Everything is coming back. After a three year layoff, CAKE (Chicago Alternative Comics Expo) is returning to an in person event June 3-4 at the Broadway Armory. The event, currently run by Tyrell Cannon, Sage Coffey, Chris Lopez, Tony Recktenwald and Ed Witt, had become the premiere venue for indie comics in Chicago. 

Cake was first cancelled during the pandemic year of 20202,  and organizers made  the decision to postpone it until 2023 last year, due to the ongoing pandemic and the difficulty of putting on a show with a short lead time. Some virtual events and videos were released during the layoff, but this will be the first big event for the vibrant Chicago indie comics scene in a while. Info on dates and venue is as follows:

What: CAKE 2023
When: Saturday June 3 & Sunday Jun 4, 2023
Where: Broadway Armory, 5917 N Broadway, Chicago, IL (right off the Thorndale Red Line stop)

CAKE’s COVID-19 policy is posted here – the new venue is operated by the Chicago Parks District, and the show will comply with their policies. However they strongly encourage masking and vaccinations. 

As for exhibitors: CAKE has traditionally been a juried show, and they will pick up where they left off with the list of exhibitors picked for the 2020 show. Those accepted will be given more information via email. 

Organizers are excited for the return, writing “Thanks for sticking with us, and we really do hope to see you at the show!”

While CAKE is one of the last prominent indie comics fests to return to an in-person event, as I reported last year, a few very well known shows  – CAB in Brooklyn and CALA in LA – have not returned from their pandemic shut-downs due to many factors. 

However, the rest of the calendar is booming, with MoCCA, TCAF, SPX, CCX, Short Run, Thought Bubble and many more shows providing the launchpad for both books and friendships that indie comics festivals are known for.

And who knows, with EVERYONE hitting the road again, maybe CAB and CALA will return in some new form. 

In the meantime, check out the CAKE website for more info on June’s show.