Karaoke Idol Chicago!

By Jacob S. Knabb

Curbside Splendor Publishing, Another Chicago Magazine, and Quimby's Bookstore present the May installment of Karaoke Idol Chicago, a monthly fundraising series at Beauty Bar Chicago. Starting at 8pm on Thursday May 23rd, cultural and community oriented organizations 826Chicago, Chicago Adventure Therapy, Found Objects Theater Group, Mental Graffiti, and *RETURNING CHAMPS* Inspiration Corporation will battle it out for karaoke glory and a share of the door money.  A jambassador from each of the orgs and one from the crowd will battle for the Idol crown and a lion's share of the loot. Judges will select one person from the hour-long audience audition at the beginning of the night to compete as the sixth contestant so come early and sing. Offical competition begins at 9:30. Open-mic karaoke throughout the evening until close.

Spring Brings New Authors!

By Jacob S. Knabb

The third week of April 2013 was a busy one for Curbside Splendor Publishing, as we signed contracts with two of our favorite rock stars turned novelists, Tim Kinsella and Brian Costello! Both novels are set for a 2014 release and we are ecstatic to have them join the Curbside family.

Tim Kinsella (pictured here with legal counsel) signs a contract for his novel LET GO & GO ON & ON

In addition to his splendid novel The Karaoke Singer's Guide to Self-Defense, Tim Kinsella has also created a slew of ground-breaking albums with his bands Cap'n Jazz and Joan of Arc and once ruffled some feathers by refusing to grant interviews and instead forcing journalists to allow themselves to be interviewed by him (an idea we might just have to revisit in the future). Kinsella's poetic, second-person novel Let Go and Go On and On will center upon the life and career of actress and model Laurie Bird. Look for it in Curbside's Spring/Sumer 2014 catalog.

Brian Costello (sporting his ubiquitous Beefheart Tee) signs a contract for his book LOSING IN GAINESVILLEBrian Costello is a writer by day and a drummer by night. His first book, The Enchanters Vs. Sprawlburg Springs, was released by Chicago's beloved Featherproof Books in 2006. Since then Costello has curated a host of superb live entertainment in Chicago, most recently hosting Shame That Tune at Hideout Inn. He's also been drumming for Outer Minds.

Just Plain Cynful

By Cyn Vargas

You know when you’ve lived some place for so long that you can get up in the middle of the night and walk around in the dark and be ok? Yeah, that isn’t me. I’m a very clumsy person by nature. I have lived in for almost seven years and still walk into walls, or stub my toes on the foot of the bed, or whack my elbow on the dresser- lights on or off. So of course I went and signed up for a pole dance class which will require me to lift myself up with my weak arms and twirl my legs around a two inch pole so that I can lift up my ass up into the air while I hold on for dear life. It’s pretty much a certainty that I will hurt myself but I don’t give a shit because I’m super excited about it. I may be going through a mid-life crisis or something.

It’s like that with my novel. You know the one I haven’t written yet? My thesis is a short story collection and I know my second book can’t be another. I hear it all the time. Short story collections aren’t hot. Novels are the way to go. Well, I do what I want and I did with my thesis, but now that I have done a collection, I want to challenge myself by writing a novel. The first draft of a short story I wrote has to do with a mother-daughter relationship—which I have never really written—so of course I’ve decided that this will become my novel.

As writers, I think we need to keep pushing ourselves. We know what we can do well, whether it’s a certain point of view, or dialogue or character development, but it can’t stop there. Once we feel confident in one area, we need to delve in the others. Read more new books and reread old ones too, just to try and see how those authors put it on the page; talk to other writers, but most importantly write.

I honestly believe that if we don’t challenge ourselves we won’t grow. Staying in your own personal comfort zone may be safe, but it’s boring and eventually it will leak over into your work and people will peg you as a certain kind of writer.

That's why I’m pushing myself to try this novel thing and write about a relationship that’s way outside of my comfort zone. And while I do it I’ll be learning how to pole dance. It’s going to hurt.

Wannabe - 3

By Chris Prunckle

chris prunckle 


Wannabe is a blog series by Chicago area artist Chris Prunckle, author of our serial graphic story Asylum Doors, documenting his trials and tribulations as a wannabe artist.  Check back next week for a new posting.

See the previous installment of Asylum Doors here.  Stay tuned for the next installment coming soon, but now on a monthly basis with fuller stories.


Chris Prunckle is a graphic designer, illustrator and comic book artist banished to the suburbs of Chicago. Though an advertising industry minion by day, he slaves his nights away creating a mad little world.  He’s previously worked on the comics Fisted, Bonesetter, and The Scarab.  Follow him at @midjipress.

Artifice Issue 5

By Victor David Giron

Issue 5 of Artifice, our semi-annual pocket-sized journal of work that is aware of its own artifice, is now available.  We only sell this gem on our website, the Artifice Mag site, and a few select stores.  Order your copy now and get free shipping at our store

A5 features new work by Alexander Allison - Gabriel Blackwell - Jerimee Bloemeke - Molly Brodak - Matthew Reed Corey - Jess Dutschmann - Chris Emslie - Cassandra Gillig - Russell Jaffe - Laura Kochman - Mike Lala - Meghan Lamb - Megan Milks - Jessica Newman - Seth Oelbaum - Christopher Phelps - Matt Rowan - Gregory Sherl - Emma Sovich - Steven Teref - Brandi Wells - Russ Woods



artifice 5


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