The fourth annual Chicago Alternative Comics Expo ( CAKE ) is taking place June 6-7, and with more programming and workshops for attendees.
"It really stands out as one of the top independent comic shows in the country," said Chad Sell, Chicago comic artist.
Some of the programming will include "A Conversation with the Hernandez Brothers," "Comic Books and Speculative Fiction," "Comics in Cyberspace" and "The Real Truth," in which cartoonists will explain the nuances of creative nonfiction as well as some of the ethics and challenges that come with writing about real people.
CAKE will also include workshops including, but not limited to: live drawing and inking demonstrations, printing techniques with Anya Davidson, experiment to see if cartoonists in different parts of the country have different styles, and formatting your comics for web and other mediums.
Chad Sell, who has been at each expo from the beginning, will be at CAKE 2015 showcasing his latest autobiographical comic, Vreeland. Sell is entirely self-published and known for his collection that caricaturizes queens from RuPaul's Drag Race.
"I'm really interested in the play of gender and sexuality in my workthere's a strong queer element in my autobiographical workI try to create questions of queer identity in pretty much all of my work," said Sell.
He sells much of his work online and at mix of mainstream comic shows and alternative ones like CAKE. Sell finds self-publishing, "gratifying but not necessarily profitable… To succeed in self-publishing, you really have to have self-discipline and you have to have a certain amount of entrepreneurial gusto."
"I would guess that the majority of the exhibitors [at CAKE] self-publish their work."
CAKE is a gathering of comic artists, aspiring artists and fans. Sell expressed his excitement to meet other comic artists and fans for an "otherwise very solitary craft."
This year's CAKE event will be held at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., 11 a.m.-6 p.m., with free admission. The exhibitors list can be viewed at www.cakechicago.com/4194/cake-2015-exhibitors-announced/ .