Join Us in Welcoming Trina Robbins to Chicago this March!

March 2, 2017By Matt BradyComics Around Town, Special Guests No Comments

At CAKE 2016, we were disappointed that our Special Guest Trina Robbins had to cancel her appearance due to health concerns, but luckily, we were still able to have her come to Chicago this spring for some local events:

Wimmin’s Comix

Wednesday, March 15
5:00-6:00 PM
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
37 S Wabash Ave, Chicago

In 1970, Trina Robbins produced the very first all-woman comic book, It Ain’t me, Babe. In 1972, she was one of the founding mothers of Wimmin’s Comix, the longest-lasting women’s anthology comic book. (1972–1992). In the mid-1980s, tired of hearing publishers and editors say that girls don’t read comics and that women had never drawn comics, she co-wrote (with Catherine Yronwode) Women and the Comics, the first of what would become a series of histories of women cartoonists. She has been responsible for rediscovering previously forgotten early women cartoonists like Nell Brinkley, Tarpe Mills, and Lily Renee. Her new book, Babes in Arms, due out in Summer 2017, collects the work of four Golden Age women who fought the Axis with pen and ink, drawing comics that starred beautiful, courageous women who didn’t need to be rescued by some guy.

This lecture is open to the public, but non-SAIC attendees must have a state issued ID to check in with security upon entering the building.

Join the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/748499208652940/

Women, Culture, and Comics

Thursday, March 16
6:00-8:00 PM
UIC Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
800 South Halsted Street, Chicago

As part of Chicago’s centennial celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks, Trina Robbins’ talk will focus on women and diversity in comics as vehicles for cultural understanding and social change. Her talk will draw from her various works, including the Junior Library Guild Selection graphic novel Chicagoland Detective Agency: The Drained Brains Caper and her forthcoming book Babes in Arms. A book-signing will follow.

Please RSVP at http://go.uic.edu/trinarobbins

About Trina Robbins

In 1970, Trina Robbins produced the very first all-woman comic book, It Ain’t me, Babe. In 1972 she was one of the founding mothers of Wimmin’s Comix, the longest-lasting women’s anthology comic book (1972 – 1992). In the mid-1980s, tired of hearing publishers and editors say that girls don’t read comics and that women had never drawn comics, she co-wrote (with Catherine Yronwode) Women in the Comics, the first of what would become a series of histories of women cartoonists.  She has been responsible for rediscovering previously forgotten early women cartoonists like Nell Brinkley, Tarpe Mills, and Lily Renee.  Her new book, Babes in Arms, due out in Summer, 2017, collects the work of four Golden Age women who fought the Axis with pen and ink, drawing comics that starred beautiful, courageous women who didn’t need to be rescued by some guy.

Applications for TRANSIT’s Third Annual CHIPRC Inbound Residency Are Open!

January 15, 2017By Matt BradyCAKE, Comics Around Town No Comments
2016’s TRANSIT Artists in Residence, Sarah McNeil and Chris Gooch, who traveled to Chicago from Australia!

We’re excited to announce that applications for TRANSIT and the Chicago Publisher’s Resource Center (CHIPRC)’s third annual inbound comics artist residency are now open! This residency gives artists from outside the Chicago area the opportunity to focus on their craft with the goal of self-publishing new work, as well as to share their process with others in Chicago’s self-publishing community. This two-week residency will take place from May 28 – June 11, 2017, and it will culminate with table space and a presentation given during the 2017 Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE), which will take place on Saturday, June 10 & Sunday, June 11. For more information about the residency and instructions for how to apply, please visit TRANSIT’s call for entries page.

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 2017 Application Extension PLUS! 2017’s Poster Artist

November 29, 2016By Matt BradyCAKE No Comments

The deadline to apply to exhibit at CAKE 2017 was today, November 28th, but in order to make sure everyone has enough time to apply, we’ve extended the deadline to December 12th. Next year’s Chicago Alternative Comics Expo will take place June 10–11 at the Center on Halsted, and you can apply here: https://goo.gl/forms/vwMkOQJTKM2umCiI2.

Announcing the Poster Artist for CAKE 2017: Anya Davidson!

cake-web-banner-final-layers

We’re proud to announce that Anya Davidson will be providing the official artwork for CAKE 2017! Here’s a sample of what she has in store, and you’ll be seeing more of her great art on our posters, banners, and badges!

Announcing the 2017 CAKE exhibitor application, 2016’s Cupcake award winner, and new CAKE organizers!

November 7, 2016By Matt BradyCAKE No Comments

Apply to CAKE

While it’s still more than half a year from now, it’s time to start planning for CAKE 2017! Next year’s Chicago Alternative Comics Expo will take place June 10–11 at the Center on Halsted, and exhibitor applications are now open. You can apply here: https://goo.gl/forms/vwMkOQJTKM2umCiI2. The application period will run until November 28, 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 third annual Cupcake Award to Kelly Fernandez! 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, Fernandez 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 Caitlin McGurk,  Associate Curator for Outreach and Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.
kelly-fernandez-comic

Meet the CAKE 2017 Organizers

We’re proud to announce our organizing committee for CAKE 2017, which includes several new members:

With this great team on board, we’re looking forward to making CAKE 2017 a success. Please stay tuned for future announcements, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch. See you in 2017!

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.

The Deadline to Apply for the 2016 Cupcake Award is July 31!

July 25, 2016By Matt BradyCAKE No Comments

This Could Be You!

Cupcake Winner 2016

Pictured above: 2015’s Cupcake Award Winner Goda Trakumaite receives recognition at CAKE 2016.

