CAKE DEBUT: The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley by Kim Deitch

May 30, 2013By NeilCAKE, Debuts, Exhibitors, Special Guests


This is a story about a girl, born at the beginning of the 20th century. She grows up in a small river town in upstate New York. One day the mysterious Charles Varnay, an eccentric who dresses in the style of an 18th century dandy, comes to town, his sole companion a remarkably intelligent dog named Rousseau. Varnay wants to star Katherine in a movie serial he plans to make, called The Goddess of Enlightenment.

Katherine is rather put off when she discovers that he expects her to appear nude in this film. But even more strange is the film’s subject matter: It has to do with seven metal urns that Varnay claims are actual recordings of the voice of Jesus Christ which, he says, contain an urgent message that the modern world needs to hear!

Varnay also claims that his dog, Rousseau, is the product of experiments he has been making in advanced selective breeding. He’s eager to continue these experiments with human subjects; Katherine realizes that he’s expecting her to be a part of this, and it worries her…

The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley is a full-length graphic novel created in a striking “widescreen” landscape format that allows Deitch to give full rein to his astonishing graphics.

Fantagraphics Books
Fantagraphics Books
Kim Deitch
Kim Deitch

Kim Deitch has a reserved place at the first table of underground cartoonists. The son of UPA and Terrytoons animator Gene Deitch, Kim was born in 1944 and grew up around the animation business. He began doing comic strips for the East Village Other in 1967, introducing two of his more famous characters, Waldo the Cat and Uncle Ed, the India Rubber Man. In 1969 he succeeded Vaughn Bodé as editor of Gothic Blimp Works, the Other’s underground comics tabloid. During this period he married fellow cartoonist Trina Robbins and had a daughter, Casey. “The Mishkin Saga” was named one of the Top 30 best English-language comics of the 20th Century by The Comics Journal, and the first issue of The Stuff of Dreams received the Eisner Award for Best Single Issue in 2003. Deitch remains a true cartoonists’ cartoonist, adored by his peers as much as anyone in the history of the medium. Kim Deitch is a special guest at CAKE, and will be signing at Chicago Comics June 14th at 6pm!

Fantagraphics is a publisher of the World’s Greatest Cartoonists

Visit Fantagraphics’ website, and pick up The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley at Tables 12, 13 & 14 June 15 & 16th!

CAKE DEBUT: Daniel Clowes Reader from Fantagraphics

May 30, 2013By NeilCAKE, Debuts, Exhibitors


This landmark collection features ten of Daniel Clowes’s most influential graphic narratives, along with interviews in which he talks about his career and creative process, and twelve thought-provoking essays by contemporary scholars and critics.

A wide-ranging introduction to the work of one of the most important living cartoonists, The Daniel Clowes Reader features Ghost World, Clowes’s celebrated graphic novel about the complex friendship of two teenage girls. It also includes stories — some reprinted for the first time — about boys coming of age, troubled superheroes, and the place of artists and critics in popular culture. The volume’s dozen critical essays illuminate Clowes’s comics by locating them within biographical, artistic, and socio-historical contexts, including the Indie and DIY movements, Generation X philosophy, and the history of American cartooning. Selections by artists who influenced Clowes and a detailed chronology of his work round out the collection, and extensive annotations shed light on the cartoonist’s sources and cultural references. Perfect for the college literature/graphic narrative classroom.

Fantagraphics Books
Fantagraphics Books

Fantagraphics is a publisher of the World’s Greatest Cartoonists

Visit Fantagraphics’ website, and pick up the Daniel Clowes Reader at Tables 13 & 14 June 15 & 16th!
The MCA will be hosting an exhibit on Daniel Clowes this summer! Check it out!

CAKE DEBUT: Great Moments In Western Civilization Cooperative In The Beginning by Caitlin Cass

May 29, 2013By NeilCAKE, Debuts, Exhibitors


The Great Moments in Western Civilization Cooperative collects five years of canonical failure and heartache into a single volume. This book includes selections from the Cooperative’s monthly print periodical and internet gag cartoons. Its good ole fashioned folklore is guaranteed to bring you comfort as you revel in the missteps of our Great Western forefathers.
228 Pages, Full Color

Check out the collection’s preview video on youtube.

