Chicago Alternative Comics Expo aka CAKE was held last weekend June 6th and 7th at Center on Halsted, Chicago. This is my first time attending CAKE and also my first time driving from east coast through mid west. That Ohio state seemed to never end. I got to eat the fried steak with sausage gravy for the first time, next to a group of bikers taking about sailor moon, thundercats and mothra!
Check out the jacket on the guy behind me. He's in the Smart Ass White Boy Biker club!
After a day later, we were able to arrive in Chicago before losing our sanity. Thanks to the great music of Queen and safe driving by Jared Smith of Retrofit!
Foggy introduction of the big city.
I was very excited to discover the comic scene in Chicago and was blown away by the quality of work exhibited at the convention and the enthusiasm of their comics fans.
CAKE has grown rapidly in the past 4 years, and this year they had the record number of attendance to the point of drying up the water supply in the bathrooms in the building, yikes!
The venue, Center on Halsted was awesome. Not only it looked good, it was dedicated to LGBT community and also above whole food where we could conveniently run to get delicious snacks and lunches during the festival.
I had to pry myself out of my booth to walk around on Sunday to see what other artists were out there and was pleasantly surprised by all the new faces that I wasn't familiar with the festivals in the East coast and how amazing their work were. I saw the riso and offset printing were very popular with the exhibitors and enchanted by the high quality silk screen hand made books that artist from far away as Toronto brought on to their table. It made me want to be more experimental with my comics. Nothing beats beautifully printed, handmade mini comics!
It was great to sit next to my good ol' brooklyn pals Dave Kelly and Jess Ruliffson.
Nice job with the seat arrangement, CAKE!
I also got to meet my tweeter follower Chicago Agashi. Her blog http://www.chicagoagashi.com/ featuring yummy Korean food in Chicago is mouth watering. It's too bad that my trip was too short for me to try them! She also took some of the awesome photos of CAKE which I wasn't able to take, due to being stuck behind my table all day. She was very thoughtful to bring yummy candies and a hand fan to keep me energized throughout the convention. Thank you Joyce, aka Chicago Agashi!
I got a kick out of watching people pick their ForTUNE Orgami, my fun tarot reading based on some of my favorite music. Some people opened their origami right away, some would walk away and secretly open it, some got a bunch of them to give to their friends. I am going to make more of them and put them as a mini for my next convention. so stay TUNED!
After the convention, I stayed for a day to explore the city's comic shops including Chicago Comics and the amazingly curated and organised mini comics/ printed media heaven called Quimby's bookstore. http://www.quimbys.com/
Both stores had awesome airy space and was very well organized. But the amount of mini comics and zines that Quimby's carried just blew me away. I would spend the eternity in that store and it wouldn't be enough to check out all their beautiful minis from all over the world! And I'm very excited to have couple of my comics displayed on their book shelf among them!
If you missed the chance to check out my minis at CAKE this time, now they are available at Quimby's and Chicago comics.
My comics hull after CAKE, Chicago Comics and Quimby's
Throughout my stay in Chicago, I've had way too much doughnuts, coffee and really good Asian food. Belly Q and Rickshaw Republic are highly recommended. It was overall very successful and fun weekend in Chicago and I can't wait to go back to CAKE for years to come. Gotta get back to making some new comics!
Thanks Dave and Jared for showing me such a great time in Chicago. And Thanks CAKE organizers, volunteers, exhibitors and comics fans for the wonderful convention!