Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Chicago Comic Events!

I spent the first three weeks of June in Chicago for a slew of comics and photobooth related events. First up was the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (or CAKE, as it's better known.) I tabled with follow Conundrum Press author, Dakota McFadzean, who's one amazing storyteller/ cartoonist. Dakota is a graduate of the Center for Cartoon Studies, so the organizers put us next to other CCS alumni, who I got to know and befriend throughout the weekend.

There was a fair bit of interest in Photobooth: A Biography and all weekend long I had great conversations with people about the topic. I met a few photobooth fans that I hadn't met in person before and I may have converted a few casual photography enthusiasts into true blue photobooth devotees. (Which is the ulterior motive behind most of actions.)

Photo on the right by Megan Byrd of Women Write Comics
My only qualm is that I didn't have much time to look around at mini-comics and zines that I would have liked for myself. I did however get to hang out with folks after the expo wrapped each day. One major highlight was going to Headquarters, which is a huge bar filled with pinball machines that are set to "free vend"... yes that's right, unlimited pinball! I may be a photobooth fan but I've got a soft spot for the whole coin-op industry. Headquarters also has a backroom filled with arcade machines, including my very favourite, Street Fighter II. Chun-Li 4life.

CAKE was lead by a super team of volunteers who were incredibly organized, cheery and helpful. The venue, the Center on Halsted, is also a really awesome, queer friendly space. Thanks to everyone who made that an awesome experience!

Two weeks later I had a talk and signing at Quimby's Bookstore, which in addition to having an amazing selection of alternative books, they also happen to have a functioning chemical photobooth! The talk went well but the coolest part of the evening (for me at least) was the Q&A session afterwards that turned into large discussion. 

I also gave everyone who came to the talk a tiny envelope, which they weren't allowed to open until the end. Half the envelopes contained glamorous photobooth shots and the other contained grotesque shots. Sending photobooth art to each other is one way that members of the international photobooth community stay connected, so I wanted to give the attendees a taste of that. Together, at the end everyone opened their respective envelopes to delight or dismay. 


My good friend Elizabeth came to the talk, which was awesome because she appears in the book multiple times. Elizabeth, over the last eleven years has literally appeased me dozens of times by posing with me in photobooths. This occasion was no different, here we are in the Quimby's photobooth. We are beautiful grown-up ladies.

Elizabeth and I also went to go see the Neo-Futurists perform their signature show Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. I had heard a lot about the ensemble over the years but this was my first time seeing them... and my gosh, I can't believe I waited so long. It was one of the best live theatre experiences I've ever had. I highly recommend it!

More recaps about the rest of my trip to Chicago coming soon...


  1. How can a Montrealer get a hold of this book!?

    1. Hi Lori, you can buy the book at the Drawn & Quarterly bookstore in the Mile End! You can also get it at most Chapters and Indigo stores.