The Best of Chicago 2020 issue cover | Chicago Reader

This week’s cover

ILLUSTRATION BY JASON WYATT FREDERICK
  • Illustration by Jason Wyatt Frederick

We have a tradition here at the Reader of tasking one of the city’s most talented illustrators, Jason Wyatt Frederick, with creating a Where’s Waldo-esque tableau every year for Pitchfork, filled with a who’s who of Chicago personalities and small visual puzzles spelling out the music fest’s lineup. When it seemed clear that we would go at least one if not more years without a Pitchfork Fest, we knew we couldn’t go that long without a Frederick cover. So when the Best of Chicago issue came around, we knew what we had to do.

The theme of this year’s Best of Chicago is losses and gains, allowing us to eulogize what is no more while still recognizing that there were some good things in 2020 after all.

Stages and bowling alleys may be collecting cobwebs, but farmers’ markets and drive-ins are thriving. When indoor dining shut down, ghost kitchens and Instagram accounts kept us on the pulse of culinary innovations. Sure, the parks and beaches were closed for a while, but that allowed nature to heal—and we got enough interaction with wildlife being around our pets 24-7. And who needs to leave home when you have “WAP” on repeat? Frederick captured the last year in a nutshell, and as much as I love the way it looks, I hope we can go back to our old tradition next year and celebrate gathering together again.

For more of Frederick’s work, go to cargocollective.com/jwfrederick.