We want to highlight the talented local comics artists who are exhibiting with us at CAKE on June 10 & 11th. Every year, CAKE Organizers invite a few artists to be Special Guests. Special Guests are featured during CAKE programming, and are a draw for attendees. This year three of our nine Special Guests are local. Come out to CAKE to see them in programming throughout the weekend!
Emil Ferris has been making waves since her debut graphic novel, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters – Part1 came out from Fantagraphics earlier this year. Emil’s book has drawn praise from The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art Spiegelman, The Guardian, The Chicago Reader, and the list goes on and on and on!
Spike Trotman has single-handedly created Iron Circus Comics, a successful alternative comics press that champions new voices, daring subject matter, and fair compensation for artists. Spike is an accomplished comics maker in her own right, having originally gained notoriety for her webcomic series, Templar Arizona!
Jessi Zabarsky is an inventive comics maker who plays with form and story structure to delightful results! Jessi’s graphic novel, Witchlight from Czap Books is already being considered one of the best all-ages comics to be released in 2017.
Zine Craft / Spell Cast with Alyssa Berg
Join Brooklyn-based comic-book artist Alyssa Berg for a workshop that is part zine crafting and part spell casting. Berg, whose ALPENGLOW won the Comics Workbook 2015 Composition Competition, will lead participants in creating a magic minizine through writing and drawing rituals. After considering the zine as a physical object that can be charged with intentions, attendees will make a unique eight-page spell zine. Materials will be provided, but interested participants should bring any special scraps or drawings they might want to include in their zines.
Saturday, June 10th, 1:30–2:30 p.m.
This workshop is sponsored by Challengers Comics.
Panter²: Gary and Olive Panter in conversation
Texas-born cartoonist, illustrator, painter, designer, and musician Gary Panter is a child of the 1950s who blossomed under the grow-lamp glare of the psychedelic ’60s, survived underground during the ’70s, and finally made his mark on mainstream culture in the ’80s as head set designer for the TV show Pee-wee’s Playhouse, a job which brought his jagged style and surreal ideas into the homes of America and bagged him two Emmy Awards. Among Panter’s notable comics are Jimbo, Jimbo: Adventures in Paradise, Jimbo’s Inferno, and Facetasm (with Charles Burns). His newest book, Songy of Paradise (Fantagraphics, 2017), is an inspired interpretation of John Milton’s retelling of Satan’s temptation of Jesus. This conversation pairs him with his daughter, artist Olive Panter, for a new take on the work of one of the greatest artists of our time, in comics and out.
Saturday, June 10th, 1:00–2:00 p.m.
This panel is sponsored by Print Ninja.
CAKE is excited to welcome Gabrielle Belle as a 2017 special guest! Bell’s latest work, Everything is Flammable (Uncivilized Books), will be debuting at the show. She will also be featured on the panel “Comics is a Way of Thinking” on Sunday, June 11th, from 1:00-2:00 p.m.
CAKE is excited to welcome Witchlight creator Jessi Zabarsky as a 2017 special guest! Be sure to check out Jessi’s workshop, Visual Recipes: The Art of Instructional Comics on Sunday, June 11th from 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Jesse Jacobs, Ron Regé, Jr, Lale Westvind, and Marnie Galloway address different subject matter in their books, but their work expresses a similar horror vacui: all fill the entirety of their pages with intricate detail. And although nature may abhor a vacuum, comics is often described as a combination of poetry and graphic design, a definition that would appear to set it in direct opposition to a maximalist aesthetic. This panel discussion, moderated by Galloway, will address what drives these four artists to work in their distinctive styles and how their approaches affect the kinds of stories that they tell.
This panel is sponsored by Busy Beaver.
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Saturday, June 10th at CAKE 2017!
Professional FUNdamentals Workshop
Do you have a project you’ve been waiting to get off the ground? Do you have friends, colleagues, coworkers, and family members who are your superfans? What does it take to turn that passion for your work into profit? Hear from creators Kevin Budnik and C. Spike Trotman about their experiences in successfully supporting their projects and themselves. This professional-development workshop will give you the resources, knowledge, and inspiration, so you’ll just need to add the elbow grease!
This workshop is sponsored by 826 Chi and Half Wit Coffee.
3:00-4:00 p.m. – SATURDAY, JUNE 10TH at CAKE 2017!
We are excited to have Emil Ferris at CAKE tabling for the first time! Her amazing book, My Favorite Thing is Monsters, is a super hit, entering its second printing from Fantagraphics!
CAKE is excited to welcome Kevin Budnik as a special guest! Check out Kevin’s excellent
daily diary comics and books at his website, or maybe check out his instagram.
CAKE and Transit are excited to announce the Artists in Residence for the 2016 CHIPRC Inbound Residency! Chris Gooch and Sarah McNeil are illustrators/comics artists currently based in Melbourne, Australia. They will collaborate on a Risograph-printed comic that they will begin under Sarah’s Risograph imprint, Room Press, and complete it during their Chicago residency. The end result will be available at this year’s Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE).
During their two-week residency, Chris and Sarah will utilize CHIPRC’s space as their studio, as well as use CHIPRC’s Risograph machine. In addition to working on their project, they will also meet with local Risograph printers in Chicago, teach a workshop at CHIPRC, and present and exhibit at CAKE. We look forward to welcoming them to Chicago at the end of May!
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 email@example.com.