Lale Westvind’s paintings

October 8, 2012By GraceCAKE, Exhibitors

While mindlessly surfing the Internet, I am always pleased to come across familiar names and faces. My dreary Monday took a pleasant turn when I found myself looking at paintings by Lale Westvind, who debuted Hot Dog Beach #2 at CAKE this past June (and won Promising New Talent at SPX 2012 — congrats!).

There is a beautiful, murky earthiness to these paintings — a palpable sense of space and time. I especially liked this one:

I love Lale’s comics, and it was fascinating for me to see her paintings. Go here to see them for yourself, and then go check out Lale’s comics here.




‘Mazing Minis with Zettwoch!

October 2, 2012By JeffCAKE

2012 Cake Exhibitor Dan Zettwoch has been putting out some incredible work for a long time. I just picked up a couple of his new minis at SPX; Red bird #2, and Te-Tales #1. Each new Zettwoch comic is always packed to the gills in cool fold outs and labeled cross sections that will make your eyeballs pop. He’s also a silk screening maniac, and each cover is an example of his great eye for detail and his unique design sensibility.
Also be sure to buy his graphic novel, Birdseye Bristoe and keep up with Dan’s newest wonders and oddities at his blog.

Thanks for a Great Weekend!

June 25, 2012By NeilCAKE
Special Guest John Porcellino at CAKE, photo by Andrew Stamm (

Whew! Here we are, with CAKE a week behind us. We want to thank exhibitors, publishers and visitors for joining us at CAKE this year. We learned a lot this first time ‘round, and we also had a good time. It was great to meet new people and to see old friends, and exhilarating on all the incredible comic books.

If you want to re-live CAKE, check out The Comics Reporter’s collective memory of CAKE. We started a Flickr pool here, where you can post your photos, and you can also find a photo gallery of CAKE here. We also have audio and video footage from programming, which we plan to get online soon – stay tuned.

Real Life, a round table on Women and Graphic Autobiography, photo by Andrew Stamm (

We’ve been reading exhibitor, publisher, and visitor reviews of the weekend as they pop up on websites and blogs, and we want to thank them for their kind words and their honesty. As we begin working on CAKE 2013, we will take your comments and suggestions into consideration. We hope that you continue to give us feedback on this year’s event. Please feel free to email us with your thoughts at

Thank you to Jill Summers and Mairead Case at Columbia College for their immeasurable help. Thank you to our sponsors who helped us make CAKE possible. Thank you to the exhibitors and publishers who took a chance on a first time show. And thank you to everyone who came out last weekend to buy books and check out our programs.

photo by Bennett Goble

We will be updating the CAKE blog, Facebook page and Twitter, so be sure to follow us and help us promote CAKE for next year!

CAKE Debuts This Weekend!

June 16, 2012By NeilCAKE

The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo is taking place 11am – 6pm June 16 & 17, 2012!
CAKE (as it’s known around town) is on the 8th floor of 1104 S Wabash (Columbia College Chicago’s Ludington Building)!

CAKE is FREE and features over 200 talented comics creators and small-press publishers from all over North America, from hometown heroes to exotic Canadians (wooooooo)!

If you are looking for personalized story-telling, experimental art, humor comics, self-reflection and self-expression, and everything else in between -par excellence- CAKE is the place to be! Their contents’ depth and breadth are impressive, as is the count of over 25 comics which will be available for the first time (debuts).

And if 80 tables chocked full of the greatest comics being made today is not enough for you (jeesh, really?), our Slate of programming presents 14 events that range from conversation to presentation to demonstration to documentation. Yes! Let’s talk about vulgarity! Yes! Let’s talk about autobiography! Yes! Let’s talk about the history of comics in Chicago! Let’s investigate the relationship of the cousin media, Comics & Animation!

After 16 years, Chicago has an alternative comics festival again! Thanks to everyone who has made CAKE possible, we’re looking forward to a great weekend.

Brain Trubble Kicks Off the Weekend for CAKE!

June 14, 2012By NeilCAKE, Programming

You may have heard CAKE is this weekend, and you are invited to the opening night soirée! Get pumped, and settle in for an intense comics convention by attending this intense comics performance, brought to you by Trubble Club and Brain Frame.

Trubble Club will interpret a number of comics from the Trubble Club oeuvre, and guest artists Gabrielle Bell, Leslie Stein, and Mike Taylor will be whipping out some live drawings, in front of everyone, no shame. And music! And your hosts, Lyra Hill and Sackley! Tune on, drop in, turn out, come chill. Donations suggested.

You can RSVP at this Facebook event.

Floor Plan Adjustment

June 13, 2012By NeilCAKE

Due to forces beyond our control, we have been forced to relocate some of our exhibitor tables and re-number others at the last minute. These changes affect table numbers 64-80.

The information listed on our Guests & Exhibitors page is up-to-date, and reflects these changes.

We want to reassure you that every exhibitor at CAKE still has a table! We sincerely regret this last minute change, but the circumstance was completely out of our hands. We have worked with our direct contacts at Columbia College Chicago to ensure that everything will go smoothly on June 16 and 17.

