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.

R. Sikoryak In Conversation with Charles C. Valauskas July 11th, Quimby’s

July 9, 2017

Tuesday, July 11th at 7 PM – 8 PM

Quimby’s Bookstore

1854 W North Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60622

 

In the new graphic novel Terms & Conditions (Drawn & Quarterly), R. Sikoryak tackles the monstrously and infamously dense legal document, iTunes Terms and Conditions, the contract everyone agrees to but no one reads. In a word for word 94-page adaptation, Sikoryak hilariously turns the agreement on its head – each page features an avatar of Apple cofounder and legendary visionary Steve Jobs juxtaposed with a different classic strip such as Mort Walker’s Beatle Bailey, or a contemporary graphic novel such as Craig Thompson’s Blankets or Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis.

“Mischievous, pastiche-heavy artist Robert Sikoryak…upped the difficulty level for his long-term conceptual project: Instead of abridging a book, he lifted the complete text of Apple’s mind-numbing corporate boilerplate, which users must agree to before accessing iTunes, and mashed it up with art invoking more than a century of comics.”—New York Times

R. Sikoryak is the author of Masterpiece Comics (Drawn & Quarterly). His comics and illustrations have appeared in the New Yorker, The Onion, GQ, MAD, SpongeBob Comics, and Nickelodeon Magazine, as well as on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Sikoryak is in the speakers program of the New York Council of the Humanities, and he teaches in the illustration department at Parsons The New School for Design and at The Center for Cartoon Studies. He lives in New York City with his wife, Kriota Willberg.

Charles C. Valauskas is legal counsel to domestic and foreign companies, new ventures, and universities and research foundations. Mr. Valauskas speaks on a regular basis throughout the world on technological and intellectual property topics. He has appeared in articles published in publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the ABA Journal, and Food & Wine.

More info: quimbys.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 2017 Debuts!

June 9, 2017

Every year, we are honored to see comics artists use CAKE as a venue to debut new comics.  Be the first person on the planet to get a copy of these new and innovative titles! You can view our debuts on our 2017 Debut page.
Here are a few titles that will be debuting at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo on June 10 & 11:

Destroyed Cell

by Andy Glass
Table 109b
A new series from Chicago cartoonist Andy Glass. DESTROYED CELL – A hyper-realistic, paranoid and poetic adventure set in a (possible?) future of oppression, resistances, mutation and cataclysmic change! 32 pp, b/w

Half Asleep Volume 7

by Beth Hetland and Kyle O’Connell
Table 502a
The PENULTIMATE volume of Beth and Kyle’s series, Half Asleep! After being submerged for an entire volume in her dreams, some time later and back in reality Ivy begins her journey to the end.
Series summary– at age 11 Ivy Lassette is the youngest student enrolled at the elite college, Ebony-Alerca. Ivy’s studies focus on Hypnology, an experimental discipline that teaches students how to access and inhabit their dream worlds with the same conscious control they experience in waking reality. Ivy’s world-renown and highly demanding professor also happens to be her mother, Dr. Michelle Lassette. Follow Ivy and Dr. Lassette as they navigate the layers of existence attempting to understand the world, each other, and themselves.

Chicago in the Fall

by Cathy Hannah
Table 410b
Diary comic with daily four-panel strips from September – November 2016. About cats, naps, and boys

Is This OK? #7

by Hannah Kaplan
Table 517b
The seventh issue in annually published diary comics series by Hannah Kaplan, “Is This OK?” is a 28-page full-color mini-comic. It contains recent comics drawn entirely in colored pencil. The comics touch on issues such as the recent election, relationships, and the ups and downs in the daily life of a woman in her early thirties who is finally realizing the finitude of life. It’s very funny. You need not have read any other comics in the series to enjoy this publication.

Umbra

by Heberto BICIO
Table 222b
A book about playing with shadows and revealing secrets.

100

by Nou
Table 515
Can you see the answers are all here?

Shadow Hills 10

by Sean Ford
Table 22a
This is the 10th issue of Shadow Hills. It’s the last part in a story about a plague that hits a fracking town and two sisters who are trying to find a way to stop it.
Shadow Hills 10 is a 24pp black and white comic book with full color cover. It is 6.5″ x 8.5″ and printed on nice paper. This issue features a special back cover drawn by Alex Kim. Check out his comics and drawings on Instagram @atronkim

Kindling

by Xia Gordon
Table 515
lines, lights, and emotions.

Workshop: Visual Recipes: The Art of Instructional Comics

June 8, 2017

June 11th, 1:30–2:30 p.m.  Visual Recipes: The Art of Instructional Comics

Do you have a special skill, piece of secret knowledge, family recipe, or weird trick that just has to be shared with the world? Learn how to simply and clearly teach it through the medium of comics. Jessi Zabarsky, who accomplished this very feat in her comic I Want To Eat Everything, will guide participants through the process, showing what it takes to create beautiful and comprehensible instructional comics, using techniques that will help artists make better comics in any genre.  This workshop is sponsored by Revolution Brewing and is appropriate for all ages.

