The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo ( CAKE ) landed at Center on Halsted to celebrate the world of alternative comic art June 2-3.
With an army of exhibitors, artists, fans, debut authors and illustrators as well as curiosity-seekers, CAKE, now in its sixth year, offered something for everyone.
Among the celebrated artists who presented at the event were queer artist Tony Breed ( author and illustrator of the titles Finn and Charlie are Hitched and Muddlers Beat ), Audrey Niffenegger ( The Time Traveler's Wife ), Nicole Hollander ( Sylvia ), FIona Smyth ( The Never Weres ), Emil Ferris ( My Favorite Thing Is Monsters ) and Bianca Xunise ( The Nib, The Washington Post, Bitch Magazine ). Among the many comic art pieces and comic books on display was a healthy amount of work by queer artists including Archie Bongiovanni, Betsey Swardlick and Jasjyot Singh Hans.
CAKE was hardly just about comic books, as it also played host to panel discussions like "Gender in Comics" ( which featured artists who have overtly addressed gender non-gender conforming narratives in their work, including Penina Gal, Gabe Howell, Chloe Perkis and Carta Moir, with poet H. Melt moderating ) and a one-on-one interview with celebrated artist Bianco Xunise and culture journalist Britt Julious. There were also workshops such as "Drawing the Inside Out: Art, Listening, and Autobiography" and "Positive Obsession: Subjects That Inspire Creation."
Sponsors of the event included Print Ninja, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Annoyance Theater and Bar, Center on Halsted, Lillstreet Art Center, The Busy Beaver Button Company, Quimby's Bookstore, and Blick Art Materials.