Cake Frame


CAKE and BRAIN FRAME are joining forces to raise money! We need your help, your cash, your raw muscle to grease the wheels of independent commerce, alternative comics, and graphic passion. Join us in an explosive combination of comix reading, live drawing, experimental jazz, and the auction of priceless works of art for competitive prices.

With performances by:
Andy Burkholder
Alyssa Herlocher
Paul Nudd
Jeremy Pettis

And musical accompaniment from:
Alex Inglizian and Stephen Ptácek

Hosted by:
Lyra Hill

And artwork for auction donated by:
David Alvarado
Ben Bertin
Kevin Budnick
Andy Burkholder
Jessica Campbell
Lilli Carré
Anya Davidson
Sara Drake
Nick Drnaso
Edie Fake
Sanya Glisic
Alyssa Herlocher
Lyra Hill
Robin Hustle
Gregory Jacobsen
Ben Marcus
Bernie McGovern
Paul Nudd
Jeremy Onsmith
Jeremy Pettis
Aaron Renier
Grant Reynolds
Eric Rivera
Sam Sharpe
Otto Splotch
Joe Tallarico
Ruby Thorkelson
Carl Zeller

At Peanut Gallery, 1000 N. California, doors at 7:00, show at 7:30, $5 donation.

All funds raised will benefit the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE), helping pay for venue and table rentals, special guest honorariums, posters, programs, and other printed matter. CAKE is completely volunteer run and organized.

CAKE is a weekend-long celebration of independent comics. Featuring comics for sale, workshops, exhibitions, panel discussions and more, CAKE is dedicated to fostering community and dialogue amongst independent artists, small presses, publishers and readers. CAKE 2013 will take place on June 15th & 16th, at the Center on Halsted.

BRAIN FRAME is a performative comix reading series founded and organized by Lyra Hill. BRAIN FRAME gives comics and zine artists an opportunity to interpret their work in front of an open minded audience. Readings often include costumes, props, music, sound, performance, puppetry, poetry, and more.

Poster by Paul Nudd.


At CAKE FRAME, a benefit for the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo hosted by BRAIN FRAME, the performative comix reading series, Andy Burkholder read an occasionally wry, occasionally abstract, and always aesthetically precise series of vignettes in the lives of people named Chris, aptly entitled: Chris, on April 12th, 2013.

Video thanks to Burton Bilharz.


ORT-21 Cumulonimbus BB (Battleship)

Again, thanks to Cake on the Mobile Frame Hangar forums, I’ve built a two brick wide capital ship for the “NASA Industrial” fleet. ‘Cumulonimbus’ is a mouthful to say and is a combination of 'cumulus’ and 'nimbus’, which are the cruiser class and destroyer class frigates respectively, and so might be a bit confusing. 'Stratus’ was another cloud name option, but cumulonimbus clouds are heavy, dense clouds that form mountains or towers and can produce hail and tornadoes. That sounds pretty appropriate for a battleship.

It took some fiddling to get the core right. It’s a combination of 1x2 travis bricks and 1x1 bricks with a stud on one side. There are a few 1x2 plates between the bricks so that the studs line up correctly for the top and bottom plates. The ship is 12 studs long, which is a bit small coe a capital ship (maximum size limit is 16 studs).

He swore to himself, he would kill every last seeker. Every. Last. One.

Mistwatch stood tall and proud, or as proudly as he could with his energon caked frame.

His optics were hidden beneath a silver visor that when one looked at it, would be revealed to be a mirror and not just silver. One arm was gone and the mech’s paint job was about as shoddy as the torn up city-state he had just limped out of. Long metal bars were welded onto one leg from the ground up to mid chassis on the outside and the inner one was not to far below where his connection wires could be seen. The weld marks that forced the bars to be permanent obviously amateurish at best. He was a musician, not a beautician.

He swung the leg forward then basically hoped to get the other equal to it. He knew it would be a long, hard, walk to wherever he was headed. One swig-hop at a time he moved. It took joors upon joors for his barely working chronometer to inform him that it should be time to recharge, he had counted the clicks while the dial just twitched. Looking back he saw the dot on the horizon that smoked and billowed as fires were put out. It was still black as it went up, the city was still burning.


CAKE FRAME, the Brain Frame/CAKE benefit show, was an enormous success. We raised over $2,500 towards chairs, tables, honorariums, and printed matter for the 2013 Chicago Alternative Comics Expo!

In between comix performances from Andy Burkholder, Alyssa Herlocher, Jeremy Pettis and Paul Nudd, our host Lyra Hill auctioned off dozens of original artworks by Chicago cartoonists. Emma Rand, Brain Frame’s astronomically talented intern, played Vanna White while musicians Stephen Ptácek and Alex Inglizian improvised accompaniment.

