Saturday, June 2nd:

11:30-12:30   Image, Object, Sequence: Lilli Carré, Nick Drnaso, Fiona Smyth, moderator Jessica Campbell

Special guests Fiona Smyth and Nick Drnaso are joined by favorite local cartoonist Lilli Carré for a conversation about the relationship between images, objects and comics. Each of these three artists has a varied practice that includes other art forms in addition to comics: Drnaso (Sabrina) is a painter; Carré (Heads or Tails) employs a wide range of media including animation, drawing, comics, printmaking, and ceramic sculpture; and Smyth (Somnambulance) is a feminist painter, illustrator and her murals have famously adorned Toronto for over thirty-two years. This conversation, moderated by CAKE organizer Jessica Campbell, will address how various art forms communicate differently and supplement each other.  This panel is sponsored by 826Chi.

1:00-2:00 SPOTLIGHT ON BIANCA XUNISE with moderator Britt Julious

Special guest Bianca Xunise is an illustrator and cartoonist based out of Chicago. Her work primarily focuses on the plight and daily struggles of identifying as a young black feminist weirdo in modern society. Her storytelling can range from simple relatable slice of life content to complex nuanced narratives like police brutality that have garnered her an Ignatz Award for Promising New Talent. Bianca’s work has been published on diverse platforms such as Hello Giggles, The Nib, Bitch Magazine, The Washington Post and NYLON and has been interviewed on platforms such as The BBC, The Nerdist, and Riot Fest. When she’s not doodling away Bianca is usually somewhere dreaming of the mothman, while listening to The Damned. Britt Julious is a writer whose work focuses on the intersection of music, art, race, feminism, culture, and politics. Her work has appeared in many outlets including Vogue, the New York Times, Esquire, ELLE, GQ, Rolling Stone, W magazine, Vice, and The Guardian. This panel is sponsored by Blick.

3:00-4:00 Hollander, Pond, Woodring: Nicole Hollander, Mimi Pond, Jim Woodring, moderator Carol Tilley

Three comics legends and CAKE special guests come together to discuss their decades-long careers in comics. Native Chicagoan Nicole Hollander’s much-loved Sylvia ran from 1981–2012, and she most recently she has completed a graphic memoir, We Ate Wonder Bread. Mimi Pond has created comics for the Los Angeles Times, Seventeen Magazine, National Lampoon, and many other publications, and recently released her two part memoirs, Over Easy (2014), and The Customer is Always Wrong (2017).  Jim Woodring has published dozens of books featuring some of the most surreal imagery ever seen in any artistic medium. They are joined onstage by Carol Tilley, Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whose scholarship focuses on the intersection of young people, comics, and libraries, particularly in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. This panel is sponsored by Print Ninja.

Sunday, June 3rd:

11:30-12:30  GENDER IN COMICS: Penina Gal, Gabe Howell, Carta Monir, Chloe Perkis, moderator: H. Melt

This panel features four exciting young cartoonists who overtly address gender/gender non conformity in their work. Penina Gal’s comics and illustration work has been published in Cicada Magazine, Narratively, Seven Days, Limestone Post, and a variety of comics anthologies; Gabe Howell’s self-published works are largely based around the themes of gender, queer narratives, trauma, and the destigmatization of illness; Carta Monir does regular work for The Nib and hosts the podcast We Should Be Friends; and Chloë Perkis’ psychedelic works, often mirroring the repeating refrains of song, are published by Bred Press. They are joined onstage by H. Melt, a poet and artist whose work proudly documents Chicago’s queer and trans communities. This panel is sponsored by Revolution Brewing and MCA Chicago.

1:00-2:00 Eddie Campbell and Audrey Niffenegger in Conversation

Internationally bestselling author of The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger, and graphic artist Eddie Campbell, of such seminal works as From Hell by Alan Moore, have a discussion on the occasion of the release of their book Bizarre Romance, a collection that celebrates and satirizes love of all kinds. With 16 different stories told through illustrated prose or comic panels, the couple explores the idiosyncratic nature of relationships in a variety of genres from fractured fairy tales to historical fiction to paper dolls. With Niffenegger’s sharp, imaginative prose and Campbell’s diverse comic styles, Bizarre Romance is the debut collection by two of the most important storytellers of our time. This panel is sponsored by Perfectly Acceptable Press.

