CAKE 2017 Workshop – Professional FUNdamentals!

May 11, 2017By Mike FreiheitCAKE, Exhibitors, Programming, Special Guests No Comments

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!

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 We look forward to seeing you at CAKE this weekend!

9 Days to CAKE! Check Out Our Panels and Workshops and Come to Our Saturday Night Party!

June 2, 2016By Matt BradyCAKE, Programming No Comments

Announcing our Panels and Workshops!

As CAKE 2016 gets closer, we’re excited to announce the programming that will take place during CAKE weekend. Please visit our Panels and Workshops page to learn about all the great discussions and activities that you can attend and participate in. If you’re planning to attend, please join our Facebook event here!

Saturday Night Party!

Wondering what do after the first day of the CAKE weekend? Well look no further! On Saturday, June 11, please join us for our CAKE Not Dead: Chicago Alternative Comics Expo Saturday Night Party!
Zine Not Dead
The event will take place at 7:00 PM at The Observatory (top floor), located at 3036 N Lincoln Ave. $5 donation for entry.

Featured Readers:

This event is presented and Hosted by Brad Rohloff of Bred Press and Matt Davis of Perfectly Acceptable Press. We hope to see you there!

Join the Facebook event here!

Announcing the Artists in Residence for the 2016 CHIPRC Residency!

April 19, 2016By Matt BradyCAKE, Debuts, Exhibitors, Programming

Chris Gooch and Sarah McNeil

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

1 DAY TO CAKE: Come To Our Kickoff Events Tonight!

June 5, 2015By Isabella RotmanCAKE, Comics Around Town, Programming

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 12.40.29 PM

Jaime & Gilbert Hernandez Signing at Graham Crackers Comics, 77 E Madison St from 6-8pm10426531_10153241612788771_5280296124610601335_n-2
CAKE Presents: Eleanor Davis, John Porcellino & Keiler Roberts panel moderated by Hillary Chute at Quimby’s Bookstore, 1854 W North Ave at 7pm


Qviet Book Release/Exhibition at Learning Machine Gallery, 3145 Morgan at 7pm


Gula-Gila “CAKE Weekend Kickoff” Concert with bands featuring CAKE exhibitors, 3012 S. Archer Ave 3rd floor at 8PM

We can’t wait to see you there!

CAKE DEBUT: Pet Theories

June 2, 2015By Isabella RotmanBenefit, CAKE, Debuts, Programming



Pet Theories is releasing their first album just in time for CAKE weekend. The band, which features Allison Felus on vocals and keyboard bass, Tony Trigilio on drums, and CAKE panels coordinator Brian Cremins on guitar and vocals, will be playing the CAKE after-party at The Observatory onSaturday, June 6th. Their album, which features a fabulous cover by Chicago cartoonist Amara Leipzig, draws on a variety of influences, from Krautrock and show tunes to 60s folkrock and psychedelia (with a little Modernist poetry and Bronze Age comic books thrown into the mix). 



They’ll have CDs for sale, along with more of Amara’s work, at table 78. The band would also be happy to trade for zines or minicomics! At the show, Allison will also have copies of her new zine, Satan Is My Father, a collection of essays about forgotten and imaginary bands.





See you at the after-party!

4 DAYS TO CAKE: Enter the Doodle Dash, Win Fabulous Prizes!

June 2, 2015By Isabella RotmanCAKE, Programming
Whether you’re an occasional doodler or consider yourself an artist, CAKE and ChiPRC invite you to enter our first Doodle Dash! A secret drawing prompt will be revealed, from which participants will make a drawing. Entering your creations to the Doodle Dash gives you the opportunity to have your work seen by two fabulous jurors: special guest Zak Sally and established cartoonist Corinne Mucha.
 Trophy by Danielle Chenette!  Trophy by Danielle Chenette!
Be sure to stick around! At 5:00 three winners selected by our jury team will be announced on the CAKE floor and awarded original art trophies by Paul Nudd, Krystal Difronzo and Danielle Chenette! Winners will have their work exhibited at the Doodle Dash Retrospective on Friday, July 10 at ChiPRC.
Trophy by Krystal Difronzo!    Trophy by Krystal Difronzo!
Saturday, June 6, 3:15 – 4:00pm
Winners announced at 5 
Ages: 18+
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The Fourth Annual Chicago Alternative Comics Expo will take place on Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 2015 at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N Halsted Ave.

Announcing Programming and Workshops for CAKE 2015

January 23, 2015By Matt BradyCAKE, Programming

We’ve got some exciting plans for CAKE 2015, including programming featuring out special guests and hands-on workshops that will let attendees join in the comics-making process. Here’s what we’ve got planned:


A Conversation with the Hernandez Brothers – Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez discuss their work and careers in comics. Caitlin McGurk from the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum will moderate.


Comic Books and Speculative Fiction – A roundtable discussion of how comics fits into the New Wave of speculative fiction that began in the 1960s with writers like J.G. Ballard, Samuel Delaney, Harlan Ellison, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Octavia Butler.

Comics in Cyberspace – A discussion of the relationship between webcomics and traditional print comics, looking at the different means of distribution now available, from Tumblr to ebooks.

The Real Truth – Three cartoonists will discuss creative nonfiction, creating comics that reflect the details of everyday life, and the ethics and challenges of writing about real people, from friends and family to historical figures.

 We’ll be announcing more exciting programming soon!


BRAND NEW for CAKE 2015!

  • Live drawing with Jamie Hernandez, hosted by Tom Spurgeon!
  • Learn printing techniques from Anya Davidson!
  • Help us conduct an experiment to see if cartoonists in different parts of the country have different styles!
  • Join a drawing competition hosted by Johnny Misfit, with a chance to win a trophy made by Paul Nudd and post-CAKE exhibiting opportunities at ChiPRC!
  • Create jam comics with Trubble Club at CAKE! Bring your kids!
  • Learn to format your comics for the web and various devices!



If you want to help us make all this happen, please vote for us to win a grant from the Chicago chapter of the Awesome Foundation here: We’re excited about everything we’ve got planned, and we hope you are too!


Programming and workshops are subject to change depending on guest and moderator availability.

The Fourth Annual Chicago Alternative Comics Expo will take place on Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 2015 at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N Halsted Ave. If you have any questions about CAKE, please contact us.