Announcing the 2019 Cupcake Award Winner: Diana H. Chu!

November 17, 2018

CAKE is pleased to announce the winner of this year’s Cupcake Award: Diana H. Chu!

Diana H. Chu is an illustrator, comics artist, and zinemaker who lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was selected by this year’s guest judge/mentor, Marnie Galloway, and she will use the Cupcake Award grant to create a new minicomic that will debut at CAKE 2019.

“With the mentorship & financial support of the 2019 Cupcake Award, I’m honored to expand the pool of visual narratives with my family’s own stories,” said Diana. “If the goal is to promote exposure / compassion vs. divisiveness, then cheers to this legacy of inter-artist collaboration. Thank you for your generosity, CAKE. I’m beyond thrilled.”

In addition to the winner, four honorable mentions were selected: JJ McLuckie, Clare Rosean, Cee Laverty, and Joe Maccarone.

About the Cupcake Award

The Cupcake Award is a juried prize that supports the publication of a new minicomic by an emerging artist whose work is primarily self-published. The winner of the award receives $250 to print a new minicomic, a free half table at the next year’s CAKE (where their minicomic will debut), and the mentor support of a special guest judge.

The CAKE 2019 Exhibitor Application Is Now Open!

CAKE is now accepting exhibitor applications for CAKE 2019, which will take place on June 1 and 2, 2019. Applications will be accepted through December 9th, 2018. Please apply here: https://goo.gl/forms/tMkoOmYtXJA9oPZG2

We Are Now Accepting Applications for the 2018 Cupcake Award!

August 13, 2018

 

Thanks again to all of our exhibitors, sponsors, volunteers, and attendees for making CAKE 2018 a success! As we begin planning for next year’s CAKE, we are now accepting applications for the fifth annual Cupcake Award.

The Cupcake Award is a juried prize that supports the publication of a new minicomic by an emerging artist whose work is primarily self-published. The winner of the award will receive $250 to print a new minicomic, a free half table at next year’s CAKE (where their minicomic will debut), and the mentor support of this year’s special guest judge, Marnie Galloway. In addition, CAKE will promote the winning artist and their minicomic leading up to next year’s show.

The deadline for the application is September 30, 2018. Please visit our Cupcake Award page for instructions about how to apply, as well as eligibility guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions. If you have any additional questions, please email us at cupcake@cakechicago.com or fill out the form on the Cupcake Award page. We look forward to receiving some great applications, and we’ll see you at next year’s CAKE!

Debuting at CAKE 2018: The Hanging at Limestone Road, by Cupcake Award Winner Adam Griffiths

May 30, 2018

The winner of the fourth annual Cupcake Award, Adam Griffiths, will be debuting the minicomic created as a part of this award at CAKE 2018, which is coming up on June 2 and 3.

The Hanging at Limestone Road

Four boys head into the forest to investigate a reported suicide that may or may not coincide with a local legend. Described by the author as a mix of the “CUBE” sci-fi film series and Stephen King’s “Stand By Me,” this 50-page full-color horror mini-comic was commissioned as part of the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) Cupcake Award, which included guidance and mentoring with artist Edie Fake.

About the Cupcake Award

The Cupcake Award is a juried prize that supports the publication of a new minicomic by an emerging artist whose work is primarily self-published. The winner of the award receives $250 to print a new minicomic, a free half table at the next year’s CAKE (where their minicomic will debut), and the mentor support of a special guest judge.

About CAKE

The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) is a weekend-long celebration of independent comics, 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 among independent artists, small presses, publishers, and readers. For any questions about CAKE, please email cake@cakechicago.com.

Announcing the Special Guests and Poster Artist for CAKE 2018!

March 21, 2018

CAKE 2018 is coming up on June 2 and 3, and we’re proud to announce this year’s poster artist and special guests!

Our artwork for this year was created by Johnny Sampson:

CAKE 2018 Special Guests

Tony Breed

Tony Breed

Tony Breed is the man behind the web comics Muddlers Beat and Finn and Charlie are Hitched (nominated for an Ignatz in 2011). Both are newspaper style slice-of-life-comics with the same cast. Muddlers Beat is about the creative floundering of a group of young and middle-aged people; Hitched tells the story of married gay couple and their friends. Expect jokes about indie rock, romance, sperm banks, and depression. In addition to making comics, Tony is a founding member of Chicago’s CHIRP Radio, where he DJs every Friday morning.

Eddie Campbell

Eddie Campbell has made a career of drawing comics of an idiosyncratic and personal nature, as collected in Alec: The Years Have Pants. At the same time he has lent his graphic abilities to the enormous and internationally bestselling graphic novel, From Hell, written by Alan Moore. He has been married to novelist Audrey Niffenegger for two years and together they have created the book, Bizarre Romance. He is also a writer on the history and theory of comics and The Goat Getters is his latest contribution to that line of inquiry.

