We Have an Issue: Spring Treats, Fantastic Comics, and Best of Austin Finalists

In this week’s issue, we celebrate Austin’s comic book artists and authors, and reveal the 875 nominees up

Cover illustration by John Gholson

Spring has certainly stepped up its pace. Last weekend alone, the Music staff was covering three different hometown festivals, plus an away game in California (that'd be Willie Nelson's star-studded Hollywood Bowl two-night tribute; check out Doug Freeman's report here). And the hits keep coming. This weekend's Pecan Street Festival supplies a good reason for going outside, while Free Comic Book Day counteroffers with a great excuse to stay indoors. Not coincidentally, Free Comic Book Day was the impetus behind this week's cover story, an introduction to some of the comic book authors and artists living in Austin. One of those featured talents, John Gholson, drew this week's nifty cover. Find the story by Richard Whittaker and Wayne Alan Brenner right here.

I've been feeling a little sheepish about not writing this column for three weeks, but click here and you'll know what's been keeping me so busy: I've been tabulating the results from the first round of Best of Austin voting to determine the – *deep breath* – 875 total nominees on the Readers Poll finalist ballot.

Well, the burden's back on readers' shoulders now: It's time to select the winners. Do not be daunted by how long the ballot is! You can jump around, spend a week working on it, vote in one category or all of 'em. But here's a carrot for being closer to a completist: Vote in at least 20 categories and you'll be eligible to win a pair of front-row seats at an upcoming Austin FC game. (I have sat in these seats. They are extremely cool.)

My favorite thing about this finalist ballot? The comments feature. That's right, you don't have to just check boxes. When you cast a vote, you can write in why you love a particular person or place. I read all the comments and pick my favorites for publication in our Best of Austin issue, on stands June 15.

So what are you waiting for? Get cracking on your ballot now at vote.austinchronicle.com. Voting ends May 15 at midnight.


Jackie Venson (r) with Robert Randolph Band at Antone's Austin Blues Festival (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Flavio Longoria y Los Conjunto Kingz at Ranch Alegre Conjunto Festival (Photo by John Anderson)

Crumb at Austin Psych Fest (Photo by Isabella Martinez)

Festival Fever: Chronicle writers and photographers were out in full force last weekend. Head online to find location reports and photo galleries from Austin Psych Fest, Rancho Alegre Conjunto Festival, and Antone's Austin Blues Festival.

Fire It Up: Texas Food & Wine Alliance launches Off the Menu Supper Club on June 8 with acclaimed chefs Berty Richter (Ezov), Jakub Czyszczon (Garrison), Laura Sawicki (Oseyo), and Michael Fojtasek (Olamaie and Maie Day) all playing tribute to the classic American chophouse.

Cup o' Joe to Go Please! Jo's Coffee opens its sixth shop on May 8 at Menchaca and Stassney, and they're giving away free drinks to celebrate.

Watch This: The onetime fiddle and then guitar player for Robert Earl Keen's band, Brian Beken talks about going solo and the brand-new video for "The Weekend."

Tootling Around Texas: Capt. Day Trips Gerald McLeod rounds up news and events from around the state, including the Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie (pictured at left), to help you plan some springtime travel.

Small Screen, Big Programming Announcements: Tony Gilroy settles into the hot seat at June's ATX TV Festival for a conversation about his Disney+ Star Wars spinoff Andor with Beau Willimon.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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