Reel publisher named Hugo’s “Chicago Legend”

A few weeks ago I was surprised by a phone call — and not his usual terse Email — from Michael Kutza, the founder and artistic director of the Chicago International Film Festival and Cinema/Chicago.

Earlier, I had asked Michael, a marvelously gifted graphic designer, if he would do the honors of designing a new logo for the upcoming expanded Reel.

His call raised my hopes for a positive response.

“No, no, no,” he said, adding something about talking about the logo later in the future, meaning: not a chance.

He said tersely, as in an Email: “You’re getting our Hugo Chicago Legend award.”

I’ve been called a lot of things in my 30 years of publishing, but being called a legend is a first.

It is a tremendous honor to be singled out for an achievement award for a lifetime career founded and focused around the Chicago film industry.

Thank you, Del and Ginger Hall for nominating me, to the Hugo Awards committee for the formal designation, and to Michael Kutza for the new logo design. (Just kidding, Michael!)