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Monday, Oct. 3, 2011

Paul McComas Turns 50 in Style

Also: Wisconsin Humane Society hosts Jon Katz

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Paul McComas is a multidimensional performance artist whose high-energy acts have transfixed audiences for more than 20 years. McComas also is an award-winning filmmaker, musician, editor and author who was born and raised in Milwaukee. He earned a BA in English at Appleton's Lawrence University and an MA in film at Northwestern University. To top it all off, McComas is the author of four books: the novel Unplugged (2002), a heart-wrenching tale that draws awareness to teen depression; the locally based coming-of-age narrative Planet of the Dates (2008); and the short story collections Twenty Questions (1998) and Unforgettable: Harrowing Futures, Horrors, and (Dark) Humor (2011). McComas' short fiction has appeared in many literary journals, but he is best known for his inventive and exhilarating live readings. As a speaker, he has received two Critic's Choice awards from the Chicago Reader, and the Chicago Tribune has called his appearances "urgent and mesmerizing." McComas will perform pieces from all of his published works as he celebrates his 50th birthday at Woodland Pattern Book Center on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. In addition to McComas' readings, this event will feature a reception, book signing and cake.

Animal advocate and best-selling author Jon Katz will speak at the Wisconsin Humane Society on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. His new book, Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die, is a thoughtful, emotional chronicle of the countless ways in which animals have changed the lives of their owners. It provides guidance and support for how one can heal after the death of a pet.