Sure You Can Go Home Again, by Mike Gold
I always thought Thomas Wolfe was full of shit. Of course you can go home again. Heck, with the Internets you can bring home with you wherever you go.
As I commence to pack for Wizard World Chicago this coming Thursday through Sunday, I am planning out my schedule to the tunes from WXRT Radio, one of the last of the commercial progressive radio stations, still a comparatively cool experience even though it’s now owned by CBS, or whatever they’re calling themselves this week. I just had a light lunch consisting of imported Vienna Hot Dogs – the awesome ones in the natural casing that even my most chauvinistic New York buddies gobble up – while eating a bag of Jay’s potato chips , the original potato chip created by Leonard Japp at the very specific “request” of Al Capone. No kidding.
I’m playing with my schedule so that we might be able to attend a performance of Bloody Bess, the play written by John Ostrander and William J. Norris (as told on ComicMix). I only saw it about a million times during Stuart Gordon’s original run. I’m also playing around with post-convention amusements for my fellow ComicMixers as we go about our business in the Midwest. The far-famed Taste of Chicago will be occupying the downtown lakefront, and there’re the usual architectural thrills and gangland haunts. There’s also at least a dozen brilliant comic book shops out there the likes of which I rarely see anyplace else. And, of course, there are a lot of people we work with who either live in the vicinity or will be there for the show – Hilary Barta, Andrew Pepoy, George Hagenauer, Len Strazewski, Chris Burnham, Doug Rice, Peter B. Gillis, Jim Engel, Peter David… to name but a very few. I wonder if Dan DiDio will be there?
Our very own Rick Marshall and his sweetie Jessica Bloustein are planning on moving out to Chicago, and I promised I’d take whatever opportunity I could to show Rick some of the places he didn’t see while he was visiting Jessica during her matriculation at Northwestern University’s School of Journalism.ComicMixers Martha Thomases, Glenn Hauman, Mike Raub and Kai Connelly are old hands at Chicago; they know how to have a swell time there.
Not only can you go home again – and I frequently do – but you can really enjoy it. I see Chicago for what it was and a surprising amount of that is still around. Having lived out east all these years, though, I can see my hometown for what it now is as well. Which is why I take every opportunity I can to do business there.
If you’re going to be at Wizard World Chicago this weekend, we’ll be all over the place, usually wearing our spiffy ComicMix t-shirts. Some might have the old logo on ‘em; out of courtesy and respect for our fellow fans, we are known to change our shirts frequently; it’s usually about 107° outside the show. Experience tells us that if they moved the show to January, it’d still be 107° degrees outside.
Temperature aside, all of us will enjoy meeting you, hearing your opinions and ideas, and just talking the fan talk. Online comments are great; actually seeing folks is also great. We all hope to see you at Wizard World Chicago.
Mike Gold is editor-in-chief of ComicMix.