Announcing the 2017 CAKE exhibitor application, 2016’s Cupcake award winner, and new CAKE organizers!

Apply to CAKE

While it’s still more than half a year from now, it’s time to start planning for CAKE 2017! Next year’s Chicago Alternative Comics Expo will take place June 10–11 at the Center on Halsted, and exhibitor applications are now open. You can apply here: The application period will run until November 28, so we encourage you to take your time and put together a strong application.

CAKE is a curated show, and the organizers aim to highlight the best artists, both established and emerging, working in independent and alternative comics, displaying equal care for small press publishers and self-publishing artists. Through a jurying process that involves many members of Chicago’s comics community, we strive to create the diverse and representative festival for which CAKE has become known. Additionally, we strive to produce a demographically inclusive show that reflects, encourages, and advances the full depth and breadth of artists working in our community.

CAKE’s standard table space is a half table (3′ x 2.5′). A registration fee of $65 is due upon acceptance into CAKE. There is no application fee. Please direct any questions to We will reply to all queries as quickly as possible.

The Winner Is…

CAKE is proud to award the third annual Cupcake Award to Kelly Fernandez! Launched in 2014, the Cupcake Award emerges from CAKE’s commitment to support independent comics and the self-publishing community. As the winner of this year’s Cupcake Award, Fernandez will receive $250 to support the printing of a new comic; a free half table at the 2016 CAKE festival, where the comic will debut; and mentorship support from special guest juror Caitlin McGurk,  Associate Curator for Outreach and Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.kelly-fernandez-comic

Meet the CAKE 2017 Organizers

We’re proud to announce our organizing committee for CAKE 2017, which includes several new members:

With this great team on board, we’re looking forward to making CAKE 2017 a success. Please stay tuned for future announcements, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch. See you in 2017!

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 sixth annual CAKE will take place Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11, 2017, at the Center on Halsted, 3656 North Halsted Avenue in Chicago. For any questions about CAKE, please email