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self-portrait in orange hoodie (and more David Mack)

self-portrait in orange hoodieIn another reference to David Mack’s beautiful comic book, Kabuki (which I am re-reading, again)– I am wearing a mask. Sometimes it’s on so tight I forget it’s a mask and not my real face.

Reading as healing:

“I opened the book and I was a child again. As I close it, I find that I am the new me. I guess that’s what books do. Take you places. Move you. Inside. And out. You are at a different place after you read the book…Than you were before you read it. In many ways…A different person…As well.” ~ Kabuki

“Do you think books help shape your identity? Or do they only reveal it?” ~ The Animal Doctor

Both quotes are from David Mack’s Kabuki, The Alchemy


Well, here I am back from the good ol’ windy city. The trip was awesome. My mom and I really made a vacation out of our few days– we saw a lot of the city, and had some fun mother-daughter time just the two of us. We took the train overnight (15 hours), stayed in a hostel, explored different neighborhoods, took over the Chicago Art Institute, and oh yeah, went to my AWP reading.

First thing we did upon arriving and getting settled was to head over to Quimby’s. In case you are not aware, Quimby’s is one of the absolute coolest comic books stores ever. If you live in Chicago, or are visiting, go there. They have a lovely selection of indie mini comics, and now my own comics can be counted among the selection: Shelf Life issues #1-3 and Art Bitch are in stock.

The reading took place at Simone’s Bar in the Pilsen area on Thursday night, March 1st. Mama and I got there early to scope out good seats and snack on the delicious hand-cut french fries and sweet potato fries. The reading was hosted by six small presses: Bateau, Burnside Review, Interrupture, Rose Metal Press, Slope Editions and Versal. I was representing Bateau, along with Chuck Carlise and Ryan Flaherty. There was a lot of poetry, and some flash fiction as well. I read five short stories, two of which have been published (in Bateau and Toasted Cheese Literary Journal) and three that are newer and not yet published. The large crowd was wonderful, the readers lovely and it was a very welcoming and positive experience for me. I got to meet Ashely Shaffer, editor of Bateau, which was such a treat! (Little plug here: if you haven’t read Bateau, you should order an issue, because it’s the sweetest, coolest, prettiest little press you ever did see. I am honored to have been published twice by them– in issues 4.2 and 3.1.)

Here is a video my mom took of me reading.

We also sketched some of the other readers, but I’m having trouble with my scanner, so will post those at a later date.

And lastly, here are some photos from the trip:


Of course, spending time with my mom always ignites cartoon ideas, so look out for some Chicago-inspired Art Bitch comics coming soon…

AWP Reading, Chicago, Thurs. March 1, 2012

This is Beautiful, This is Beautiful; six small presses

  • Thursday, March 1, 2012
  • 7:00pm until 11:00pm
  • At Simone’s: 960 W 18th St., Chicago, IL 60608
  • An offsite AWP reading hosted by 6 small presses: Bateau, Burnside Review, Interrupture, Rose Metal Press, Slope Editions and Versal.
  • Readers include: John Gallaher, Brooklyn Copeland, Sean Lovelace, Chuck Carlise, Louise Mathias, Ryan Flaherty, Anna Moriarty Lev, Jane Lewty, Erin Costello, Nate Liederbach, Amaranth Borsuk, Trey Moody/Joshua Ware, John Jodzio, Kate Nuernberger and Brad Liening.
  • I’ll be reading short stories, and these other people will be reading some great stuff too. Free to the Public! Full bar! Food! Oh my!
Above photo courtesy of Diana Van Der Jagt, from our trip to Chicago in 2007.