An Interview with Patrick Shiplett

Pat-Shiplett-Head-shot-close-up

Patrick Shiplett is an Evanston artist who is the latest to be featured in our ongoing exhibition series Local Art @ EPL.  A cartoonist whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, NY Times, and Washington Post, Shiplett’s exhibit features nearly three dozen cartoons he presented to the New Yorker’s editorial staff before they explained “there was no room for a cartoonist [his] age in their lineup.”  Titled Too Old for the New Yorker, Shiplett’s cartoon collection is currently on display on the 2nd floor of EPL’s Main Library where you can catch it through August 31st along with selected writing from his blog.  You can find more of his cartoons and writing by visiting his website, and we recently spoke with him via email about his artistic origins, pitch meetings at the New Yorker, advice for aspiring cartoonists, and his blog.

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EPL’s Favorite Superhero Movies — The Votes Are In!

Our superhero super fans have spoken!  Below are the top picks in our survey of EPL’s Favorite Superhero Movies:

Most Anticipated Upcoming Superhero Movie…

Doctor-Strange-PosterDoctor Strange (November 2016)

“Two words… Benedict. Cumberbatch.”

— Seth

Favorite Recent Superhero Movie…

age of ultronAvengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

“I think the Avengers movies have done a good job of not destroying the franchise.  Captain America: Civil War was a close second.”

— Danielle

Favorite Superhero Movie of All Time…

dark knightThe Dark Knight (2008)

“The people on the boats, Batman’s faith in the citizens of Gotham… It flips the script.”

— Elizabeth

And the Best Batman is… Continue reading “EPL’s Favorite Superhero Movies — The Votes Are In!”

EPL’s Favorite Superhero Movies

superhero

At long last Suicide Squad is hitting theaters nationwide, and now we’ve got a fever.  A superhero fever, that is, and the only cure is to talk superhero movies right here on Off the Shelf.  Whether you’re a DC purist or loyal to Marvel, do us a super solid and visit EPL’s Favorite Superhero Movies to cast your votes for the best past, present, and future blockbusters in the genre along with your all-time favorite Batman.  Remember, with great voting power comes great responsibility so don’t delay, and make sure to check back with Off the Shelf next week for all the voting results.  Now, EPL Assemble!

Local Art @ EPL: Patrick Shiplett

shiplett melville

We are excited to welcome Evanston artist Patrick Shiplett as the next to be featured in our ongoing exhibition series Local Art @ EPL.  A cartoonist whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, NY Times, and Washington Post, Shiplett’s exhibit features nearly three dozen cartoons he presented to the New Yorker’s editorial staff before they explained “there was no room for a cartoonist [his] age in their lineup.”  Titled Too Old for the New Yorker, Shiplett’s cartoon collection is currently on display on the 2nd floor of EPL’s Main Library where you can catch it through August 31st along with selected writing from his blog.  You can find more of his cartoons and writing by visiting his website, and you can learn more about his work at a reception on Thursday, August 4 at 5 pm.  Also, make sure to check back with Off the Shelf later in the month for a featured interview with the artist himself.  Stay tuned.

Poetry 365: Eleanor Chai

admin-ajax.phpThis month for Poetry 365 we’re highlighting the remarkable debut collection from poet Eleanor Chai.  In Standing Water, Chai takes readers to a small Paris museum where she encounters a bust of Japaneses dancer Little Hanako by sculptor Auguste Rodin that triggers painfully complex memories of the mother erased from the poet’s life since her childhood.  Described by Mark Strand as “a masterpiece,” Colm Toibin declared, “The last poems of the book are outstanding, chiseled and perfect, line by line by line.  Standing Water is a great achievement.”  So don’t miss this hauntingly honest debut, sample the opening poem below, and make sure to stop back next month for Poetry 365.