Caitlin Cass
Caitlin Cass

Caitlin Cass calls herself the Great Moments in Western Civilization Cooperative. The cooperative is a one-person arts group and publishing house best known for their monthly periodical The Great Moments in Western Civilization Postal Constituent. Forged in 1986, Great Moments in Western Civilization did not assume its formal name until 2007, but Cass has been curating great moments since birth. She grew up outside of Chicago and after spending much of her youth impersonating disaster victims for the local historical society, she retreated to Santa Fe, New Mexico to study luminiferous aether in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The Cooperative is currently based in Buffalo, NY.

Visit Caitlin’s website, and pick up G.M.I.W.C.C. In the Beginning at Table 81 June 15 & 16th!

CAKE DEBUT: My Dirty Dumb Eyes by Lisa Hanawalt

May 29, 2013By NeilCAKE, Debuts, Exhibitors


“For years I’ve encountered Lisa Hanawalt’s comics and illustrations piecemeal — in various magazines and periodicals. They’re always a pleasant jolt. Now, they’ve been assembled into one thick, blazing bludgeon. I envy you getting walloped by them all for the first time. This is a Hanawalt assault. Succumb.”–Patton Oswalt

My Dirty Dumb Eyes introduces Lisa Hanawalt as a first-rank cartoonist/humorist/stalker for an audience that likes its humor idiosyncratic, at times anthropomorphic or scatological, often uncomfortable, and always absurd. Her world vision is intricately rendered in a full spectrum of color, unapologetically gorgeous and intensely bizarre. With movie reviews, tips for her readers, laugh-out-loud lists and short pieces such as “Rumors I’ve Heard About Anna Wintour,” and “The Secret Lives of Chefs,” Hanawalt’s comedy shines here, making the quotidian silly and surreal, flatulent and facetious.

Lisa Hanawalt
Lisa Hanawalt
Drawn and Quarterly
Drawn and Quarterly

Lisa Hanawalt is a renowned self-publisher and illustrator living in Brooklyn, New York. Her comics work has won several awards, and she was recently nominated for a James Beard Award for Humor for her piece, “The Secret Lives of Chefs.” Hanawalt’s illustration and comics clients include The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Hairpin, McSweeneys, Chronicle Books, and Vanity Fair. She lives in Brooklyn with a dog and a comedian. MY DIRTY DUMB EYES (May 2013) is her first book with Drawn & Quarterly.

Drawn & Quarterly is one of the most influential art and literary comics publishers in North America, publishing work by such luminaries as Lynda Barry, Kate Beaton, Chester Brown, Dan Clowes, Julie Doucet, Seth, Adrian Tomine, and Chris Ware.

Visit Lisa’s website, and pick up My Dirty Dumb Eyes at Tables 35 & 36 June 15 & 16th!

CAKE DEBUT: El Gallo de la Muerte by Odin Cabal

May 28, 2013By NeilCAKE, Debuts, Exhibitors

front cover

After a botching an assassination attempt cartel hit-man Dei is exiled to Kenosha, Wisconsin were he finds himself in the middle of the domestic problems of his new neighborhood.

page 1

page 8

Midwestrn Cuban Comics
Midwestrn Cuban Comics

Midwestrn Cuban Comics is an on going series which features stories based mainly in the Midwest staring mainly Latinos.

Visit Odin’s website, and pick up El Gallo de la Muerte at Table 31 June 15 & 16th!

CAKE DEBUT: Powdered Milk vol’s 9 & 10 by Keiler Roberts

May 27, 2013By NeilCAKE, Debuts, Exhibitors


Keiler Roberts be debuting two books at CAKE. Powdered Milk vol. 9 contains vignettes that are mainly about her two year old daughter. The Man Who Could Not Read (Powdered Milk vol. 10) begins with a memory of a film she saw as a child, and develops into fictional characters and themes about perception and Dairy Queen.



