The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) just announced that it will not be holding an in-person event for 2022, citing health concerns and the lead time needed to plan a live event. They will not be holding a virtual event in its place.

The event was postponed in 2020 and 2021 as well. They wrote:

Because we are unwilling to jeopardize the safety of our exhibitors, public guests, or volunteer staff, we have unanimously voted to delay the expo again, with an as-of-yet undetermined future date. If you were accepted as an exhibitor for 2020’s expo, your acceptance and table fee will still carry over to the next expo, whenever it happens. CAKE’s organizers are very proud of the expos we have put together in years past, and we will be thrilled to host you. If you would like a refund of your table fee, please email us at [email protected] and your request will be honored. 

But for 2022 organizers will be continuing their digital CAKE Pops of videos where they check in with CAKE creators. You can see last year’s series on YouTube.

While CAKE won’t hold a live show this year, several other indie comics mainstays are hoping to return in the near future:

Art by Yadi Liu

• NYC’s MoCCA Festival returns April 2-3 at the Metropolitan Pavilion. Table applications are open until Monday.



• The Toronto Comics Art Festival (TCAF) returns June 17-19th at its traditional locations at the Toronto Reference Library. The TCAF website has been undergoing some problems, but information on the show can be found on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. Exhibitor applications close today!


• The Small Press Expo (SPX) returns September 17-18th, with the table lottery opening on March 20th.

I checked out the websites of some other prominent comic arts festivals to see their status, and it’s a very mixed bag.

The Lakes Comics Arts Festival is planned for October 14-16th in Bowness-on-Windermere in England.

Short Run will return November 5th in Seattle. Applications will open in June.

Thought Bubble is planned for November 13-14th throughout Yorkshire.

VanCAF in Vancouver is planning to return but not definitive plans yet

Sadly, many other much loved shows have been missing in action for a while:

• Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival: no updates since 2020

Comic Arts LA: No updates since 2020

• Comic Arts Brooklyn: Website is gone, no news since 2020

Maine Comic Arts Festival (MeCAF): No updates since 2019

Boise Comic Arts Festival: No updates since 2019

I may have missed some, so please let me know if I can update or add to this list.

Obviously even the shows that have announced in-person events are subject to change should a new variant or other development arise, but some of the vibrant community of indie comics seems poised to returned in 2022…and hopefully some of the shows that are missing in action will return in some form or another as events warrant.