CAKE 2015 Special Guest Announcement: Wilfred Santiago!


CAKE is pleased to announce that Wilfred Santiago will be joining us as a Special Guest for CAKE 2015! Wilfred is a cartoonist and illustrator from the Chicago area and the author of Michael Jordan: Bull On Parade, scheduled to be released in January 2015 by Fantagraphics Books. His first professional work was seen in the DC Comics/Milestone Media series Static, and since then he has gone on to create the original graphic novel In My Darkest Hour and the best-selling comics biography 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente, and he has had illustrations published in Sports Illustrated, The Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere. He publishes Goodwilfred Sunday Magazine every first Sunday of the month with his wife. For more information, we suggest reading this interview at The Comics Journal, or this interview at Comics Alliance.


CAKE’s organizers are happy to have such a unique talent as Wilfred Santiago as a special guest at CAKE 2015. We’re especially excited to promote his Michael Jordan biography to the massive number of Chicago Bulls fans here in the Windy City, and we think they will be thrilled to see their hometown hero’s on-court exploits depicted so dynamically. Wilfred has a stunning ability to capture both thrilling sports action and human detail on the comics page, and we’re proud to welcome him to CAKE.


The Fourth Annual Chicago Alternative Comics Expo will take place on Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 2015 at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N Halsted Ave. Applications for CAKE 2015 exhibitors are now open: The deadline for applying is December 15, 2014. If you have any questions about CAKE, please contact us at


CAKE 2015 Special Guest Announcement: Zak Sally!


CAKE is excited to announce that Zak Sally will be a Special Guest for CAKE 2015! Zak is a writer, musician, educator, and cartoonist who has been prominent in the world of independent comics for more than a decade. He is most well known for his Sammy The Mouse series (published by Fantagraphics, La Mano, and Uncivilized Books), as well as the Eisner-nominated Recidivist, of which the 4th volume was just released. You can find out more about Zak at his website, on Twitter, and on Facebook. You could also listen to this interview with Zak Sally on the Comics Alternative Podcast, or this interview conducted by Tom Spurgeon at the Comics Reporter.


Zak Sally has been making comics for 30 years, having made his first mini comic when he was 13 years old. In the intervening years he has been a line cook, a dishwasher, a “professional musician” (in minimalist rock band Low), had a bit part in a Steve Martin movie, written for the Village Voice, sold the dyed t shirts on Telegraph Ave, taught college courses in comics (even though he barely made it through high school), started his own art school (Schoolhaus/A4, with Dan Ibarra of Aesthetic Apparatus), been a correspondent for ABC news online, and founded La Mano, an award winning micro press where the DIY/handmade ethic is taken beyond any sane and reasonable bounds. He is the cartoonist behind Recidivist and Sammy The Mouse, and might be working on a novel right now. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and 2 kids.


CAKE organizers are proud to welcome Zak as a special guest. He is a hard-working and admired comics maker, and his small press, La Mano, stands as a paragon of independent publishing. In addition to his immediate work in comics, we are excited by his commitment to interdisciplinary comics education with Schoolhaus. We see his commitment to alternative comics as an inspiring force, which stretches to our collective past and connects to the future of the medium. We’re also looking forward to hearing him and his band play while he is in town! We couldn’t be happier to have him join us as a part of CAKE 2015.


The Fourth Annual Chicago Alternative Comics Expo will take place on Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 2015 at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N Halsted Ave. Applications for CAKE 2015 exhibitors are now open: The deadline for applying is December 15, 2014. If you have any questions about CAKE, please contact us at


CAKE 2015 Special Guest Announcement…. THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERS


CAKE is delighted to announce that Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez will be joining us for CAKE 2015! Jaime and Gilbert are best known for their collaborative series Love and Rockets, which they have been releasing in a number of formats since 1981.  In addition to Love and Rockets, both Jaime and Gilbert have been incredibly prolific, producing a large number of solo works, many of which prominently feature Love and Rockets characters. In just the past few years, Jaime’s God and Science: The Return of the Ti-Girls and The Love Bunglers and Gilbert’s Julio’s Day, Marble Season, Bumperhead, and Loverboys have received a great deal of well-deserved acclaim. The brothers have also been recognized for a number of awards, including Ignatz, Harvey, and Eisner awards for Jaime and a PEN Center Graphic Literature Award for Outstanding Body of Work, a Society of Illustrators Silver Medal, and an Eisner award for Gilbert. We are very excited to hear that Ofelia, the latest collection of Gilbert’s stories from Love and Rockets, will be coming out in January 2015, and Love and Rockets New Stories no. 7, the latest entry in the brothers’ long running-series, will be coming out in February 2015.

  LandR7 Ofelia

CAKE organizers are honored to welcome Jaime and Gilbert as special guests. These two artists have long been an inspiration to readers and creators of comics alike. They are nearly peerless in their talent at creating dynamic and ever changing characters and relationships that continue to evolve and captivate. Jaime and Gilbert have been doing so for decades, and during their long, fruitful careers, they’ve created some of the best artwork and most affecting stories in the history of the medium. We sincerely look forward to welcoming Jaime and Gilbert to Chicago!


The Fourth Annual Chicago Alternative Comics Expo will take place on Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 2015 at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N Halsted Ave. Applications for CAKE 2015 exhibitors are now open: The deadline for applying is December 15, 2014. If you have any questions about CAKE, please contact us at



Cake 2015 Special Guest Announcement: Lale Westvind!

We’re excited to announce another special guest for CAKE 2015: Lale Westvind!