Despite this hiccup, we are very excited about CAKE! We are beside ourselves every time we look at the exhibitor list, read the list of debuting titles, or think about the slate of programming that will be presented this weekend. We hope you are as excited as we are!

See you in a few days!

Neil Brideau, Edie Fake, Max Morris, Grace Tran & Jeff Zwirek
CAKE Organizers

Eat Before We Eat You CAKE Art Show

May 23, 2012By NeilCAKE, Programming

The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo and Morpho Gallery present…

or, The C.A.K.E. Show

Curated by Onsmith & Nudd

Although not strictly a comics show, The CAKE Show (subtitled “Eat Before We Eat You” – the toxic mantra of the legendary bottom-of-the-barrel weirdo schlock-fest Troll 2) will include one-offs and side projects by a multitude of local and national artists that work deep within the fleshy walls of the underground comics world or, at very least, in an underground comics vain. Traditional comics panels will be exhibited alongside a slew of visual out takes, false starts, b-sides and orphans: prints, paintings, drawings, sketches, sculptures, posters, zines, and other ephemera. Formally trained artists that operate inside the fine art and comics worlds will comprise the majority of the show, but work will also be included by several untrained self taught artists. The central themes of E.B.W.E.Y. are productivity, promiscuity, radioactivity, infidelity, and automatous artistic cannibalism. The result will be something of an artistic curiosity shop or odditorium, a peculiar curio cabinet of comics inspired graphic wonders and deformities. This show will coincide with the much anticipated first ever Chicago Alternative Comics Expo at Columbia College Chicago.

Opening Reception: Saturday June 16, 6 – 8 PM

Exhibition & Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday June 6 – 9, Wednesday – Sunday June 13 – 17, 11:30AM – 5:30PM

208 S. Wabash

INFO: 773.878.4255

Participating artists include…

Eric Lebofsky
Chris Kerr
Keith Herzik
Leslie Weibeler
Jeremy Tinder
John Porcellino
Jo Dery
Andy Gabrisiak
Ivan Brunetti
Kevin Budnik
Grant Reynolds
Andy Burkholder
Ryan Standfest
Nick Drnaso
Anya Davidson
David Alvarado
Nate Beaty
Liz Born
Joe Tallarico
Sanya Glisic
Lilli Carre
Laura Park

Also, a hand silkscreened and numbered commemorative poster by Keith Herzik is available in addition to a xerox flyer by Pete Clodfelter.

Adventure School for Ladies Comics Intensive June 4 – 15

May 11, 2012By NeilCAKE

CAKE is excited to connect with the Adventure School for Ladies Comics Intensive! Not only is the school taking place leading up to CAKE, Anne Elizabeth Moore is one of our special guests, and she’s bringing her Lady Drawers posse with her! They’ll also be debuting the comic they will be making during the school (more info about both their debut and programming featuring them to come). Here’s some information from the school itself:

The Adventure School for Ladies Comics Intensive will be going down June 4-15 at the Read/Write Library in Chicago and Spudnik Press, right before CAKE, and it will be awesome. Although we are open to collaborators of all genders and identities, we do ask participants be willing to politically align themselves with the female creators that, in comics, make up over 40% of the industry, 60% of the characters pictured sans culottes*, receive aproximately 10% of the paid gigs at mainstream or independent presses (and yet, submit to publishers at the same rates as male creators do.)

If you’re in town before CAKE, come to our Orientation Cocktail Party at Spudnik Press on June 3rd, or check the website for other public events that may come together later. But definitely come visit us at our table, where we’ll have a new, hot-off-the-presses anthology about gender, race, class, and representational theory in comics. In comics!

Wanna better idea of what we do? Here’s a comic that will tell you. Here’s the anthology we made last year, Unladylike. Here’s the Ladydrawers column on Truthout. Our you can follow this Twitter feed, this Tumblr, or read this blog.

*French! For pantsless.

Table Assignments for CAKE 2012!

May 5, 2012By NeilCAKE, Exhibitors

Visit our Guests & Exhibitors page to view the table assignments for CAKE! Now you can plan your visit to your favorite comics artists ahead of time. We spent hours arranging exhibitors, hoping to compliment our guests and exhibitors with their neighbors.

CAKE is a free event, and is open to the public on Saturday June 16 & Sunday, June 17, 11am – 6pm on the 8th floor of 1104 S Wabash Ave in Chicago’s South Loop. We hope to see you there!

Guests & Exhibitors Announced!

April 6, 2012By NeilCAKE, Exhibitors, Special Guests

We’re really excited to finally publish the list of special guests, small press publishers, and exhibitors at the first Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (aka CAKE to those in the “know”)!

June 16th & 17th, the city of Chicago will be treated to an amazing cross section of alternative comics artists from all over the country (and from other exotic lands as Canada)!

Check out our list of guests & exhibitors. Careful, your brain might explode by the awesomeness contained in the list!

Stay tuned for programming information coming soon!