Welcome to the South Side Weekly’s second annual Comics Issue. In the past, the Weekly has published profiles of South Side artists, musicians, and activists, stories about political events and community gatherings, and even recipes from local food institutions—all in comic form. This issue, chock-full of words and pictures about life on the South Side and in Chicago, is our ode to nonfiction comics and their ability to talk about place in ways words alone can’t. These aren’t comics to be skimmed over, as you might do with the comic strips in the back pages of the Tribune—these are labors of love, meant to be sat down with, reread, returned to.

In the following pages, you’ll nd works from some of the Weekly’s illustrators about biking down Lakeshore Trail and about acclimating to Bridgeport, a fictional vignette about a man who plays guitar in front of Paco’s Tacos in Brighton Park, reprinted pages from For the People Artists Collective’s radical coloring book Color Me Rising, and an illustrated essay about what it’s like to navigate the mental healthcare system on the South Side. Alongside these works by experienced cartoonists and writers is a comic about Mexican-American identity by Cassandra Michel, a high school student at Goode Academy in Ashburn. Michel’s first foray into the medium is published here as part of the Weekly’s commitment to giving young storytellers a platform for their work.

At the Weekly, we’ve always believed that comics are an engaging and effective way to tell stories. After reading through the stories that follow—stories of fact and fiction, of historical and current events, by professionals and newcomers—we hope you’ll come to agree.

Little Coffee Shop of Horrors | by Courtney Kendrick
Moving Day | by Dani Knight
Untitled (1) | by Turtel Onli
Welcome to Bridgeport | by Sean Mac
Not the Right Identity | by Casandra Michel
Excerpt from Kedzie Avenue | by Illustrated Press
Lakeshore Ride | by Dani Knight
The Call You Might Regret | by Kristin Brown and Javier Suarez (with City Bureau)
Excerpts from Color Me Rising | by For the People Artists Collective
Untitled (2) | by Turtel Onli
La Bamba | by Raziel Puma

Cover art by Mike Centeno.

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