Chicago Alternative Comics Expo

Comics Awards For Women and PoC

Comics Awards For Women and PoC

CAKE (Chicago Alternative Comics Expo) recently launched the “Cupcake Award,” a $250 microgrant to self-publish a new comic that comes with mentorship from Annie Koyama (the powerhouse behind Koyama Press) and a free table at next year’s show. CAKE is a young comics show, just going in to their fourth year, and they work to distinguish themselves by nurturing and supporting early-career comic…

View On WordPress

Made with WordPress

The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo is Proud to Announce the First Annual Cupcake Award!

Self-publishing is at the heart of our event and community, and supporting emerging artists and helping them grow is central to our mission. The Cupcake Award is a juried prize that supports the self-publishing of a new minicomic by any artist who has not yet had a solo work printed by a publisher. The winner of the award will receive $250 to print a new minicomic, a free half table at next year’s CAKE (where their minicomic will debut), and the mentor support of our special guest judge Annie Koyama. In addition, CAKE will promote the winning artist and their minicomic leading up to next year’s show.

Applications will open after CAKE 2014 concludes on June 1st and will close on August 31st. The CAKE organizers will narrow the application pool to the top 20, and our special guest judge will select the winner. The recipient of the Cupcake Award will be announced when CAKE 2015 applications open in mid-October.

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

✴ Be at least 18 years of age at the time you apply
✴ Be available to attend CAKE 2015 to promote the minicomic supported by the Cupcake Award
✴ Be an artist who has not had a solo work published by a publisher.

Our intention is to support early career comic artists. This is an honor-code application: we will not hunt through your CV to try to disprove your eligibility, so please use your best discretion. If you have work in comics anthologies, have had small freelance comics published in larger publications/platforms or if you have had success with a widely distributed self-published comic, you are eligible; if you have had a book published as a single author by a publisher but you still regularly publish mini-comics, you are not eligible.

While applicants may re-apply every year, they are only eligible to receive the award once.
If you have questions about meeting eligibility, please email us at cupcake [at]

Please send the following to cupcake [at] by August 31:

One-page artist statement and work plan: Please narrate the content and direction of the comics work you have made to date, and describe in detail the minicomic you plan to make with the support of the Cupcake Award.

One-page artist CV: Please include your most recent creative work and accomplishments to date. Be sure to include your name, address, preferred contact information (email, phone, twitter, etc), and website. (Don’t worry if your artist CV is light–this award is meant for emerging artists!)

Work samples: Please submit up to 8 examples of your art representing work done within the last 2-3 years. Be sure to highlight your sequential art, as this is an award specifically for comics. Send us clickable URLs. If you are unable to send us URLs, please get in touch with us.

[Click here for a PDF of our promotional flyer 
& tell all your eligible comics-making friends to apply!]

There is No Love for a Lonely Soul !

I’m finally publishing this comic on my offset press! It will be ready in time for the Chicago Alternative Comic Expo! Come to that and you can buy or trade for it!

You can see a video of me performing this comic at Brain Frame 16!

I’m very excited about this !!!


CAKE DEBUT: Backyard by Sam Alden

Backyard is a comic about housemates in New Orleans. The housemates are vegans and anarchists and community organizers, and the story follows them through a humid summer of small dramas and petty arguments; meanwhile, almost unnoticed, their friend Molly is living in the backyard and slowly turning into a feral dog. 24 pages, published by Sonatina Comics.

Sam is the author of the serialized comics Eighth Grade and Haunter, and of the short stories Farmer’s Dilemma and The Boat. He draws comics in his hometown of Portland, OR.

Visit Sam’s website, and pick up Backyard at Table 90 June 15 & 16th!


See you all at CAKE this weekend in Chicago! This will be my first time attending and exhibiting at CAKE (not to mention visiting Chicago, heyoooo) and I couldn’t be more excited. 

Assuming FedEx Office doesn’t fuck up my order in the next 24 hours I will be debuting a brand new mini-comic title LAPIS LAZULI LABRYINTH, a short story about a young woman who slips into a coma and must complete three dream tasks for the god of sleep in order to return to the waking reality she came from. 