Workshop: Signs of the Times: Abstracting Adaptation

June 8, 2017

June 11th, 3:00–4:00 p.m. Signs of the Times: Abstracting Adaptation

Ron Regé, Jr., is best known for his adaptations of mystical and esoteric texts (The Cartoon Utopia, What Parsifal Saw), but throughout his career he has maintained an interest in the here and now, reflecting on the contemporary political climate. His most recent work, the Regé Deck, a set of cards for divination, responds to current events by reinterpreting Expressionist drawings made by Herman Rosse for Ben Hecht’s 1920s column 1001 Afternoons in Chicago. Regé will describe how he created this project and lead participants through the same process of concentrating complex ideas into the simplest possible statements, using images from the past to wrestle with the present—and maybe create a better future.  This workshop is sponsored by Spudnik Press.

Panel: Comics and Resistance

June 8, 2017

June 11th, 11:30–12:30 p.m. Comics and Resistance

This year, as right-wing extremism has produced a reality-television presidency, Brexit, and the specter of a neo-Nazi-led France, the question emerges: Can activism manifest as art? In this panel discussion, cartoonists Leila Abdelrazaq,  Ben Passmore, Isabella Rotman, and Bianca Xunise will address how comics can galvanize populations to action. Although these artists address varied issues in their work—black alienation, the Palestinian diaspora, sexuality, and intersectionality, to name just a few—their comics are united by their political engagement and how they use the medium to reflect, and critique, society.

This panel is sponsored by Perfectly Acceptable Press.

CAKE 2017 Debuts!

June 7, 2017

Every year, we are honored to see comics artists use CAKE as a venue to debut new comics.  Be the first person on the planet to get a copy of these new and innovative titles! You can view our debuts on our 2017 Debut page.
2dcloud has brought their unique comics voice every year to CAKE. Here are the titles they will be debuting at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo on June 10 & 11. Be sure to visit them at table 515:

Architecture of An Atom

by Juliacks
With Architecture of an Atom, internationally recognized multi-disciplinary artist Juliacks brings her trans-media project to the print realm. Characterized by critics as a member of the immersive school of cartooning, she has sought to trouble the boundaries between fine art and comics throughout her career. A socially conscious, layered work in every sense of the word.

Mirror Mirror II

by Julia Gfrörer & Sean T. Collins
For volume two of 2dcloud’s annual anthology, editors Julia Gfrörer & Sean T. Collins have amassed some of the darkest talents within as well as outside of comics to create a wholly singular reading and visual experience. From masters of horror like Clive Barker to leading figures in altcomics such as Simon Hanselmann, this collection transcends the expectations of what a comics anthology can do. Lala Albert Clive Barker Heather Benjamin Apolo Cacho Sean Christensen Nicole Claveloux Sean T. Collins Al Columbia Dame Darcy Noel Freibert Renee French Meaghan Garvey Julia Gfrörer Simon Hanselmann Claude Paradin Aidan Koch Laura Lannes Céline Loup Uno Moralez Mou Jonny Negron Chloe Piene Josh Simmons Carol Swain Trungles

Sound of Snow Falling

by Maggie Umber
A paint and paper documentary, observing great horned owls in their natural habitat.
Sound of Snow Falling is a graphic novel done in a poetic documentary mode. In this unique work, the reader becomes a voyeur of the natural world, following a great horned owl family through the dead of winter. Extensively researched and expressively painted, Sound of Snow Falling is a triumph of the comics form.

Yours

by Sarah Ferrick
With Yours, the notions of art, poetry, and form collapse into one of the most singular approaches to comics in recent memory. Ferrick’s intimate love letters read as both a confession and a seduction.

Extended Play

by Jake Terrell
Extended Play, the debut collection by Jake Terrell, seizes upon the millennial zeitgeist from an array of angles. From the haze of summer to the conflicting feelings of ennui and hope that guide the figures in Terrell’s magical realist landscapes, there’s an effortlessness to his work that obscures the heightened sense of understanding he brings to the form. Jake Terrell is a cartoonist and illustrator based in Brooklyn, NY. His comics have a loose, confident line, often focusing on a youth-centric cast of characters written into magical realist or measured fantastical narratives.
“Extended Play” is an apt title. The pleasure of Terrell’s line, and his storytelling, is infectious. It’s a battle cry for cartooning as mark making, as line design, for thinking of drawing as handwriting and a form of searching and discovery. It may be his first book, but already he seems to understand what IT is, better than most. I could read his work all day long. — Sammy Harkham