It just feels like whiplash most days, doesn’t it? We’ve barely wrapped our heads around how Brett Kavanaugh’s moving soliloquy on drinkin’ won him a seat on the Supreme Court and then Elizabeth Warren takes a seat at the table for President Trump’s weird new birtherism game. It’s sunny and frigid and autumn in Chicago, and Chance the Rapper isn’t running for mayor but maybe should since Toni Preckwinkle’s security chief appears to have abandoned an SUV in a ditch under increasingly mysterious circumstances. What is even happening right now?
It’s October. I usually spend the month watching a horror movie a day in the #31HorrorFilms31Days challenge, a project of local boy-gone-horribly-wrong Daniel Kraus (writer of the novel The Shape of Water and the upcoming The Living Dead, cowritten with the late, great George Romero). This year’s different, of course: I spent all my horror-movie-watching time reading this issue’s cover feature on Chicago’s very first murder. The way that recently unearthed details of interpreter and fur trader Jean Lalime’s death forecast a terrifying future for Chicago politics is chilling. (You’ll also see shimmers of it behind Ben Joravsky’s remembrance of the late alderman Bill Henry.)
But the issue isn’t all fear-inducing. We’re introducing something new in these pages—a regular comics journalism feature. I’ve been working in the form for the last seven years, and I’m excited to share what I’ve discovered about graphic nonfiction narratives during that time. Local creator Anya Davidson kicks us off with two pages from Saturday’s Women’s March to the Polls called “Raised Voices.” It’s a thoughtful, hilarious, and extremely true peek at very recent and very local events. I hope you love it.
We did make some regrettable errors in last week’s issue. An article on the Jeff Awards has been revised and is currently available in an updated form here. Apparently we misspelled “Jastin Timberluk” as well. Certain staff members will happily take him to dinner to personally apologize for the egregious error if he wants to get in touch.
Anyway, I’ll be getting my chill fill next week at a Music Box midnight screening of Jennifer’s Body. Look for me in the hand-Sharpied “I’d die for Karyn Kusama” T-shirt and we can high-five about horrors both entertaining and not.