Photo via Kevin Budnick
It’s a little hard to find concrete reports from indie shows these days unless Secret Acres or Robyn Chapman post reports, from the social media, looks like CAKE Chicago this weekend was a successful indie show. I’ve heard mixed reports on sales in past years, but based on the “haul photos” I’ve seen, a lot of comics were purchased. I dug up a few more concrete reports:
Jonathan Bogart has a very funny post that reveals what Tom Spurgeon And Kevin Huizenga like to talk about, but he had a good time:
Since I’ve spent the last several years in a comics headspace dominated by European comics of the 50s through the 80s, it was great to just walk the tables and get a sort of immediate crash course on the dominant aesthetics and various kinds of scenes brewing in the self-publishing and micropublishing worlds of Midwestern and Midwestern-accessible comics.
It was a goddamn delight to see Jillian Tamaki the rockstar of the event – I saw people walking by Gilbert Hernandez on the floor without a second glance, but Jillian’s table was mobbed every time she was there, and seemed to do good business even when she wasn’t.
Sean Kleefeld has a more comprehensive post about the current con glut and how that impacts planning:
I was talking a bit with Kevin Budnik at CAKE this weekend, and I think he hit on an excellent point. He was a bit nervous going into the show this year because his table is waaaaay far in the back corner of the space. Argueably, the worst table there: the very last table in the corner farthest away from the entrance. Yet he was doing pretty well sales-wise — possibly better than SPX, but he hadn’t done a firm tally on that when I spoke with him — and he attributed that to walk-ins.
This year, I talked to and saw several creators at CAKE — certainly more than a dozen — that sold out of some or all of their books. If one or two people sold out, I’d blame that on them for not bringing enough, but over a dozen? That’s something else. I talked to organizer Max Morris, and he was saying that their preliminary count for Day One was 1500-2000 and the half-day numbers for Day Two looked to be half that, but given how many people were selling out, I suspect the final two-day tally is closer to 5,000.
And Matt Brady bought many comics:
This past weekend was the fourth annual Chicago Alternative Comics Expo, or CAKE, and I’m happy to say that it seemed to be a successful event for everyone involved, from the organizers, to the attendees, to the many amazing artists who were exhibiting their work. I’ve volunteered for the event in previous years, but this year they asked me to get even more involved, so I was the Social Media Coordinator for the weekend, running the official CAKE Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr accounts. I spent the weekend walking around, taking pictures on my phone, and doing lots of tweeting, retweeting, and sharing, so if you check out the past couple days of activity on those accounts, you’ll have a pretty good picture of what I was up to.
Here’s that account and a few random tweets:
— Alex Koppel (@arsduo) June 7, 2015
Holy butts, #CAKEchicago2015 was amazing. Met so many great and talented folks who absolutely had better things to do than talk to me
— rae whitlock (@RPWhitlock) June 7, 2015
— Scott Roberts (@scaattr) June 9, 2015
Tons o’ photos in that last link:
Anyhoo, sounds like after four years this show has established itself as the midwestern incie fest that Chicago has needed for a while.
Did you go? Did you like it? Sound off in the comments!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.