Announcing the 2015 Cupcake Award Winner: Goda Trakumaite!

November 2, 2015

CAKE is proud to award the second annual Cupcake Award to Goda Trakumaite! 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, Trakumaite 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 John Porcellino. George Porteus and M. Dean received honorable mentions, and we congratulate them for their strong applications.

“I feel really grateful, excited and nervous about this award. I have been drawing for a while but haven’t really ever shared my comics with anyone other than close friends. Applying for this award was kind of a first attempt to go in that direction of more deliberate and wider sharing, I did it just to ‘get in the habit’ of doing stuff like this, and then was really really surprised to get the notifying e-mail. Since then I’ve been re-reading John Porcellino’s work, feeling very moved by it (especially the Hospital Suite book), relating a lot to all the different varieties of anxiety depicted therein, and getting excited to get some feedback and mentorship from such a cool artist. This is all very special to me. Thank you CAKE!” –Goda Trakumaite


The application for CAKE 2016 is now open! To apply, please head to The application period is open until November 30, we encourage you to take your time and put together a strong application. CAKE 2016 will take place June 11 & 12 at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N Halsted Avenue. 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 you may have to We will reply to all questions as quickly as possible.


November 1, 2015
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Click here to apply to the 2016 Chicago Alternative Comics Expo!


CAKE 2016 will take place June 11 & 12 at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N Halsted Avenue. 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.

CAKE is a curated show, and the organizers aim to highlight the best artists working in independent and alternative comics, established and emerging, with an equal care for small press publishers and self-publishing artists. We recognize personal aesthetic preference informs selections but should not drive jurors’ decisions. We hold ourselves to a broader standard than personal aesthetics in order to create the diverse and representative festival for which CAKE has become known. Additionally, CAKE strives to be a demographically inclusive show that reflects, encourages and advances the full diversity of artists working in our community.

For the first round of jurying, we reach out to a broad selection of people in and adjacent to the Chicago comics scene, so that our show best reflects the interests and aesthetic of the wider community. For the second round of jurying, the CAKE organizers make final nudging assessments to lobby for artists who did not make the cut, and to assure that the final exhibitor list reflects the rich variety of creators in alternative comics.

The application period is open for 29 days, we encourage you to take your time and put together a strong application. Please direct any questions you may have to We will reply to all questions as quickly as possible.

CAKE DEBUT: Trash City Comix by Samuel Nigrosh, Zach Dillon, Ryan Doherty

June 4, 2015


Total trash from the Windy City Dumps crew. They tried to kill themselves but it didn’t work so they are making more comics for YOUR pleasure. This collection comes with a special Risographed cover making it worth millions on the second hand SCUM market. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll pay bills & die so get this and feel better for 5 minutes.





Samuel Nigrosh is a Chicago based artist & illustrator who runs Sun Eater Studio.

Visit Samuel’s website, and pick up TITLE at Table 10B June 6 & 7th!

CAKE DEBUT: Soft Violence by Danielle Chenette

June 4, 2015


“Soft Violence” is the story of Penny, who’s luck changes one day while walking through the mall. Enticed by a charismatic saleswoman, Penny decides to purchase a bottle of the cool, new product “Adventure Serum”, which allows the user complete control of their wildest dreams! However, the batch Penny bought (at a slightly reduced price) is well past the expiration date, meaning her results may vary… 24 Pages, B&W.




Danielle Chenette makes comics, paintings, prints, and animations in Chicago IL.

Visit Danielle’s website, and pick up Soft Violence at Table 77A June 6 & 7th!

CAKE DEBUT: Hot Dog Beach #3 by Special Guest, Lale Westvind

June 3, 2015


Mop and Fuzz crash through the green house of Jazzy Milkman’s chaotic desert bungalow on a V8 motorbike “borrowed” from a dead guy. Now if they could just find Jazzy and get the “Big Digger” they might get paid.
Drawn with an overflowing enthusiasm for depicting MOVEMENT and ENERGY.
The third issue of Hot Dog Beach, 40 pages, black and white with color cover, 8×10.5




Lale Westvind is the creator of over a dozen self-published comics including Hot Dog Beach, Hyperspeed to Nowhere and Express Less. She lives and works in her native New York City.

Visit Lale’s website, and pick up Hot Dog Beach #3 at Table 95B June 6 & 7th!