3:00-4:00  FANDEMONIUM: Carol Tyler, Gina  Wynbrandt, Bianca Xunise and moderator Megan Kirby

Three phenomenal cartoonists and CAKE special guests come together to address their relationship to fandom! Comics luminary Carol Tyler’s most recent book, Fab4 Mania, recreates the exhilaration and excitement of Beatlemania at its height in 1965, her personal obsession with the Beatles, and the odyssey that leads her to the famous Beatles Chicago concert later that year; Chicagoan Gina Wynbrandt’s hilarious book of short stories, Someone Please Have Sex With Me, largely centers around fandom and obsession, from Justin Bieber to Sailor Moon to Kim Kardashian; and Bianca Xunise’s work covers a weird variety of topics, including her immense love of music and goth culture. A self-professed One Direction scholar, moderator Megan Kirby brings these three together for what promises to be a lively discussion about what it means to be a fan. This panel is sponsored by Half Wit Coffee and Spudnik Press.


Saturday, June 2nd:

12:00-1:00 Bump, Set, Spike, Banana Peel: Writing Gag Comics

Do you want to write newspaper-style comics in the tradition of Peanuts, Garfield, and Doonesbury? Join CAKE 2018 special guest Tony Breed as he employs improvisational techniques to practice writing situation-based jokes. Drawing from everyday life, Tony will show you how to build a scenario, find the joke, edit it down, and work within the limitations of the format to make thoughtful, funny narratives come to life! This is an all ages workshop. This panel is sponsored by CHIRP Radio.

1:30-2:30 Doodle Jam! (It’s a Piece of Cake!)

Doodle Jam is a series of fun, fast activities and collaborative games, all based around the act of drawing on Post-It Notes.  Using various drawing materials, cartoonist and Post-It connoisseur Logan Kruidenier will guide you through different methods designed to release your creativity, whether you’re a seasoned artistic veteran or a total doodlin’ newcomer. This Doodle Jam is produced in partnership with the Chicago Publishers Resource Center, and is all ages. This panel is sponsored by Challengers Comics.

3:00-4:00 Drawing the Inside Out: Art, Listening, and Autobiography

In this workshop, comics artist Georgia Webber poses the question “Why do we write about ourselves?” and invites you to join her investigation. Georgia’s comics work has intuitively described her anxiety, chronic pain, and health crises, demonstrating how she uses story to navigate health and the self. Though this workshop will not require its participants to share any personal details, we will see that when we explore our personal language of health and art, discoveries of the self inevitably emerge. Participants will engage in listening exercises, drawing games, and group discussion of how we translate our inner experience to the outer world, and how we value those translations for the connection and understanding they inspire. This panel is sponsored by Fantagraphics.

Sunday, June 3rd:

12:00-1:00 Positive Obsession: Subjects That Inspire Creation

Inspired by Octavia Butler’s essay of the same name, Butler states that “Obsession can be a useful tool if it’s positive obsession. Using it is like aiming carefully in archery.” This workshop, led by Sunmi, Transit’s 2018 inbound Artist-in-Residence at CHIPRC, will demonstrate how to  draw from “positive obsessions.” Through sharing their ideas, perspectives, and techniques, attendees will be inspired to create a new jumping-off point for future zine and comics projects. Drawing supplies and paper will be provided, but attendees are also encouraged to bring their own materials. This panel is sponsored by Quimby’s and Center for Cartoon Studies.

1:30-2:30 A Look at the Book: Bookbinding for Comics & Zines

Join Spudnik Press Cooperative staff and volunteers to create a set of low-cost yet dynamic book structures perfect for comics and zines. Through creative paper cutting and folding, attendees can create 16 page accordion or flutter books from single sheets of paper. The “butterfly stitch” is a great way to upgrade a saddle stitch (aka stapled) zine. Lastly, perfect binding is ideal for comics and zines too thick to staple. Please join us and learn to cut, fold, and glue like the pros by using a few handy tools available at Spudnik Press: Awls, book cradles, score board, and thermal binder. This panel is sponsored by Busy Beaver Button Co.

3:00-4:00  99 Problems But a Pitch Ain’t One

Comics editors work their magic quietly, behind the scenes. Their efforts can make good comics great, but how do they do it? And what should cartoonists know when pitching their work or preparing for editorial input? Join Sweaty Palms editor Sage Coffey, freelance editor Georgia Webber, Lumpen publisher Joe Tallarico, and publisher/editor Dan Stafford of Kilgore Comics as they reveal the ins-and-outs of the editing process and how to present your best work for consideration. Moderated by Tyrell Cannon.
This panel is sponsored by Chicago Printmakers Collaborative.