Keiler Roberts
Keiler Roberts

Keiler Roberts studied art at the University of Wisconsin and Northwestern University. After painting and drawing for ten years, she began making comics in 2009. She teaches in the Department of Art, Media, and Design at DePaul University and lives in Evanston, Illinois with her husband, daughter, and dog.

Visit Keiler’s website, and pick up Powdered Milk at Table 89 June 15 & 16th!

CAKE DEBUT: Snack Pak #1 by Rob Kirby

May 27, 2013By NeilCAKE, Debuts, Exhibitors

Snack Pak #1_1

Snack Pak #1 is a new collection of autobiographical vignettes and diary comics from the creator of Curbside, Boy Trouble, and the Ignatz nominated THREE.
“Kirby’s the kind of artist who can do just about any type of storytelling, and minis like this are clearly a way for him to stay nimble and loose while he’s between longer projects, with results that are delightful for the reader.”
-Rob Clough

013 Nothing Happening_1

018 Coffee_1

021 Diary Comic excerpt 1-12-13_1

Rob Kirby
Rob Kirby

Robert Kirby, straight outta Minneapolis, has been publishing comics since 1991. His books include Curbside, (funded with the Xeric Grant in 1998), Curbside Boys (Cleis Press, 2002), The Book of Boy Trouble, and The Book of Boy Trouble Volume 2: Born To Trouble (Green Candy Press, 2006 & 2008). In 2011, Robert received the Prism Queer Press grant for his anthology series THREE, which was also nominated for Outstanding Anthology or Collection in the 2011 Ignatz Awards. Rob’s currently working on a big new all-color queer comics anthology, due from Northwest Press in Fall 2013.

Visit Rob’s website, and pick up Snack Pak #1 at Table 58 June 15 & 16th!

The CAKE 2013 Application is CLOSED!

January 8, 2013By NeilCAKE, Exhibitors

We have officially closed our application for 2013. Thanks so much to the nearly 350 individual comics makers, small press publishers, collectives and distros who applied this year! Now comes the difficult part, the jurying process.

Our jury will be composed of members of the Chicago alternative comics community who are volunteering their time to review applications. Each juror will review 20 – 30 applications, assigning each application a numeric value from 3-0 (3 being the highest score, 0 being the lowest). Each applicant will be reviewed by four or five jurors. Those scores will be averaged into a final score, and then the applicants will be ranked. For the most part, those with the highest rank will be offered table space at CAKE.

We recognize a possible flaw in this process, that better known comics creators’ averaged scores may skew higher than the scores of those who are less well known. CAKE organizers will review the list and meet to discuss if there are applicants who they feel may have gotten a low score, but deserve exposure at the expo. As applications have been coming in, CAKE organizers have contacted applicants who they feel could benefit from sending more examples of their work to better illustrate the type of comics they create for our jurors.

A brief note about jurying. A lot of the language above in the jury process description uses terms such as “value” “score” and “rank.” We’re using them for a lack of better terms. Jurors will be asked to assess each applicants work as to how well they feel it would fit into CAKE’s exhibition, not the value of the art or story telling. We ask our jurors to consider the importance of variety and diversity of style, as well as the importance of supporting first-time exhibitors and those with less experience than more established creators. In no way should an exhibitor’s ranking be considered a judgement on the quality of their work or their worth as a comics creator. It is CAKE’s policy to not release any applicant’s total or individual scores or to reveal who their jurors were. This information is only shared between the organizers.

We strive to make CAKE the best show we can organize. We believe a curated show can best deliver a well balanced and exciting cross section of alternative comics. Through models such as a crowd-sourced jury process, and an extensive push to get first-time exhibitors to apply, we strive to make the curation system as fair and welcoming as possible. We also try to make the process as transparent as possible. If you have any questions regarding the process, or if you have suggestions for improvement, we would love to hear it. We encourage you to follow this link to email us.

All applicants will hear back from us as close to February 1st as possible!

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.




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!