Photos thanks to Gillian Fry.


A couple weeks ago, Cake Frame- a collaborative comix reading between the masterminds of Brain Frame and CAKE (Chicago Alternative Comics Expo), auction, and fundraiser for CAKE took place at the Peanut Gallery.

I made a jam comic with some of the artists there.

I also got some portraits of the contributors and other artists in between readings. Included here are Joe Tallarico, Andy Burkholder, Alyssa Herlocher, Neil Brideau, Ben Bertin, Jeremy Pettis, a portrait of me by J. Tallarico, and Lyra Hill. 


At CAKE FRAME, a benefit for the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo hosted by BRAIN FRAME, the performative comix reading series, Paul Nudd enlisted his brother Ed Nudd to design the soundtrack for his installation and performance, consisting of a slideshow of fly drawings, two monitors looping putrid videos, and Paul’s other ‘brother,’ Barry Nudd, an American-flag draped dummy smoking from the eyes and mouth, on April 12th, 2013.

Video thanks to Burton Bilharz.

It’s my birthday today, my love.

My most memorable birthday was my 18th, when I spent it at a school camp solely because I was excited to wake up surrounded by nature. I don’t care much for birthdays, but they hold a special meaning to me. Not in the sense that I look forward to people remembering my birthday. More in the sense that I look forward to learning something new about me.
On my 18th birthday, I learned the impact I had made on the people around me. My entire camping group had brought a cake, candles, and a frame to put a picture of us in just for my birthday. Someone snuck in a tiny bottle of vodka. During the early morning meeting, my friend at the time gave me the cake she told me she’d bring. In about ten minutes, the entire group had carried me out to the field chanting ‘Happy Birthday’ where we ate cake, took a picture, and just enjoyed the cold morning air.

Once, you told me that I don’t expect much of people. You made it sound like it was a bad thing. It CAN be a bad thing - it can lead to people taking advantage of me (and that has happened way too much). But I think that’s what gives me the strength to smile on the worst days. I remember the time I was sat in the corner of my old living room, hunched over smiling at the sound of your voice singing, what has to be one of the most depressing songs. Prelude 12-21 by AFI. I was so happy that you were willing to do that one thing for me, even if you didn’t seem like you wanted to. It was such a genuine action.

I remember when you sent me a snapchat of you blowing me a kiss, with a sideways smile on your head like I just reached up and messed up your hair. I don’t know if I can put into words the surprise and love I felt for you in that moment. Today, I wish you would do the same. I wish you would reciprocate the way I express my love. I wish you would tell me all the little things you love about me. Tell me that the picture I just sent you reminds you of a cute puppy. Tell me that your favorite thing in the world is my laugh.

I know you’re not that person, but tonight I wish you would be more open about your feelings towards me. I can hear you sign as I write this, rolling your eyes and saying 'I’m not as romantic,’ but you are! You so are. It just takes you a while to get on a roll. Maybe it’s because I love you more than you love me. Maybe I’m more involved in this mess than you are. Maybe my feelings are a lot more poetic and romantic, and yours are a lot more practical and companianate. I wish we could find our rhythm, find the moments that make our souls 'ping’ together.

I realized something today - you really just need someone. Whether it’s me or someone else, you need someone to talk to and express yourself to. Someone who can sit there in silence as you vent, and hold you gently on bad nights. You would never admit this to anyone but you desperately need someone, if only for company. You need someone to distract you from your bad thoughts, who can remind you that bad thoughts are okay to have. Someone who can reassure you that you are loved, oh so loved, and that there are a million things about you that are beautiful and wonderful, even if some may need changing.

I’m willing to be that person, but will you be that person for me? How willing are you to stay up till 3am reassuring me repeatedly that I’m loved and cared for when I feel worthless? I’d like to hope so.

Whether it’s me or someone else, I hope someone holds your hand soon. I hope that you get all the pent up kisses and hugs between us. I hope that you get your brains fucked out by me against walls, on beds, on floors, in kitchens - anyone I can get my hands on you. I hope someone can show you all the ways you’ve been loved in their head, show you all the ways you’ll experience new found joys and laughs. I hope someone can be that someone for you. I hope that someone is me.

As I write this, I won’t be seeing you for at least two years. At this point, you’re kind of disappointed that a) I don’t wanna marry you right away and b) I don’t wanna move in with you right away. It’s funny to me that you are disappointed because to me, our relationship just began. We have known each other 6 years, and in those 6 years we’ve only hurt each other. We’ve learned how to love but doing all the things to hurt. We learned the do’s by doing the don’t’s. In my eyes, this is the beginning of our new found love. And by that standard, it is way too early to be marrying you just yet. You’ve barely begun to unravel me, jaan. Just you wait, there’s more to me than what you see. You’re going to have to be patient.