Drawing by Corinne Mucha

CAKE is an all-volunteer run event. If you wish to be involved with CAKE, from organizer, to advisor, to staff, please contact us and indicate your interests and general commitment level.


Ben Bertin
Alli Alleman
Alli Alleman is a superhero enthusiast by day, zine lover by…well, also day. She works downtown at a comic book store, where she helps fans and newbies alike find a passion to read, and also draws chickens on things. In her spare time she does gaming podcasts and writes reviews. High five her if you see her, she’s all about that.

Ben Bertin
Ben Bertin
Ben Bertin is an alphabetizer, cartoonist, designer, illustrator, organizer, and string bean. Ben is from the metro-Detroit area, and moved to Chicago where he earned his Bachelor’s degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010. He is active in the art and cartooning communities through illustration, self-publishing, performance, and organizing CAKE. He is a member of the performance group Pup House. Ben also has experience in both web and print design.

Neil Brideau
Raised and Educated in Western and Central New York State, Neil lives in Chicago where he works at Quimby’s Bookstore. He draws minicomics about friendship & plays in the band, James P.B. Duffy. He was a founding organizer for the Chicago Zine Fest, and organized it for three years. He has also volunteered at SPX and MoCCA, twice each.

Marnie Galloway
Marnie Galloway is a Texas-born comic artist and illustrator who uses her Smith College philosophy & logic degree for nothing but winning arguments and making art. Her wordless comic series “In the Sounds and Seas” won a 2012 Xeric Award, was nominated for the 2013 LA Times Book Prize for Best Graphic Novel, and made the Best American Comics Notable list. Her illustration and comics clients include 826CHI, Saveur Magazine, Cricket Magazine and Chicago Zine Fest. She lives and works in a quiet apartment in Chicago with her husband Tom and two beastly cats.

Max Morris
Editor and contributor for Linework, a student comic anthology produced by Columbia College, and Vacuum Horror, a showcase for Alternative Chicago Comics.

Jeff Zwirek
Jeff Zwirek, a.k.a Jeffrey Antacid, a.k.a Jeff Z is a self-publishing cartoonist. His comics work includes Jack Rabbit, Black Star, Pinstriped Bloodbath, and Burning Building Comix. He has received a nomination for an Ignatz award, and his comics have been named “Notable Comics” multiple times by the Best American Comics anthology. He lives and works in Chicago, with his wife and two sons.


Coordinators are invaluable members of the CAKE-planning team, taking on specific specialized tasks they are particularly qualified for. CAKE Orgainzers are infinitely grateful for the tireless work our coordinators put into CAKE!

Brian Cremins, Programming Coordinator
Brian Cremins, Programming Coordinator
Brian Cremins is an Associate Professor of English at Harper College. His essays on comics have appeared in the International Journal of Comic Art, the Journal of Medical Humanities, Studies in American Humor, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Alter Ego, The Jack Kirby Collector, and in the collection Comics and the U. S. South. He is working on a book about C. C. Beck and Otto Binder for the University Press of Mississippi and blogs about comics at http://brianwcremins.wordpress.com.

Cathy Hannah, Volunteer Coordinator
Cathy Hannah, Volunteer Coordinator
Cathy Hannah lives and draws in Chicago. She draws maudlin comics about life’s many disappointments, some of which are political or historical. Originally from Michigan, she graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a fancy degree in comics makin’ in 2003. Determined to drive up her debt and accumulate even more impractical credentials she graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with an even fancier graduate degree in Art History, Theory, and Criticism in 2007. This means she is exceptionally qualified to draw a comic about how comics are great!

Amara Leipzig, Workshop Coordinator
Amara Leipzig, Workshop Coordinator
Amara Leipzig is a cartoonist, printmaker, book-lover, and teacher from Los Angeles, CA who currently resides in Chicago, IL. They have taught art and identity investigation at Oxbow Summer Art Camp, the Knight Ministry, Chicago Public Libraries and the SAIC Continuing Studies Department, among others. You can find some of their comics in anthologies like Kilgore Quarterly #6 and Clorofilia, or in self-published tomes on a dusty shelf in the back of Quimby’s.


Isabella Rotman, Promotions Coordinator
Isabella Rotman, Promotions Coordinator
Isabella Rotman is a cartoonist and illustrator from Maine living and drawing in Chicago. Her art is usually about the ocean, mermaids, crushing loneliness, people in the woods, or sex. She is author of the sexual health comic You’re so Sexy When You Aren’t Transmitting STDs and Artist in Residence at Scarleteen.com.


Bio Coming Soon:Matt Brady, Promotions Coordinator

Former Organizers

Edie Fake
Edie Fake
Edie Fake is a Chicago-based artist, zinemaker and minicomics sommelier for Quimby’s Books and was a founding organizer for CAKE.

Grace Tran
Grace Tran works on a foster care youth program at the Alternative Schools Network, co-organizes the Chicago Youth Community Film Festival, and self-publishes a zine called Day Trips.

Advisory Committee

CAKE’s organizational structure involves many members of the alternative comics community in Chicago, who don’t attend every meeting, but review meeting minutes, volunteer to bottom-line tasks, and take part in major decision making, such as exhibitor jurying, date and location selection, selection of special guests, etc. Without them, CAKE would be impossible:

Gregory Baldinio • Sarah Becan • Matt Brady • Andy Burkholder • Tyrell Cannon • Lilli Carré • Jo Dery • Sara Drake • Nick Drnaso • Lyra Hill • Mason Johnson • Lucy Knisley • Ben Marcus • Liz Mason • Bernie McGovern • Ben McLeod• Annie Mok • Corinne Mucha • Paul Nudd • Aaron Renier • Grant Reynolds • Marian Runk • Sam Sharpe • Joe Tallarico • Jeremy Tinder