The multitalented Dame Darcy, who bills herself as “an illustrator, writer, fine artist, musician, filmmaker and animator,” is probably best known for her long-running comic book series Meat Cake. Dame Darcy is in town to share tips from her Handbook for Hot Witches: Dame Darcy’s Illustrated Guide to Magic, Love, and Creativity (Henry Holt and Co.), which offers advice on palm reading, crystal ball gazing, casting love spells, belly dancing, and banjo playing, among other witchy skills.

Dame Darcy at Quimby’s Bookstore, 1854 W. North, Mon 10/29, 7 PM, free. (There’s also an exhibit of her artwork on 10/30 at Bert Green Fine Art, 8 S. Michigan.)

Author Simon Winchester (The Professor and the Madman et al) discusses his latest book, the gorgeously illustrated Skulls: An Exploration of Alan Dudley’s Curious Collection (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers). This is appropriate for the season, for skulls, as you know, form the uppermost portion of a skeleton, and skeletons are scary. Bypass your standard human skull for your costume and try to find one of these far more scary skulls (all featured among the hundreds in the book): black-footed albatross, white-chinned petrel, helmeted guineafowl, black-casqued hornbill, barracuda, warty frogfish, bicolored leaf-nosed bat, sun bear, southern sea lion, chinese water deer, or vervet monkey. (If you want kind of a cute skull for the kids, go with the meerkat.) You might be able to find a nice animal skull at Woolly Mammoth Antiques & Oddities.

Simon Winchester at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State, Tue 10/30, 6 PM, free.