As far as I’m concerned, Edie Fake’s crisp, ecstatic clip-art-style graphics are the most compelling reason not to give up on comics as an art form. His haunting zine Gaylord Phoenix offers a magical, polymorphous vision of love, desire, and loss closely related to his transgender identity. Late this year, Secret Acres will release a collection of these bizarre and unforgettable stories.
Fake, who has a day job at Quimby’s (1854 W. North, 773-342-0910, quimbys.com), is currently working on a “scroll/map/comic” recounting the gay history of Chicago and a silk-screened tarot deck. A variety of his tableaux, alternately lush and stark, futuristic and antique, delicate and blunt, can be seen on his Web site, as can his gorgeous tattoo work—rare in that it provides a glimpse of his skill with color.