Printers Ball makes a case for ink and paper | Lit Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Printers Ball makes a case for ink and paper

Ignore your iPhone screen and check out some screen printing at the tenth annual event.


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No need to break out a tux or gown; the Printers Ball is a casual celebration of the printed medium. Now in its tenth year, the event kicks off Saturday at 4 PM with readings by regulars of the Danny's and Dollhouse series, Brain Frame artists doing live interpretations of comics and zines, printmaker Leah Mackin demonstrating printing and bookbinding, and folks from Press Bike rolling out prints in the parking lot. The theme is "chatter," shoptalk for the ink debris around a print, but there will be plenty of socializing too, with opportunities for print lovers to rub shoulders at a beer garden, a marketplace with offerings from host Spudnik Press, and a "book tote"—buy a bag and fill it with paper goods.

Chicago Zine Fest organizers and volunteers will be on hand to demonstrate ways to create one-page zines (4:30 PM), Pixiehammer Press will be typing away at custom love (and hate) letters (5:30-7 PM), and local cartoonist group Trubble Club will display a "graphically inspired" exquisite corpse (6 PM). The schedule of readings and performances features Salonathon contributors (5 PM), teens from Young Chicago Authors (5:30 PM), and poets Laura Goldstein and Michael Slosek of Artificial Ear (7 PM).

Prolific book-cover designer Chip Kidd—the man behind jackets for titles by Michael Chabon, Haruki Murakami, James Ellroy, and Augusten Burroughs—will discuss his philosophy, as outlined in Go and the forthcoming Judge This, with brand designer Dana Arnett (6:30 PM); afterward Kidd will hang around for a signing.

To close out the night, Brian Chankin of Odd Obsession Movies spins reggae jams in the beer garden (8 PM). So dance to your heart's content. It is a ball, after all.

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