Tim Broderick, graphic novelist and creator of Odd Jobs, is searching through:
Finder: Voice In the latest installment of this science fiction/fantasy graphic novel series, Rachel Grosvenor is a mixed-heritage young woman competing for a place in society where clan membership is key. Creator Carla Speed McNeil gives top billing to one of her minor characters in this highly original series, and I can't rave enough about just how deep a well she draws from. I met Carla at one of my first comic shows; she was going the self-published/independent route with her series Finder. She's since been picked up by a major comics publisher, had her book named as one of the best in 2011 by Publishers Weekly, and is now a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize.
Donny Rodriguez, Wood Sugars writer, actor, and comedian, is getting into:
Swing Night On Tuesday nights at Black Rock Pub in Roscoe Village, there's swing dancing. Part of our comedy creative process is drinking while people watching and dancing with lady strangers—we can do both here! From the first second anyone can hear a clarinet calling, the energy from the mostly late 20s to late 30s crowd is invigorating. Whether you have your master's in Mule Kicks or you're a neophyte to the Lindy Hop, this room is welcoming to all in search of what the bloggers call "IRL fun" (read as: fun in real life). Those sick of Downton Abbey on Netflix tucking them in on a Tuesday night need to Tuck Turn themselves to Black Rock Pub. The best part of the whole experience is that nobody's judging you and everyone's having a good time (no hipsters here!). Bring some friends or make new ones at Swing Night.
- Eve Rivera
Community Cafe Having lived all over the city of Chicago for the past six years, I am now happily settled in River North. Albeit convenient to work and trendy hot spots, it lacks the authentic flavor other neighborhoods' music scenes provide. However, the one event I don't mind trekking to is Community Cafe, hosted by the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN).
Coordinating the event is Asad Jafri, who is the director of arts and culture at IMAN and a friend of mine. His passion for its mission is evident. Taking place every month at the Living Room Lounge on the south side, the scene is very loungelike, welcoming and comfortable. It provides a platform for up-and-coming hidden talents to perform in a hip yet family-friendly setting. Each occasion delivers a different socially conscious theme and diverse musicians, ranging from soul to hip-hop to spoken word and everything else in between. A healthy dinner is provided for all attendees and cover is only a suggested donation of $5. Too good to be true, right?