The deadline for applying for the 2016 Cupcake Award is coming up on July 31! Please visit our Cupcake Award page to apply.

We spoke to last year’s winner, Goda Trakumaite, about her experience:

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

The award application felt pretty simple and straightforward with just a one page proposal required. It was kind of nice and helpful to go through the application process, because it gave me an opportunity to really think through what comic project I wanted to work on next, whether or not I would receive the award.

What did you learn when creating your comic?

I hadn’t worked on a comic with an external deadline before and this was a good experience. I ended up taking about 7 months to make the book where a similar length comic had taken me twice that long previously. It was cool to push myself and see that that is possible.

What was it like working with John Porcellino as a mentor?

It was really encouraging to work with John as a mentor. He gave me some helpful tips about process, especially about writing and narrative, but it was also helpful to be able to ask him practical questions like “how many books should I print?” and “how much should I charge for them?” – stuff that as someone new to this world and without lots of connections within it I didn’t have a good context for. Marnie, who was my contact for award stuff at CAKE, was also super helpful in regards to these kinds of questions.

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

This was a really cool, positive and encouraging opportunity/experience for me and if you’re thinking about applying then you should definitely do it!

Apply Now!

Applications are now open for the third 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 judge Caitlin McGurk, the Associate Curator for Outreach & Assistant Professor at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. 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, 2016. 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!

Please Apply for the Cupcake Award!

June 28, 2016By Matt BradyCAKE No Comments

Applications are now open for the third 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 judge Caitlin McGurk, the Associate Curator for Outreach & Assistant Professor at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. 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, 2016. 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 Stands in Solidarity With the Queer Community Following the Orlando Shooting

June 17, 2016By Matt BradyUncategorized No Comments

CHICAGO—In response to the horrific attack that took place at Pulse nightclub in Orlando this past weekend, the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) would like to express its solidarity with the Queer community by donating to Equality Florida and The Center on Halsted. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer people are a vital presence in the alternative comics scene, and for four years, CAKE has taken place at the Center on Halsted, a North Side haven for many LGBTQ people. The organizers are incredibly grateful for the welcoming, inclusive home it provides the Expo. We are proud to stand with our LGBTQ neighbors, both in times of violence such as these, and in the times of peace we hope for in the future.

The evil acts committed in Orlando do not represent the sentiments of the majority of Americans, and with our donation we hope to demonstrate this fact. We encourage fans and friends of CAKE to show their support by donating as well. Our thoughts and hearts are with everyone affected by the tragedy in Orlando.

Thanks for an Amazing CAKE! Please Fill Out Our Survey!

June 13, 2016By Matt BradyCAKE No Comments

Thanks to all our attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, and especially our awesome volunteers for an incredible CAKE weekend! We hope that you met some great artists, purchased some incredible books, and witnessed a fantastic panel or workshop!

The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo is a free, volunteer run festival. If you want to show your appreciation in some way, please consider filling out our survey for this year. The survey is open to both exhibitors and attendees. Your feedback on CAKE weekend is incredibly helpful in making CAKE better and better each year! Thank you again for your attendence this year, and we hope to see you at CAKE 2017!

CAKE Begins Tomorrow! Don’t Forget This Important Info

June 10, 2016By Matt BradyCAKE No Comments

CAKE 2016 is almost upon us! Please see below for important information about the Expo:

Hours, Location, and Directions:

CAKE will take place from 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM on Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12 at the Center on Halsted, located at 3656 N Halsted, Chicago, IL 60613.

For directions to the Center on Halsted, please visit this page.

Other Information:

The map below displays the layout of CAKE:

While not marked on the map, the "A" side of each table is next to the preceeding table, while the "B" side of each table is next to the proceeding table.

Helpful links:

Guest and Exhibitor List

Schedule of Panels and Workshops

A Guide to Kid-Friendly Exhibitors

Important Resources for CAKE Weekend

We look forward to seeing you at CAKE, and we hope you have a great time! Thanks to all of our sponsors, guests, exhibitors, and attendees!

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 fifth annual CAKE will take place Saturday, June 11, and Sunday, June 12, 2016, at the Center on Halsted, 3656 North Halsted Avenue in Chicago. For any questions about about CAKE, please email cakexpo@gmail.com.

CAKE Announcement: Trina Robbins Cancellation, Eddie Campbell Steps In

June 9, 2016By Matt BradyCAKE, Programming, Special Guests No Comments

We’re sad to announce that due to health concerns, our Special Guest Trina Robbins will be unable to attend CAKE 2016. We will miss her wisdom, her enthusiasm, and her spirit this year, but we send her good energy for a speedy recovery! We’d also like to remind you that the collected edition of Wimmen’s Comix will be available from Fantagraphics at the show, so—if you haven’t already picked up a copy of this beautiful collection, or of Trina’s stunning 2013 book Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013—well, what are you waiting for?!

When they heard about this change in schedule, Eddie Campbell—the creator of the autobiographical Alec, the mythic Bacchus and, with Alan Moore, the classic graphic novel From Hell—and Top Shelf Productions publisher Chris Staros, both tremendous fans of Trina’s four decades of work as a cartoonist and herstorian, offered to step in.

Eddie Campbell PHOTOChris Staros PHOTO

CAKE is proud to announce that Eddie and Chris will be taking part in a conversation about their twenty years of work together. So please join us on Saturday, June 11th from 1:00-2:00 pm at the Hoover-Leppen Theater at the Center on Halsted for a wide-ranging conversation about the art and practice of alternative comics from two of the innovators in the field.

If you have any questions, please contact us at cakexpo@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing you at CAKE this weekend!