CAKE DEBUT: Dancing with Shadows by Andrew Holmquist

June 3, 2015


Sun tanning next to your boyfriend, he pulls away from a kiss and beckons you into the ocean. You chase him, he swims out and slips from view as a wave rolls towards you. Crash! Space and time split apart, cascading layers of reality upon you, splitting your body into sweaty slices of cheese and tissue paper. You cobble yourself together into a semblance of a man and – SNAP! – its time! Fred Astaire would be proud of the moves you make tip-tapping across the page in a bright yellow suit with matching shoes. Deep sea dive to find a coffin that opens a door onto the best night club that never was and you have yourself a story! No promises that it will make any more sense than this, but oh what a beauty it all is in 3-color risographic glory!


Andrew Holmquist is an artist and cartoonist based in Chicago. He received his BFA (2008) and MFA (2014) degrees from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, each from the department of painting and drawing. His work ranges from paintings to sculpture to video performances and comics, and he is interested in blurring the lines between all of these distinctions.

Visit Andrew’s website, and pick up Dancing With Shadows at Table 20A June 6 & 7th!

CAKE DEBUT: The Serpent Repents by Matt Reints and Kristoffer West Johnson

June 2, 2015


The Serpent Repents is a mini-comic written by Matt Reints with artwork by Kristoffer West Johnson. It is a fictional story about the unexpected spiritual journey of a preacher’s kid growing up in an unusual church.
Published by West Johnson

Matt Reints lives in Minneapolis, MN. He creates mini-comics mostly about slices of small town life but also some high strangeness phenomena.

Visit Matt’s website, and pick up The Serpent Repents at Table 62A June 6 & 7th!

CAKE DEBUT: Past Coasts by Jon Drawdoer

June 2, 2015


“Past Coasts” features queer characters in a psychedelic, literary sci-fi comic. A bubble ship glides above alien coastline. The ship breathes in and out. Regard your life as a passing memory. Listen to your mind underneath the surface of thoughts. Float in the pleasant calm of a universe that makes visual sense. It’s just you and me now, reader. I’ve never stopped trying to understand you.

Jon Drawdoer is an american cartoonist in Chicago, IL. He has written, drawn, and printed the comics Infinite Jest Tijuana Bible, Be the Love 1-2, Guy Gardners, and Apple Orchard. He’s been praised by critic Rob Clough twice. Jon studied cartooning at the Old Town School of Folk Music and the Sequential Artists Workshop (SAW). In 2014, Jon exhibited comics art at SAW and at Challengers Comics.

Visit Jon’s website, and pick up Past Coasts at Table 48A June 6 & 7th!

CAKE DEBUT: Midwestrn Cuban Comics Issue 9 by Odin Cabal

June 2, 2015


The adventures of Pito and Maria continue in Midwestern Cuban Comics Issue 9. Watch as Maria comes to terms with all her sticky family history and her estranged daughter. Also Pito and Maria go to the ballpark and Charlie tries to get some ladies.


Midwestrn Cuban Comics is a small press comics series created by Odin Cabal. The issues are compilations of vignettes revolving around a small cast of characters who come in and out of each others’ lives. Leading the cast and anchoring them together is Maria Garcia, a Cuban American trying to figure out identity and life fulfillment in the Midwestern city of Milwaukee, WI.

Visit Odin’s website, and pick up Midwestrn Cuban Comics Issue 9 at Table 22A June 6 & 7th!

CAKE DEBUT: Esoteric Dialogue #1 & #2 by Scott Bufis & Matthew Salazar

June 1, 2015


Esoteric Dialogue is a series of short stories that take place in a world of strange alternate realities and dark conspiracies. Issue #1 tells the story of five kids in the woods role-playing as different aspects of the New World Order while playing a D&D/Risk-like board game that shows snippets of lesser-told histories that make up a world that eerily resembles our own. Issue #2 contains two stories – the first follows the exploits of two privileged aliens that will stop at nothing to find a way to clean their spaceship without doing any actual work, and the second tells the story of a dejected homeless man who stumbles into a cartoonish wonderland of a world that has been made to be his personal paradise.





Two Tone Comix is a Chicago-based illustrated story collaboration between writer Scott Bufis and illustrator Matthew Salazar. Their comic book series, Esoteric Dialogue, will be debuting at CAKE 2015.

Visit Two Tone Comix’s website, and pick up Esoteric Dialogue #1 & #2 at Table 62B June 6 & 7th!