On the cover: Photo by Maya Dukmasova

Happy New Year, Chicago!

Let’s start 2019 off with some great news. Comics are back—right there on page 43. All-new weekly serials from your independent favorites: Local hero Mike Centeno of Futile Comics (and, formerly, Quimby’s Bookstore) launches a strip about the weirdness of skin. Melissa Mendes of Freddy Stories takes a break from her gut-wrenching, Patreon-backed family narrative The Weight to pen a fiction story about a girl detective. And John Porcellino of long-running, internationally lauded, self-published King-Cat Comics & Stories takes on a whole new project about urban wildlife. There are plenty of us who first picked up alternative newsweeklies because of the comics. I’m hoping soon there will be many, many more.

You’ll also notice that we’re starting in on election coverage straight out of the gate, with a deeply reported piece from the 20th Ward by our own Maya Dukmasova. What’s going on in Woodlawn may not strike you as important—although it was important enough to J.B. Pritzker, who takes the state gubernatorial office on Monday, to drop a wad of cash into the aldermanic elections.

Speaking of shady politics, Ben Joravsky is back on our pages to decry the legacy of 14th Ward alderman Ed Burke. (Twenty three guns, dude? Really?)

Not news, though, really: Ben Joravsky will always be back. Especially during the election! I’ll fight anybody that doesn’t think Ben’s voice is sorely needed in this city at this time.

Finally, we’ve been getting a lot of mail lately, most of it quite lovely. One kind man asked if we’d consider printing readers’ letters, and the truth is that we would. We’ll happily print a few in a couple weeks to see how it goes. Have thoughts about the new comics? Our political coverage? Jibaritos? Or just want to say hi? Send notes along to letters@chicagoreader.com and we’ll select a couple—edited for brevity, clarity, and style—to include in the last edition of January 2019.

Isn’t this year just going to be great?  v