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PART 1: DENVER TO CHICAGO; ELGIN.
Mile Zero. (Photo by Misun Oh)
Monday March 9, 2010: Forty miles down I-70 I was already bored, so I started playing this game called "What Percentage of This Trip Have I Completed?" The answer was .005% which didn't make me feel much better. What DID make me feel better was my Pepsi Throwback™, made with Real Cane Sugar. One can can do wonders for a guy who rarely has any caffeine, and even more rarely has sugar. Threw on some Replacements and I was good to go.
A terrible picture of Pablo and I. He really is that tall!
I was trying to get to Saint Louis as fast as I could, to meet my penpal, the great Argentinian cartoonist Kioskerman (Pablo Holmberg), who happened to be in the US interviewing for a job.
We met up at Kevin's house out in the suburbs. It's always a thrill to meet somone in person who you've been corresponding with for a long time. Sometimes you just slide right into the new phase of the friendship like nothing-- all those letters and emails have paved the way. That's how it felt to meet him. We sat around and talked about Jack Kirby, and Argentina, while Kevin demonstrated his newfound obsession with Google Earth.
Pablo's first book in English, the amazing Eden, is coming out this year from Drawn & Quarterly!
Mr. KH; that's Google Earth in the background.
Comics Symposium of Chicago Panel -- School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Eloise is happy!
The beautiful ballroom where the SAIC Comics Symposium was held.
As any Kirby fan knows: You can't go wrong with a giant red dinosaur; Millenium Park, Chicago.
Millenium Park at night.
First time I saw "The Bean"-- and ya know what? Not half bad.
More Chicago Lights.
Reading at Quimby's, the night before Zine Fest.
Sat. March 13: First Annual Chicago Zine Fest; Columbia College.
JP at CZF.
Chicago, Cold Night; Recorded Sat. 3/13, round about midnight.
We spent a lotta time running around the city, filming stuff for the King-Cat movie. This is the house I lived in from 1970-1979, at Foster and Austin, on the Northwest Side.
The alley behind my old house. No wonder I'm a nervous wreck.
This old fencepost is the only remaining physical remnant of my earliest memory. When we moved in, the yard had an old wire fence, painted black, strung between these concrete fenceposts (also painted black). We borrowed our neighbor Ed's sledge hammer and tore it down, replacing it with a shiny new silver chainlink fence. The old scrap fence sat piled in our backyard for a week or so, waiting for the city to come and take it away. I'd climb up onto the rolled up fence, and look down through the endless wires, into infinity. It was the first time I realized there was more to this world than what we typically understand.
It still exists! Mr. Moberg's Gnome Cave (see King-Cat #54 or Map of My Heart).
Best pizza place in Chicago. Wanna buy it? :(
St. Constance Catholic Church, on Strong Street, where I attended Mass and went to school as a kid.
St. Constance School. Top floor left is my fourth grade classroom; bottom floor right is my first grade classroom.
The school parking lot and Gymnasium. We used to play "500" off that huge wall during recess.
We took a trip out to Elgin too, to my favorite place on Earth: Burnidge Woods. There's something about this place that just puts me at ease. We must have harmonious energy or something. When I lived in Elgin, I spent as much time out here as I could. It was the only place I ever felt relaxed.
Big Lake at Burnidge Woods.
I used to sit under this tree and compose poems. (See King-Cat 67)
Spring Peepers, Burnidge Woods, Elgin. 3/18/10.
Off Route 25 in Elgin: You can't really read this amazing neon sign in the daylight, but it says "America's Society of Separated and Divorced Men." Sign me up, hombre.
NEXT TIME: Chicago to Cairo!
(Click here for Part Two)