Sweet Home Chicago

By | Saturday, June 15, 2013 Leave a Comment
A few months ago, I moved to the Chicago area. I went to C2E2 and a Lucy Knisley signing about month ago. I went to CAKE today. (Fantastic show. I'll be writing up a summary/review for MTV Geek shortly.) I've been to half a dozen new (to me) comic shops without having gone out of my way from anything. The ALA conference is in a couple weeks, and a number of signings at various shops around town in the next month or so. I've moved twice and helped the S.O. move once, so I've been super-busy and haven't actually been to any number of other small shows, exhibits and signings that I've heard about. Not to mention the stuff that I missed because I didn't even hear about it until after the fact!

I'm very much a pro-technology guy. I design/manage web sites for a living. I have a great appreciation for being able to work and collaborate on projects without actually having to be in the same time zone. But in the short time I've been in Chicago, I have to say that I've been exposed to a much wider array of works and people associated with the comic industry than nearly four decades in Ohio. That's not to say that there's nothing going on there, certainly! The Billy Ireland Museum is in Columbus, there's lots of Superman related landmarks in Cleveland, and it's been the home to comic creators from Winsor McCay to Jeff Smith. But there seems to be a much greater concentration in the Chicago area than I had even been aware of before moving here.

You can still work and get your name out there from wherever it is you call home. You can still interact with people remotely via Twitter or Facebook or whatever. But if you're in a physical location that caters more towards your passions, there's a lot to be said for that. There's a lot to be said for being around others who can really engage and energize you where you really need it. Chicago's not the only city with a good comics scene, to be sure, but if you're really jazzed by a well-done comic -- whether that's something featuring superheroes or it's a hard-stapled mini-comic or some sprawling accordian-folded piece that's 26 feet long -- getting into an area where others are also jazzed by those same things can do wonders for you.
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