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

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.

CAKE Sponsor Spotlight: Blick Art Materials

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!

Blick Art Materials

 

Since 1911, artists have turned to Dick Blick Art Materials for dependable savings, a huge selection, and fine customer service on art supplies.

At Blick Art Materials, family owners and dedicated staff support the Visual Art Community by providing the widest selection of art supplies at the lowest prices. With extraordinary service and integrity, they strive to provide artists, educators, students, and employees with the tools, assistance, and training they need to grow, innovate, and reach their creative potential.

CAKE is extremely pleased to partner with Blick Art Materials in 2017 as our Exclusive Sponsor of Art Supplies. Blick’s knowledgeable, dependable, and creative staff have supported us every step of the way. We hope you will visit them at their Chicago stores in the Loop at 42 S. State Street and in Lincoln Park at 1574 N Kingsbury Street..

Click the link below for savings from our sponsor, Blick Art Materials:

http://www.dickblick.com/stores/promotions/ChicagoMktCAKE2017

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.