It feels like I’ve been indulging in my biggest/nerdiest hobbies the past few weeks, from Record Store Day and C2E2 to the David Lynch Retrospective (which ends tonight with screenings of Meditation, Creativity, Peace, Dune, and Mulholland Drive). This weekend continues feeding into that trend with Free Comic Book Day. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like, comic book shops like Chicago Comics, First Aid Comics, Graham Crackers, Challenger, Zone Comics & Games, Amazing Fantasy, and many more will be giving away special issues of comics so that you can see what the medium is all about! Quimby’s, who specializes in more independent comics, will also be celebrating Free Comic Book Day and is co-sponsoring Chicago Zine Fest (which is in the curated events below)!
So go dig around for some comics both free and not and enjoy your curated weekend!
THURSDAY, MAY 4th
Black Women as Giants: A Celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks @ Lutkin Hall at Northwestern University, 700 University Pl, Evanston, 10:00AM and 6:00PM
WHAT: Poets will celebrate Gwendolyn Brooks’ legacy in the civil rights movement and the history of poetry.
SO WHAT: Last year Curbside Splendor Publishing released Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks, a collection of poetry, essays, and art inspired by the work of the late poet and cultural icon Gwendolyn Brooks. This pair of events, presented by the Poetry Foundation, will include a discussion moderated by Parneshia Jones with a panel of acclaimed poets Toi Derricotte, Nikky Finney, Vievee Francis, Angela Jackson, and Patricia Smith. Come share in the discussion; it doesn’t matter if you know Brooks’ poems by heart, or have never read a line by her. Come celebrate!
NOW WHAT: The roundtable discussion on Brooks’ works will begin at 10 a.m., and poetry readings will begin at 6:00 p.m.
Harold Green Presents: Flowers for the Living 2017 @ The Promontory, 5311 S Lake Park Ave., 7:00PM
WHAT: An evening of amazing local talent at the Promontory!
SO WHAT: Harold Green and his FFTL (Flowers for the Living) Collective are back for another year and another great show. This dynamic night of live music, spoken word, and amazing vocals, will feature the best that Chicago has to offer including Lili K, Avantist, Prince Jericho, and many more!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $15 for this interesting and eclectic night.
ClickHole @ The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia Ave., 8:30PM
WHAT: ClickHole at The Hideout
SO WHAT: The Onion’s publication Clickhole, which satirizes sites like Buzzfeed and the culture surrounding “clickbait,” will be featuring its writers at the Hideout for three hours of comedy that will include present stories, tales, and PowerPoint presentations. That’s right, PowerPoint presentations.
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $10 for this comedy show
Freak Nasty Trash @ Stage 773, 1225 W Belmont Ave, 10:00PM
WHAT: Sketch comedy by way of John Waters
SO WHAT: Freak Nasty Trash is a new sketch revue which is loosely inspired by the work of cult filmmaker and self-proclaimed “King of Filth” John Waters. Reilly Willson and Shelby Quinn use sketch comedy to explore the thread that unites all of humanity – our depravity and show that we’re all a little freaky, a little nasty, and especially a little trashy.
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $10 for General Admission, and $8 for Student and Senior Tickets.
FRIDAY and SATURDAY, MAY 5th and MAY 6th
Chicago Zine Fest Panels @ Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S Morgan St, Friday 6:30PM – 9:30PM
Chicago Zine Fest @ Plumbers Union 1340 W Washington Blvd., 11:00AM – 6:00PM
WHAT: Zines for the masses!
SO WHAT: The Chicago Zine Fest is a celebration of small press and independent publishers, with free workshops, events, and an annual festival. The first day of the fest on Friday features a panel sponsored The University of Chicago Library on “Tools of Survival: Using Zines for Self-Care”. The panel runs from 6:30pm to 8:00PM and will include panelists JC, Rinko Endo, and Kevin Budnik and moderated by School of Life Design co-founder Kelly Cree. Following the panel their will be readings by the exhibitors. Saturday is the main exhibition of all the cool zines! A list of exhibitors and invited guests tabling at CZF 2017 is now available.
NOW WHAT: The Friday panel/readings and the main exhibition on Saturday are free!
FRIDAY, MAY 5th
Jungjin Lee “Everglades and Opening” @ Andrew Bae Gallery, 300 W. Superior St, 4:00PM – 8:00PM
WHAT: A new exhibition from a renown artist
SO WHAT: Andrew Bae Gallery is hosting an opening reception for artist/ photographer, Jungjin Lee. Her work has been featured in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of Art, L. A. County Museum of Art, National Museum of Contemporary Art in Korea, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland, and others. This is her fifth solo exhibition with Andrew Bae Gallery.
NOW WHAT: This opening reception is free and open to the public. There will be a book signing by Lee from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. The exhibition runs until June 17th.