Lale is an exciting and prolific cartoonist and self-publisher working in New York City, regularly releasing issues of several ongoing series, including Hyperspeed to Nowhere, Express Less, and Go Now & Stay Here, along with other “one-shot” comics. Her comic Hot Dog Beach #2 won the 2012 Ignatz award for Promising New Talent, and she was nominated for the Ignatz for Outstanding Comic in 2012 and 2013. An excerpt from her comic Hyperspeed to Nowhere: Return to Entropy was included in The Best American Comics 2014, edited by Scott McCloud. You can learn more about Lale at her website on Tumblr.


CAKE’s organizers are proud to welcome Lale as a special guest. As she continues to create ongoing series, one-shots, and short stories, she proves again and again the efficacy of comics to challenge and expand their visual language as they are being written and as they are being read. She has attended every CAKE festival to date, and we consider her part of the family of Chicago cartoonists. As a special guest, her amazing work will continue to build a deserving audience.


The Fourth Annual Chicago Alternative Comics Expo will take place on Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 2015 at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N Halsted Ave. Applications for CAKE 2015 exhibitors are now open: The deadline for applying is December 15, 2014. If you have any questions about CAKE, please contact us.


Eleanor Davis is a Special Guest for CAKE 2015!

We’re excited to announce our first special guest for CAKE 2015: Eleanor Davis!

Eleanor Davis

Eleanor is a cartoonist and illustrator who lives in Athens, Georgia with her husband, Drew Weing. Her collection of short comics for adults, How To Be Happy, was published in 2014 by Fantagraphics Books. She has also created two comics for kids called The Secret Science Alliance and Stinky. You can learn more about her at her website, on Twitter, and on Tumblr.

How To Be Happy by Eleanor Davis

CAKE organizers are not alone when we declare that we’re big fans of Eleanor’s work, and we are excited to have her as a special guest. Her online comics, printed minicomics and illustration work are full of humor, humanity, and grace, and How to be Happy shines as one of our favorite collections of the past few years. We also consider ourselves enthusiastic fans of Stinky and The Secret Science Alliance, and we’re glad that CAKE will be a chance for the young comics readers of Chicago to get to meet her.


Sara Drake Wins The Inaugural Cupcake Award & Exhibitor Application Opens

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.


“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:


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.


Tuesday, October 21!

The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo will announce the winner of the inaugural Cupcake Award on Tuesday, October 21st!!!

That is also the day we’ll be opening applications for the 2015 expo! Applications will be open until December 15th.

CAKE 2015 will take place June 5 & 6!

See you on Tuesday!


Superheroines Reading & Performance

Join us for hot cider, hearty laughs, and sweet tunes!
Superheroines Closing Event!
Saturday, October 25
4-6 pm.
2556 W Chicago Ave.


CAKE 2015

The Fourth Annual Chicago Alternative Comics Expo will take place on Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7 2015 at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N Halsted Ave. CAKE is free to attend, and will be open to the public 11:00am – 6:00pm each day. Lots of other events will take place around the weekend. Stay tuned for lots of exciting announcements!




The 2014 Chicago Alternative Comics Expo has closed, and we want to thank everyone for a wonderful weekend!

Please take a moment to fill out our attendee survey.

The organizers of the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo would like to thank the following individuals and groups for their assistance in making CAKE 2014 a successful event:
David Alvarado, Jake Austen, Gregory Baldino, Nate Beaty, Sarah Becan , Monte Beauchamp, Matt Brady, Tony Breed, Jeffrey Brown, Ivan Brunetti, Kevin Budnik, Andy Burkholder, Ryan Burns, Jessica Campbell, Tyrell Cannon, Jenna Caravello, Lilli Carré, RJ Casey, Danielle Chennette, Chicago Zine Fest, Caleb Condit, Sarah Marie Coogan, CoProsperity Sphere, Zain Curtis, MK Czerwiec, Alex Dahm, Ezra Claytan Daniels, Anya Davidson, Matt Davis, Jo Dery, Krystal DiFronzo, Sara Drake, Jon Drawdoer, Nick Drnaso, El Is A Sound Of Joy, Edie Fake, Rachel Foss, Glitter Gutz, Terry Grant, Beth Hetland, Keith Herzik, Lyra Hill, Nicole Hollander, Paul Hornschemeier, Hungry Brain, Hunter Husar, Robin Hustle, Joey Jacks, Josh Johannpeter, Mason Johnson, Joanne Kim, Eric Kirsammer, Lucy Knisley, Bret Koontz, Chad Kouri, Steve Krakow, Angee Lennard, Carter Lodwick, Loyola Business Law Clinic, Brett Manning, Edmar, Ben Marcus, Liz Mason, Marieke McClendon, Nancy McClelland, Ian McDuffie, Bernie McGovern, Caitlin McGurk, Ben McLeod, Duncan McKenzie, Meeting Tomorrow, Lane Milburn, Jaclyn Miller, Rebecca Mir, Johnny Misfit, Annie Mok, Corinne Mucha, Rachel Niffenegger-Tinder, Paul Nudd, Onsmith, Peanut Gallery, Leslie Perrine, Caroline Picard, JP Pollard, John Porcellino, George Porteus, Propeller Fund, Pup House, Aaron Renier, Grant Reynolds, Jen Rickert, Eric Rivera, Brad Rohloff, Keiler Roberts, Scott Roberts, Joshua Roma, Isabella Rotman, Marian Runk, Chad Sell, Sam Sharpe, Situations, Harrison Smith-Mooney, Scott Speh, Otto Splotch, Spudnik Press Co-Op, Matt Streets, Jill Summers, Laura Szumowski, Joe Tallarico, Jeremy Tinder, Trubble Club, Jim Trainor, Spike Trotman, Michael Vega, Chris Ware, Sarah Wawrzaszek, Lillie West, Leslie Weibeler, Sua Yoo, and of course to all of our volunteers, exhibitors, special guests and attendees thanks for being a part of CAKE!

We hope to see all of you at the 2015 Chicago Alternative Comics Expo!

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