Saturday, May 19, 2018


Thursday was the thirtieth anniversary of something we are used to now. A school shooting. The shooter was Laurie Dann, and her story is strange, she set fires, went into buildings and stole paper with letterhead on it and then used those pages to type out and mail harassing messages. She was in someone's house and piled shit underneath the couch cushions.

Her father was able to keep charges to a minimum, all of the crimes were in the wealthy north shore suburbs. She was able to buy guns. And one day picked Hubbard Woods Elementary School in Winnetka to walk into, choose a class at random, and wound six kids and kill another. The same range in age as the Sandy Hook victims.

It didn't stop there, she fled to a nearby house, entering a kitchen door and telling a mother and her son that she had been raped, then showed them the gun and was going to hold them hostage. The father came home and surprised Dann, who shot the son. The bullet punctured both lungs, but he survived. She then ran upstairs and fatally shot herself.

One of the headlines I saw on the network news was WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED IN THIRTY YEARS.Sixteen hours later I was watching news coverage on CNN, another school shooting. Ten dead. Sante Fe, Texas. The girl in the photo above is Paige Curry. Asked by a reporter if she was scared, she said that she had always expected it to happen at her school, and it finally did.

She is speaking with her head down, so if you go over to that wonderful Media Matters website, they are already posting that Curry is a crisis actor who was reading from a script the reporter was holding out to her. One person even called her stupid for needing a script. Just as Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg were called out after the Stoneman Douglas shootings in Parkland, Florida on Valentine's Day.

 What have we learned in thirty years? Regarding gun control and mental illness? Nothing. But in 1978 we weren't having shooting survivors being called out as crisis actors.

Monday, May 14, 2018

LETTERS IN SEX CRIMINALS #16 and #24 (read my bottom text first)

SEX CRIMINALS is an incredible book. Written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky, and the premise is hard to explain. It is the letter columns that are incredible. This book is one of the best examples of word of mouth comics to appear and the pages are like confessionals. I wrote my letter after reading of a character who is asexual, like me. Women have written in about their first time, their worst time, men write in about finding porn in the woods or how they got turned on by some guy and some girl at the same time. And then there was a letter by a man who stayed through his relationship with a woman who had miscarried.

Unless you've read the comic, thew second letter won't make much sense. Still, get a laugh from the photos, because there really is a guy who drives a hot dog truck and squirts out Kewpie dolls in the book.

Most people know my limitations in regards to my being able to have sex, so I'm not embarrassed by it, and understand if you want to ignore the letters altogether.

Sunday, May 13, 2018


David Bainbridge told me that Joyce Carol Oates will be one of the GoH at this year's Printer's Row LitFest. I have a one degree separation with her, not six, thanks to Mort Castle. I never would have thought I'd be in the same book as Oates, but there I am.

Thursday, May 10, 2018


He's holding up a review copy of THE HOLY TERROR, I have one I found *sigh* in a used book store in NYC, The Strand. Roger Dale Trexler published the collection FIENDS BY TORCHLIGHT. I know Charles through Sidney G. Williams, another in our group of incredible writers hardly anyone has heard of, who has a dozen of his own novels in print. Charles mixes up science-fiction with horror, and to me, his finest book is COLD IN THE LIGHT.

This photo notwithstanding, in every other photo of Charles, he looks like Kurt Russell in the remake of THE THING.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


Over the years, we stayed in touch on land lines and by regular messages on Facebook, no secret DMs. I'll miss him on the day that I die.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Bus Shooting at 63rd & California

Yesterday, a boy was grazed by a bullet that went through the window of a CTA bus at the above intersection. The gun that fired the bullet belonged to a man who fired it from two blocks south. When I first started taking photos in 2010, I was mesmerized by the car wash sign. It fell apart over the years.

The man pictured was named Willy Jackson. He died during a heat wave in July of 2012, a diabetic who likely did not hydrate well enough. That's his lunch bag, that's the pole for the bus stop, and Willy was 36 when he died. I've always saved that photo of Willy Jackson because this way I know that he is remembered.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018