We’re All Weirdos, We’re All Wonderful & Luna Custom Exhibit Opening Reception @ Rotofugi, 2780 N Lincoln Ave, 7:00PM
WHAT: Another great addition to the Rotofugi Gallery!
SO WHAT: Rotofugi will be hosting two great events! First will feature artist, illustrator and author Michael Slack who will be returning to Rotofugi for We’re All Weirdos, We’re All Wonderful, an exhibit of new works including super fun character cutouts. The second is the opening of a custom toy exhibit featuring the Luna figure by The Bots x UVD Toys! Jenn and Tony Bot will be curating an amazing selection of artists who will all be doing their own custom version of The Bots’ Luna figure. Artists will include 64 Colors, Ally Burke, Davemarkart, Doktor A, Dolly Oblong,Horrible Adorables, Igor Ventura, J*RYU, Jeremiah Ketner, Jon-Paul Kaiser, MaP-MaP, MJ Hsu, Obsessed Panda, One-Eyed Girl, Otto Bjornik, rxSEVEN, Scott Tolleson, Tomodochi Island & Will Rimel. Both exhibits will continue through May 28.
NOW WHAT: The dual opening reception is BYOB and there will be snacks, music by DJ Sean Doe. Jenn and Tony Bot and Michael Slack will be in attendance.
Don McLean American Troubadour Tour @ City Winery, 1200 W Randolph St., 10:00PM
WHAT: Don McLean making a stop in Chicago!
SO WHAT: Don McLean has a long and storied career with more than 40 gold and platinum records world-wide and, in 2004, was inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. He is one of our most enduring American singer-songwriters, and with classic hits including “American Pie” this evening looks like it’s going to be a grand occasion.
NOW WHAT: The early show has already sold out, but there are still spots for this second show! Tickets range from are $75-$90 to see this legendary performer.
SATURDAY, MAY 6th
Chicago Beer Classic @ Soldier Field, 410 Museum Campus Dr, 11:00AM – 2:30PM & 4:00PM -7:30PM
WHAT: Beer, beer, and beer!
SO WHAT: This event will be filled with games and activities that will break out all the awesome beers that you’ll be trying! You’ll get to learn about the brewing process all the while enjoying the end product. You’ll also get to meet the brewers and even vote for the best beer at the fest!
NOW WHAT: General admission tickets are $65 and VIP tickets are $95. Tickets are almost sold out and prices will increase on Friday so get them as soon as you can!
Roger Sharpe @ Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 S Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst, IL, 2:00PM
WHAT: A big piece of pinball history
NOW WHAT: In conjunction with the final days of the Kings and Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago exhibit, legendary pinball player Roger Sharpe will be discussing a his role in saving the game of pinball in the US. Pinball was banned from the 1940’s to the mid 70’s in most of America’s big cities because it was considered a game of “chance,” not skill, and therefore it was a form of gambling. The ban ended in 1976 when Sharpe testified that pinball games were games of skill by playing before the Manhattan courtroom and astonishing the committee members.
SO WHAT: This event is free with museum admission and for members.
Mortified @ Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln Ave., 8:00PM
WHAT: Remember those stories you wrote when you were a kid?
SO WHAT: Mortified, hosted by Shay DeGrandis takes everyday people and has them reading to an audience their most embarrassing, pathetic, and private childhood writings. They will be reciting diary entries, poems, love letters, lyrics, locker notes, and more in front of total strangers. Witness “personal redemption through public humiliation” in a this wonderful show that’s combines comedy, catharsis, and voyeurism. This is the largest and longest running project of its kind featuring a cast of Chicago’s bravest souls including JuLee Anna, Peter Jones, Rachel Rischall, Mikaela Sullivan, and Miranda VanderMey. Special musical guests Cover Stories will also be on hand!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $20 for this interesting show!
FACS / Poison Arrows / Matchess @ The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia Ave., 9:00PM
WHAT: Wonderfully abstract music for your Saturday
SO WHAT: FACS are a minimalist band that makes abstract modern music. The band features some great local musicians Jonathan van Herik, Noah Leger and Brian Case of Disappears. Joining them will be Poison Arrows and Matchess.
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $10 for this 21+ show of local goodness.
SUNDAY, MAY 7th
Laura Marling / Valley Queen @ Metro, , 7:00PM
WHAT: A masterful musician and lyricist returning to Chicago
SO WHAT: Laura Marling is touring in support of her latest release Semper Femina, an album which she debuted on a very small tour which stopped by Martyrs’ in Chicago last year. Those Chicago shows were recorded and added to the deluxe edition of Semper Femina as a live album, so you know our town is an important landmark for Marling. Joining will be the soaring folk/rock sounds of Valley Queen.
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $25 for this wonderful concert!