Nick Drnaso

Nick Drnaso was born in 1989 and grew up in Palos Hills, Illinois. He is the author of Beverly (2016) and Sabrina (2018), both published by Drawn & Quarterly. He lives in Chicago.

Nicole Hollander

Nicole Hollander is best known for her syndicated comic strip, Sylvia. Her work has been archived in the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library at Ohio State University, alongside Roz Chast’s, Bill Watterson’s, and other greats. She has published fifteen books. She lives in Chicago.

Audrey Niffenegger

Audrey Niffenegger is a writer and artist who makes artists books, prints, comics and novels. Her books The Time Traveler’s Wife, Raven Girl, Her Fearful Symmetry and others have been published internationally. She’s married to Eddie Campbell and they have collaborated on a new book, Bizarre Romance.

Mimi Pond

Mimi Pond is a cartoonist, illustrator, humorist and writer. Her graphic memoir, “The Customer is Always Wrong,” was by Drawn and Quarterly in Spring 2017. It is the long-awaited 400 pages+ sequel to 2014’s “Over Easy,” which detailed her post-art school waitressing career in the late 1970s in Oakland Ca. Pond has created comics for the Los Angeles Times, Seventeen Magazine, National Lampoon, and many other publications too numerous to mention, along with five humor books. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, the painter Wayne White.

Fiona Smyth

Fiona Smyth is a feminist painter, illustrator, and cartoonist. For thirty-two years she has covered Toronto and elsewhere with her distinctive female charged graphics. She illustrated writer and sex educator Cory Silverberg’s Kickstarter funded picture book “What Makes A Baby” in 2012, re-released by Seven Stories Press in 2013. The second book in the series, “Sex Is A Funny Word,” was named a 2016 ALA Stonewall Book Award Honor book and won the 2016 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction. Fiona collaborated with writer Mariko Tamaki for her story in “Secret Loves of Geek Girls”, and cartoonist Ron Rege Jr. on Perish Plains Volume 4 for Perish Publishing. Her comics can be found in Resist #1 and 2, edited by Francoise Mouly and Nadja Spiegelman.

Carol Tyler

Carol Tyler is a cartoonist whose autobiographical stories reflect her struggles and joys as an artist, worker, wife, and mother. In 2016, Tyler received the Cartoonist Studio Prize from the Slate Book Review. The legendary cartoonist Robert Crumb describes her work as having “…the extremely rare quality of genuine, authentic heart. Hers are the only comics that ever brought me to the verge of tears.”

Georgia Webber

Georgia Webber is a cartoonist living in Toronto, where she is the Comics Editor for carte blanche and a freelance comics editor working directly with artists to realize their best work. She is known for Dumb, her autobiographical comics series about living with a vocal disability.

Jim Woodring

Jim Woodring’s cartoons chart a course through some of the most surreal imagery ever seen in any artistic medium, drawing visions from the realms of the subconscious to create a graphic world of dreams. Jim’s work has taken him around the world, from Australia to Alaska to Oslo, and has garnered him numerous awards, including an Artist Trust Gap Award in 2003, a 2008 Artist Trust Fellowship; an Inkpot Award at the 2008 Comic-Con International in San Diego; a Rasmuson Foundation, and most recently, The Stranger named Jim their 2010 Literature Genius.

Gina Wynbrandt

Gina Wynbrandt (b.1990) is an artist from Chicago. Her work has been featured in The Best American Comics and nominated for an Ignatz award. She loves sitcoms, teen pop stars, makeup, the Internet, and being the center of attention. Her first book, Someone Please Have Sex With Me, has been translated into Danish, Spanish, and Norwegian.

Bianca Xunise

Bianca Xunise is an illustrator and cartoonist based out of Chicago. Her work primarily focuses on the plight and daily struggles as identifying as a young black feminist weirdo in modern society. Her story-telling 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.

Join Us on April 20 for Our Annual Art Auction!

CAKE’s annual art auction fundraiser will be taking place on Friday, April 20 at 826CHI, located at 1276 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. The event takes place from 7:00-10:00 PM, and it will feature live comics readings and a chance to bid on original artwork by some great cartoonists. Admission is $10, or $15 with a drink and a raffle ticket. Please join us!

About CAKE

The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) is a weekend-long celebration of independent comics, 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 among independent artists, small presses, publishers, and readers. The seventh annual CAKE will take place Saturday, June 2, and Sunday, June 3, 2018, at the Center on Halsted, 3656 North Halsted Avenue in Chicago. For any questions about CAKE, please email cake@cakechicago.com.

