Wednesday, February 23, 2011
After a long history in Chicago, I was saddened to hear that Earwax Cafe is closing. In addition to having some of the best milkshakes and vegetarian burgers I've ever tasted, Earwax served as a meeting place for myself and countless other cartoonists over the years. Earwax, whose walls were adorned with circus sideshow banners and oddities, could lay claim to logos and ads designed by a couple generations worth of funny book people, including Daniel Clowes (who I just saw has a functioning web site, another sign of the progression of time) and Jeff Brown. Jeff and I used to meet up there with some regularity (one such get-together is pictured above), back when we lived in the area, and I know Jeff drew there all the time (with scenes from the cafe featured in some of his books).
I hung up countless posters over the years in this place, went there when I was depressed about this or that, made plans with The Holy Consumption there, and my second date with my wife nervously took place there, before our first kiss on a nearby playground. When I heard Earwax was closing, it was surprising to me just how many memories came back. Sometimes a cafe isn't just a cafe.
Goodbye, Earwax, you'll be missed.