in Action chapter, will be joined by students who researched some of the underreported stories included in the book to talk about Project Censored, the book and the political implications of Project Censored’s analysis of contemporary news media.

“A crucial contribution to the hope for a more just and democratic society”—Noam Chomsky

“[Project Censored] is a clarion call for truth telling.” —Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers  

“Project Censored . . . has evolved into a deep, wide, and utterly engrossing exercise to unmask censorship, self-censorship, and propaganda in the mass media.” —Ralph Nader, consumer advocate, lawyer, former presidential candidate and author 

For more info:

Facebook Event Post here.

Thurs, Oct 17th, 7pm

Alexander Herbert Talks About What About Tomorrow? An Oral History of Russian Punk at Quimby’s 10/19

Oct ’19
7:00 pm

What About Tomorrow? An Oral History of Russian Punk chronicles the history of punk rock in Russia from its earliest manifestation in 1978 to its current standing. It looks at how punk entered the Soviet Union and managed to persist despite the cultural police, how it struggled for definition in the 1990s, and how punks formed Antifa, animal rights, and feminist groups to help carve out safe spaces in an otherwise conservative country. The book is compiled from over one hundred interviews, fanzines, and releases, and is the first history of its kind in any language. 

The title of the book What About Tomorrow? is a call for punks around the world to think about what punk has meant, and what it should mean. At this discussion, author Alexander Herbert will talk briefly about why he researched the book, and then gives a brief chapter outline before talking about the larger narratives. Then, during the Q and A, he invites everyone to think about the successes and failures of Russia’s punk scene as a way of critiquing our own counter-cultures and learning to use them to  achieve the world we want. 

Alexander Herbert is a doctoral student at Brandeis University focusing on the history of the late Soviet Union. His research interests include social movements, youth culture, macabre film, music, and politics toward the end of the socialist experiment. He is a devoted father to a beautiful daughter, veteran vegan, self-ascribed environmentalist, occasional musician, opportunistic freelance writer and translator, and fan of beer and pickle pizza. 

Facebook Event Invite Here!

Chris Ware Rusty Brown Event, In Conversation with Marnie Galloway, Sept 27th

Sep ’19
7:00 pm

A major graphic novel event more than 16 years in progress: part one of the masterwork from the brilliant and beloved author of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth and Building Stories.

Rusty Brown is a fully interactive, full-color articulation of the time-space interrelationships of a couple people in the first half of a single midwestern American day and the tiny piece of human grit about which they involuntarily orbit. A sprawling, special snowflake accumulation of the biggest themes and the smallest moments of life, Rusty Brown aims at nothing less than the coalescence of one half of all of existence into a single museum-quality picture story, expertly arranged to present the most convincingly ineffable and empathetic illusion of experience for both life-curious readers and traditional fans of standard reality. From childhood to old age, no frozen plotline is left unthawed in the entangled stories of a child who awakens without superpowers, a teen who matures into a paternal despot, a father who stores his emotional regrets on the surface of Mars and a late-middle-aged woman who seeks the love of only one other person on planet Earth.

CHRIS WARE is widely acknowledged to be the most gifted and beloved cartoonist of his generation by both his mother and fourteen-year-old daughter. His Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth won the Guardian First Book Award and was listed as one of the 100 Best Books of the Decade by The Times (London) in 2009. Building Stories was named a Top Ten Fiction Book of the Year in 2012 by both The New York Times and Time magazine. Ware is an irregular contributor to The New Yorker, and his original drawings have been exhibited at the Whitney Biennial, in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and in piles behind his worktable in Oak Park, Illinois. In 2016 he was featured in the PBS documentary series Art 21: Art in the 21st Century, and in 2017 an eponymous monograph of his work was published by Rizzoli.

Chris Ware will be in conversation with Marnie Galloway.

Marnie Galloway is a Chicago cartoonist who makes literary & poetic comics that experiment with book form and narrative structure. She is best known for her Xeric Award winning wordless comic, “In the Sounds and Seas,” which made the Notable Comics list in Best American Comics, and was highlighted in the Best Comics of 2016 by the AV Club. Other comics of note include Particle/Wave, published by So What Press; Burrow, self published with support from the Pulitzer Arts Foundation; and Slightly Plural, a short collection of poetry comics. She served as an organizer for CAKE, the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo, for four years, and has had comics published by the New York Times, Cricket Magazine, Saveur Magazine, Cambridge University Press, and Ask Magazine, where she currently works as the staff cartoonist.

Facebook Event Invite here.

Advance praise for RUSTY BROWN by Chris Ware

09.24.29 | Pantheon | ISBN: 9780375424328

“Remarkable . . . Masterfully illustrated, brilliantly designed, and bursting with compassion . . .  This is without a doubt one of the most exciting releases of the year.”—Library Journal [starred Editor’s Pick]

Previously circulated:

“Ware delivers an astounding graphic novel about nothing less than the nature of life and time as it charts the intersecting lives of characters that revolve around an Omaha, Neb., parochial school in the 1970s . . . Ware again displays his virtuosic ability to locate the extraordinary within the ordinary, elevating seemingly normal lives into something profound, unforgettable, and true.”
Publishers Weekly [starred]

“Ware fans rejoice . . . Curious and compelling . . .  As with Ware’s other works of graphic art, the narrative arc wobbles into backstory and tangent: Each page is a bustle of small and large frames, sometimes telling several stories at once in the way that things buzz around us all the time, demanding notice . . . a beguiling masterwork of visual storytelling from the George Herriman of his time.”
Kirkus Reviews [starred]