The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE), a weekend-long festival celebrating independent comics, is proud to announce that Sara Drake is the recipient of the inaugural Cupcake Award. Launched at the June 2014 CAKE, the Cupcake Award emerges from CAKE’s commitment to support independent comics, self-publishing and community. As the winner of the first Cupcake Award, Drake will receive $250 to support the printing of a new comic, a free half table at the 2015 CAKE show, and mentorship support from special guest juror Annie Koyama of Koyama Press. Alexander Rothman, Sab Meynert and Rebekka Dunlap received honorable mentions.

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“When I agreed to judge the first Cupcake award,” Koyama says, “I anticipated some good work but wasn’t prepared for the quality of the final twenty submissions. It was very difficult to narrow those entries down to four winners. I look forward to seeing new work from all of the finalists and congratulations to this year’s winner.”

Cupcake Award winner Sara Drake is a Chicago artist who has been making comics since 2010 and experimenting with storytelling in a variety of mediums, including illustration, shadow puppetry, criticism and performance. She will use the Cupcake Award to produce two sections of a serialized comic, “Operation Menu,” that investigates the illegal and secretive U.S. carpet bombing of Cambodia in 1969-1970.

“I am thrilled to be the initial recipient of the Cupcake Award,” says Drake. “What a risky honor to be the first of anything. CAKE has been pivotal in giving shape and support to Chicago’s abundance of independent creators – a cohort to which I am forever indebted.”

“Operation Menu” will debut at CAKE, which will return to Chicago on Saturday, June 6 through Sunday, June 7, 2015 from 11am – 6pm with over 200 local, national and international exhibitors at Center on Halsted located at 3656 N. Halsted Ave. Free and open to the public, CAKE is returning for a fourth year to celebrate the diverse community of underground and alternative comic artists, publishers and fans in Chicago.

Applications for CAKE 2015 exhibitors are now open: http://www.cakechicago.com/2015-cake-exhibitor-application

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All applications will be reviewed by the CAKE advisory committee, which is an open body consisting of members of the Chicago alternative comics community. All applications submitted on or before December 15, 2014 will be reviewed within the month of January and applicants will be informed by January 26, 2015 as to whether they are offered a space at the expo, or if they are on the waiting list.

About Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE)
CAKE is inspired by Chicago’s rich legacy as home to many of underground and alternative comics’ most talented artists– past, present and future. Featuring comics for sale, workshops, exhibitions, panel discussions and more, CAKE is dedicated to fostering community and dialogue amongst independent artists, small presses, publishers and readers.