The CAKE 2018 Exhibitor Application Is Now Open!

November 6, 2017

We’re pleased to announce that CAKE is now accepting applications to exhibit at CAKE 2018! Next year’s Chicago Alternative Comics Expo will take place June 2–3 at the Center on Halsted. You can apply here: https://goo.gl/forms/55w4ftpBYnCHMqMU2. The application period will run until November 30, so we encourage you to take your time and put together a strong application.

CAKE is a curated show, and the organizers aim to highlight the best artists, both established and emerging, working in independent and alternative comics, displaying equal care for small press publishers and self-publishing artists. Through a jurying process that involves many members of Chicago’s comics community, we strive to create the diverse and representative festival for which CAKE has become known. Additionally, we strive to produce a demographically inclusive show that reflects, encourages, and advances the full depth and breadth of artists working in our community.

CAKE’s standard table space is a half table (3′ x 2.5′). A registration fee of $65 is due upon acceptance into CAKE. There is no application fee. Please direct any questions to exhibitors@cakechicago.com. We will reply to all queries as quickly as possible.

The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) is a weekend-long celebration of independent comics, 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 among independent artists, small presses, publishers, and readers. The seventh annual CAKE will take place Saturday, June 2, and Sunday, June 3, 2018, at the Center on Halsted, 3656 North Halsted Avenue in Chicago. For any questions about CAKE, please email cake@cakechicago.com.

Announcing the 2018 CAKE exhibitor application and 2017’s Cupcake award winner!

October 25, 2017

Hello, everyone,

While it’s only fall, the time has already come to begin planning for CAKE 2018! Next year’s Chicago Alternative Comics Expo will take place June 2–3 at the Center on Halsted, and exhibitor applications will open on Monday, November 6. The application form will be available at cakechicago.com. The application period will run until November 30, so we encourage you to take your time and put together a strong application.

CAKE is a curated show, and the organizers aim to highlight the best artists, both established and emerging, working in independent and alternative comics, displaying equal care for small press publishers and self-publishing artists. Through a jurying process that involves many members of Chicago’s comics community, we strive to create the diverse and representative festival for which CAKE has become known. Additionally, we strive to produce a demographically inclusive show that reflects, encourages, and advances the full depth and breadth of artists working in our community.

CAKE’s standard table space is a half table (3′ x 2.5′). A registration fee of $65 is due upon acceptance into CAKE. There is no application fee. Please direct any questions to exhibitors@cakechicago.com. We will reply to all queries as quickly as possible.

The Winner Is…

CAKE is proud to award the fourth annual Cupcake Award to Adam Griffiths! Adam is a cartoonist, illustrator, artist living in Takoma Park, MD. He was excited to receive the award, saying, “I was surprised and honored to be selected by the superb cartoonist and storyteller Edie Fake as the Cupcake Award winner for 2018! For someone like myself who is really just beginning to release books, getting feedback from a seasoned creator about my narrative methods and materials presentation is a priceless opportunity that can only improve the quality of the stories I have to tell.”

Adam just released the first installment of his graphic novel Washington White (pictured below), which can be purchased at http://adamgriffithscartoonist.bigcartel.com/.

Launched in 2014, the Cupcake Award emerges from CAKE’s commitment to support independent comics and the self-publishing community. As the winner of this year’s Cupcake Award, Adam will receive $250 to support the printing of a new comic; a free half table at the 2016 CAKE festival, where the comic will debut; and mentorship support from special guest juror Edie Fake.

About CAKE

The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) is a weekend-long celebration of independent comics, 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 among independent artists, small presses, publishers, and readers. The sixth annual CAKE will take place Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11, 2017, at the Center on Halsted, 3656 North Halsted Avenue in Chicago. For any questions about about CAKE, please email cakexpo@gmail.com

The Deadline to Apply for the 2017 Cupcake Award Is Coming Soon!

July 20, 2017

The deadline for applying for the 2017 Cupcake Award is coming up on July 31! Please visit our Cupcake Award page to apply.

We spoke to last year’s winner, Kelly Fernandez, about her experience:

What was the process of applying for the Cupcake award like?

The hardest part of applying for the Cupcake award was thinking of a story to submit. I spent days racking my brain trying to come up with a compelling fiction story, but I always felt like nothing was good enough. Then I thought: “Why don’t I just tell my story?” I was nervous because I had never made an autobiographical comic, but I decided to just do it!

What did you learn when creating your comic?

I learned that making comics involves taking care of yourself, too. While working on my final art, I barely ate, slept, or spoke to anyone. It wasn’t healthy. Deadlines, taking feedback, and working with others is a vital part of working in comics, so learning how to handle the pressure of these things was important for me. You need to take breaks to destress, exercise, and recharge.