Sitting right by the entrance at table 79, shared with one of my favorite artists Jen Tong

Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE)
Saturday and Sunday, May 31 and June 1
11 am – 6pm
Center on Halsted
3656 N Halsted
FREE and open to the public!

of the people whose comics I’ve read and will almost certainly visit their booths at CAKE:

  • Kevin Budnik - Handbook creator, a personal comic about his ED/anxiety. Also one of the fastest kickstarter fulfillments I’ve experienced.
  • Evan Dahm - Vattu/Riceboy creator.
  • Melanie Gillman - As the Crow Flies creator. Amazing with colored pencils.
  • Ed Luce - Wuvable Oaf - a comic JC was keenest on, about bears, relationships, cats.
  • Rosalarian - GR/MI native and creator of Yu+Me.

and then there’s a bunch of queer/trans artists I wanna check out:

  • M. R. Trower - Creator of Bad Dog, a comic about being trans and in inpatient psychiatric for suicidal ideation
  • “Namifezi” - queer feminist comics from Finland
  • Jon Drawdoer - queer artist
  • Marinaomi - creator of the LGBTQA and Cartoonists of Color databases
  • Chad Sell - queer, does comics about drag queens, and one I like about living in a2 with his aging grandparents
  • Dax Tran Caffee - a “mixed race trans femminine genderqueer”
  • then at 36a there’s a punk/anarchist/queer publisher

I almost forgot my charming tablemate Sasha Steinberg ( sahsashas ) took picture of me at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo ( cakechicago)!  We were both very proud of our super vertical DIY displays, and had a blast as always keeping each other company.  That’s maplekeycomics in the middle - Joyana McDiarmid’s kickass Shonen Jump/MOME-style serialized anthology we’re both a part of- and Marta from privatespectaclepress to the left, with kevinczap sneakin in the backgrounds. 

You can buy all my work at my Counterintutive Comics store (though my two gorgeous goodpalsprinting prints  are only that discounted on Sundays at conventions)!



CAKE DEBUT: Express Less by Lale Westvind

They are stirring “the cum of destruction” for “She”.
“She” is prepared for breast feeding.
The Reenofurs are mating. Observe their “water gun fight” aerial acrobatics.
Sundok, the Tongue of Grun is violated.
She will have revenge on the demon child.
Those who are frustrated end up in BAR.
“Electric Deth.”

Express Less is 28 pages of painful-pleasure-color sci-fi tropes and vulgarity. Includes surprises.

Lale Westvind is moving out of her parent’s house very soon. Lale Westvind needs employment. LaleWestvind loves motorcycles. Lale Westvind is from New York City but loves Chicago. Lale Westvind is barely human.
If this is inappropriate or too dumb to print I will write another one.

Visit Lale’s website, and pick up Express Lane at Table 6 June 15 & 16th!

Lale also made an awesome minicomic for CAKE & Busy Beaver Button Company.  Free copies of the minicomic will be available at CAKE while supplies last, OR you can pick up a free copy on Thursday, 6pm  at Parson’s Chicken and Fish. Click here for more details.


I’ve got a lot of new and almost-new stuff that will be coming with me to the sequentialartistsworkshop table this weekend at cakechicago!

Nearly everything is Riso printed, with the two /real/ debuts being a full-color print and comic, both printed in multiple CMY(and for the print, K) passes.  This was a really exciting experiment, and I’ve documented the process in the GIF above (though apparently scanning florescent pink strips the florescence right off!)

Five out of the remaining comics haven’t been seen outside of athensfluke, so they should be new to most folks too — stop by and take a look!

Here’s a little sample page from “the Cosmouse.” It’s a mini-comic series of mine that is long overdue! I started working on it while tabling at CAKE last weekend and I’m planning to have a little 8 pager out asap. Also, in order to accomplish self-imposed target to have “An Army of Lovers” finished by 2014, I’ll take DemonDust down to quarterly status. BUT if you are a subscriber, expect free copies of my miscellaneous self-published books to compensate. Too many words! ~B


Preview of my new comic/print pack HARVESTIME 20XX

Four-pack of 8-page fold-up comics depicting heartwarming vignettes from the new harvest. Comics unfold to combine backsides into landscape scene of reverence (top-right quadrant seen directly above). 

Printed in two risograph editions (thanks to the help of Kris Mukai) - Multicolored on cardstock (33) and All-Green on 100% recycled paper (49).

Premiering at CAKE this weekend - Table 73 Collective Stench


I donated my cover illustration for Believed Behavior Season 1 to CAKE FRAME 2, a fundraiser for the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo!

If you live in Chicago you should definitely go to the event, it’s this Sunday! This piece and pieces by artists way better than me will be auctioned off to raise money so the CAKE people can do the thing.

This drawing is very big! It’s one of the biggest drawings I’ve ever done. It’s really big. Big drawing!