Friday, February 24, 2012

On the Way to Work This Morning...

It was hardly the snowstorm forecasters had predicted--at least in the city, where the rain didn't fully change over to snow until sometime after midnight--but there was just enough heavy, wet snow about this a.m. to make things look pretty, especially the branches.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

On the Way to Work This Morning...

Hey, look...snow!

OK, it's not much snow--barely even covers that lawn--and it could only be seen in scattered patches around the neighborhood this a.m. Still, it's been a lean winter for the white stuff, so it was worth snapping a shot--especially since it'll all be melted away by lunchtime.

Every Picture Tells a Story: 2/22/12

Wednesday is New Comic Book Day.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

V-Day 2012, Part 11

If you celebrate Valentine's Day, I hope you have a festive one indeed. And if you don't... may be lonely, but you're not alone.

Monday, February 13, 2012

V-Day 2012, Part 10

If you know the name Jack Kirby at all, it's probably from his work at Marvel Comics in the 1960s, where he created (or co-created, depending on how much input you believe Stan Lee really had beyond writing dialog) many of the companies most popular heroes, including the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor and Daredevil.

You may further know that, before his legendary work at Marvel, Kirby had a long and fruitful partnership with Joe Simon (who passed away this past December at the astounding age of 97), during which they created one of the most enduring superheroes of all time (Captain America) and a host of other popular comic book characters (The Boy Commandos, the Newsboy Legion, Fighting American, The Fly, etc.).

What you may not know, however, is that one of their most successful creations wasn't a single character, but a whole genre: Romance comics!

For 12 years (from 1947 to 1959), Simon and Kirby wrote, drew and/or supervised production of stories for Young Romance (and related spinoffs), arguably making their romance stories the most successful endeavor of their partnership. (Most of their efforts had much shorter runs--even their Captain America stint only lasted 10 issues.)

And if you read the stories, 13 of which were reprinted in the paperback pictured above and below (21 more have been reprinted and lovingly restored in Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics), you can understand why their run on romance comics lasted so long. Their stories are intelligent and sensitive, touching on societal prejudices (economic and ethnic) while still remaining thoroughly entertaining and fun, even today. However, I'm reasonably certain that "back door love" had an entirely different meaning in 1949 than it does in 2012.

V-Day 2012, Part 9

V-Day 2012, Part 8

I found this heart--with the remnants of a necklace or bracelet still clinging to it--in the alley behind the Riviera Theater. Did some young girl get her heart broken back there after a Wilco concert?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

V-Day 2012, Part 7

These "lightscapes"--glowing cylinders that look like a cross between a microphone and a vibrator--popped up on State Street during the holiday season, changing colors while playing festive songs. They've stuck around for Valentine's Day; as I snapped this shot, they were playing Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On."

V-Day 2012, Part 6

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

V-Day 2012, Part 2

On the Way to Work This Morning...

It's sad when a construction cone intended to warn drivers and pedestrians about a hole in the street winds up getting swallowed by the hole itself. It's even more sad that this is right in the middle of downtown.

Every Picture Tells a Story: 2/8/12

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Every Picture Tells a Story: 2/2/12

This is how things looked a little over a week ago--and how they're supposed to look in Chicago in winter. Things don't look like this now. It's warm. Trees are budding. Flowers are pushing up through the supposed-to-be-frozen-solid grass. Mother nature is soooooo confused. How will the groundhog react when he's dragged kicking and screaming (assuming for a second that groundhogs do, in fact, scream) from his toasty hole this morning?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One Year Ago Today

Chicago was buried under nearly two feet of snow.

Today? It's relatively warm--in the upper 40s--and what little snow there is on the ground can be found in smallish mounds at the edges of parking lots or against garage walls.

Every Picture Tells a Story: 2/1/12