How did you like working with this year’s guest judge/mentor, Caitlin McGurk?

Caitlin was great; she was so supportive and friendly. She was always there to help me not only with my project for the Cupcake award, but also to give me advice about school and my career. I’m very grateful to have had her as my mentor, and I hope we stay friends for a long time.

Do you have any other thoughts about CAKE or the Cupcake award, or any words of encouragement for people who apply?

CAKE and winning the Cupcake award was an incredible experience, and I strongly encourage people to apply! I learned so much and met so many great people, and I would do it again if I could.

About the Cupcake Award

The Cupcake Award is a juried prize that supports the publication of a new minicomic by an emerging artist whose work is primarily self-published. The winner of the award receives $250 to print a new minicomic, a free half table at the next year’s CAKE (where their minicomic will debut), and the mentor support of a special guest judge.

About CAKE

The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) is a weekend-long celebration of independent comics, 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 among independent artists, small presses, publishers, and readers. For any questions about CAKE, please email cake@cakechicago.com.

Applications Are Now Open for the Cupcake Award!

June 12, 2017

Now that CAKE 2017 is over, we are accepting applications for the fourth annual Cupcake Award, a juried prize that supports the publication of a new minicomic by an emerging artist whose work is primarily self-published. The winner of the award will receive $250 to print a new minicomic, a free half table at next year’s CAKE (where their minicomic will debut), and the mentor support of our special guest Edie Fake. In addition, CAKE will promote the winning artist and their minicomic leading up to next year’s show.

The deadline for the application is July 31, 2017. Please visit our Cupcake Award page for instructions about how to apply, as well as eligibility guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions. If you have any additional questions, please email us at cupcake@cakechicago.com or fill out the form on the Cupcake Award page. We look forward to receiving some great applications, and we’ll see you at next year’s CAKE!

CAKE Sponsor Spotlight: Center on Halsted

June 5, 2017

CAKE is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization, and if it wasn’t for the support of our generous sponsors, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. We wanted to take the time to spotlight our amazing sponsors, and we encourage you to support them!

Center on Halsted

Center on Halsted is the Midwest’s most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people of Chicagoland. More than 1,000 community members visit the Center every day, located in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview Neighborhood.

We are open to the public every day from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

We work hard to provide a safe and welcoming environment with programs and services for the entire community. Our programs range from volleyball, dance performances and cooking classes to rapid HIV testing, group therapy and vocational training. We partner regularly with other organizations and groups from across Chicago and the nation to provide additional programming for the community.

Center on Halsted also serves as an incubator for a number of smaller LGBTQ non-profit organizations, called Resident Partners. We provide operational support, space and resources for organizations that may otherwise find it difficult to interact and grow.

In addition, there is a Whole Foods Market in the building with two levels of underground parking at Center on Halsted (note, parking is exclusively for Whole Foods customers). Free wi-fi access is available throughout the building including our lobby, reading library and our rooftop terrace. We also offer meeting and reception space, with special discounts for non-profit community groups.

For more information, please check out our programs and events pages. And check out our get involved pages to find out how you can help us advance the LGBTQ community. We hope to see you at the Center soon!

About CAKE

The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) is a weekend-long celebration of independent comics, 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 among independent artists, small presses, publishers, and readers. The sixth annual CAKE will take place Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11, 2017, at the Center on Halsted, 3656 North Halsted Avenue in Chicago. For any questions about CAKE, please email cakexpo@gmail.com.

CAKE Sponsor Spotlight: The Empty Bottle

June 5, 2017

CAKE is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization, and if it wasn’t for the support of our generous sponsors, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. We wanted to take the time to spotlight our amazing sponsors, and we encourage you to support them!

The Empty Bottle

In 1992 the Empty Bottle started out as a cat-ridden hole-in-the-wall bar in Ukrainian Village (just south of Wicker Park) where you could get any one of nine beers for a buck-fifty or less, play pool for 50 cents, and find everything from Monster Magnet to Bill Monroe on the jukebox. On Halloween of 1993, we moved two blocks up the street and threw open the doors to our new, sound-equipped, slightly larger hole with three nights of great shows, culminating with a SCRAWL performance that could have been a scene out of “Carrie.” We’ve done a bunch of shows since then; in fact, we’ve been anything but empty these last 20 or so years, thanks to the same low prices, lack of attitude, and dedicated regulars that made the original bar such a success.

About CAKE

The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) is a weekend-long celebration of independent comics, 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 among independent artists, small presses, publishers, and readers. The sixth annual CAKE will take place Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11, 2017, at the Center on Halsted, 3656 North Halsted Avenue in Chicago. For any questions about CAKE, please email cakexpo@gmail.com.