Hillary Chute, University of Chicago professor, associate editor of Art Spiegelman’s MetaMaus, and author of Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics is a superfan of:

The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist Modern Cartoonist is a lavish, large, full-on treatment of the work of one of the funniest, most charming men on the planet, cartoonist Dan Clowes. Clowes, sadly now a resident of California, is one of Chicago’s own. He grew up in Hyde Park, where his grandfather was a professor at the University of Chicago, and he described that neighborhood once to me as “the weirdest neighborhood in the world—this sort of leftist wet dream.” Compiled with his participation, Modern Cartoonist features interviews, photographs, and childhood ephemera along with numerous beautifully reproduced pages from Clowes’s comics oeuvre, which includes such classics as Ghost World, David Boring, and Ice Haven (a story that features Leopold and Loeb along with other famous signifiers of Chicago). With the full-color comics and memorabilia, one comes away with a history of alternative publishing in the 80s and 90s—Clowes started off in the satire magazine Cracked and went on to found the comic book series Eightball. In 2013 a major Clowes retrospective will open at the MCA; for now, look for him at Quimby’s on May 17, signing copies.

Overview, living/dining rooms, Roger Brown Study Collection, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.Credit: William H. Bengtson

Alice Kain, Smart Museum of Art staffer and independent curator is rummaging through:

The Roger Brown Study Collection Behind a storefront on Halsted [1926 N. Halsted] lies one of Chicago’s most extraordinary secrets: Roger Brown’s collection of art, artifacts, and ephemera. You could go past the Lincoln Park location numerous times without realizing that it contains a treasure trove left to the city by the prominent Chicago imagist artist.

The house has been preserved as a historic home, and everything on the second floor is how it was left by Brown. It’s incredible to imagine how he lived amongst such a wild array of inspirational objects—self-taught artists like Henry Darger and Joseph Yoakum hang next to sideshow posters, African masks and a Pee-Wee Herman doll. Works by Chicago imagists like Jim Nutt and Christina Ramberg somehow blend with a collection of face jugs, a porcelain Elvis bust, Hawaiian shirts, and birdhouses. My highlight, however, is in the garage, where you can sit in Roger’s car, a 1967 Ford Mustang, and find a connection with the artist’s vision.

To schedule a visit, e-mail rbsc@saic.edu.

Chicago FireCredit: SGFsoccer.com

Tom Dunmore, soccer writer and cofounder of
XI Quarterly magazine is keeping score for:

Major League Soccer It used to be the case that watching Major League Soccer marked one out as an odd obsessive. Like microbrews, though, more and more Americans have begun to appreciate its distinct flavor alongside (or even instead of) the mass market appeal of the NFL or Budweiser. Now, one can attend an MLS game in most cities and experience an organic fervor in the crowd consisting of flags, chants, flares, and fierce tribal loyalty rarely felt at competing major sporting events, where the loudest cheer often comes for the Big Mac giveaway. As an Englishman, I was wary of what Americans might do to “soccer” when I moved to Chicago; now, I obsess over tuning in to every game I can on MLS Live, attend every Chicago Fire game at Toyota Park, and even venture across the country in support. A few sips, and MLS fandom can easily become intoxicating.