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An Interview with Donna Wesley Spencer

2_DonnaWesleySpencerEPL716Donna Wesley Spencer is an Evanston photographer, founding member of Perspective Gallery, and the latest artist to be featured in our ongoing exhibition series Local Art @ EPL.  Her exhibit Inside the Frances Willard House is currently on display on the 2nd floor of EPL’s Main Library where you can catch it through July 30th.  Featuring sixteen gorgeous interior shots of Willard’s home at 1730 Chicago Avenue, the exhibit celebrates one of Evanston’s greatest historical treasures and serves as a visual appetizer for the grand reopening of the Francis Willard House Museum in September 2016.  You can learn more about Spencer’s work by visiting her website, and we recently spoke with her via email about her artistic origins, falling in love with the Willard House, and what’s new at Perspective Gallery.

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Remembering the WAC with ‘Mollie’s War’

Even though Cyndee Schaffer always knew her mother served during World War II, it was still a little hard to believe.  “She was always a very quiet person,” says Schaffer, “and that she found the courage to join the military just amazed me.”  In fact, Schaffer’s mother – Mollie Weinstein Schaffer – served as an enlistee in the newly-formed Women’s Army Corps from 1943 to 1945 during which time she sent home hundreds of letters describing bombings in England, landing in Normandy just weeks after the Allied invasion, and serving in Germany after VE Day.  Her fascinating letters have been collected in the recent book Mollie’s War, and this Sunday, July 17th at 3 pm you can join Cyndee Schaffer when she visits EPL’s 1st Floor Community Meeting Room to read excerpts from the book and share Mollie’s WWII memorabilia.  In anticipation of her visit, we recently spoke with Cyndee via email about her work editing and researching Mollie’s War, her favorite of her mother’s WAC experiences, the lost art of letter writing, and what she hopes readers take away from the book.

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Talking with Geralyn Hesslau Magrady, the 2016 Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author

Magrady Headshot
Author Geralyn Hesslau Magrady

The Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Project recently announced the 2016 winner of its annual writing competition, and now your list of “must-read” books is officially one title longer.  Choosing from the best self-published fiction Illinois writers have to offer, librarians throughout the state selected Geralyn Hesslau Magrady as this year’s winning author for her excellent historical novel Lines–.  Set in 1870s-era Chicago and filled with incredible period detail, Magrady’s book explores the historical struggles for workers’ rights and gender equality while tracing the life of Livia Haas – a young German woman who experiences first love and terrible loss while surviving both the Great Fire and the Haymarket Affair.  Though her summer is packed with statewide book readings and signings, Magrady recently paused to speak with us via email about her contest experience, her real-life inspiration for Livia Haas, research at the Berwyn Public Library, Emily Dickinson, and what she hopes readers will take away from Lines–.

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Local Art @ EPL: Donna Wesley Spencer

Willard Parlor

Donna Wesley Spencer is an Evanston photographer, founding member of Perspective Gallery, and the next featured artist in our ongoing exhibition series Local Art @ EPL.  Her exhibit Inside the Frances Willard House is currently on display on the 2nd floor of EPL’s Main Library where you can catch it through July 31st.  Featuring sixteen gorgeous interior shots of Willard’s home at 1730 Chicago Avenue, the exhibit celebrates one of Evanston’s greatest historical treasures and serves as a visual appetizer for the grand reopening of the Francis Willard House Museum in September 2016.  You can learn more about Spencer’s work by visiting her website, and make sure to check back with Off the Shelf later in July for a featured interview with the artist herself.  Stay tuned.

Happy Father’s Day!

Today is Father’s Day, and here on Off the Shelf we’re celebrating with a special salute to EPL’s favorite TV dads.  Enjoy, and to all the dads in both Chicagoland and TV land… Happy Father’s Day!

robert crawleyRobert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, Downton Abbey

“He loves his daughters enough to learn from them and see the world in a different, better way.” — Jill

 

 

bob belcherBob Belcher, Bob’s Burgers

“He appreciates his kids’ unique qualities and spends quality time with them.  He’s involved in their lives.  He also does something he loves doing and shows the kids a different kind of success.” –Elizabeth Sanderson

 

Eric Taylor, Friday Night Lights

“Coach Taylor is committed to his family and to making a difference in the lives of the kids on his teams.”  — Jarrett Dapier

 

 

randy marshRandy Marsh, South Park

“A terrible example of what a dad should be… but hilarious.”  — Bob Meyer

 

 

A Few More Favorites…