CAKE 2019 Exhibitor Application
The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) is a weekend-long celebration of independent comics, inspired by Chicago’s rich legacy as home to many underground and alternative comics’ most talented artists -past, present, and future. Featuring comics for sale, workshops, exhibitions, panel discussions and more, CAKE is dedicated to fostering community and dialogue amongst independent artists, small presses, publishers and readers.


CAKE 2019 will take place June 1 & 2 at Center on Halsted, 3656 N Halsted Avenue. CAKE's standard table space is a half-table (3’ x 2.5’). A registration fee for a half-table is $75 which is due upon acceptance into CAKE. There is no application fee.


CAKE is a curated show, and the organizers aim to highlight the best artists working in independent and alternative comics, established and emerging, with an equal care for small press publishers and self-publishing artists. We recognize personal aesthetic preference informs selections but should not drive jurors’ decisions. We hold ourselves to a broader standard than personal aesthetics in order to create the diverse and representative festival for which CAKE has become known. CAKE also prioritizes being a demographically inclusive show that reflects, encourages and advances the full diversity of artists working in our community, including women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community.


For the first round of jurying, we reach out to a broad selection of people in and adjacent to the Chicago comics scene, so that our show best reflects the interests and aesthetic of the wider community. For the second round of jurying, the CAKE organizers make final nudging assessments to lobby for artists who did not make the cut, and to assure that the final exhibitor list reflects the rich variety of creators in alternative comics.


The application period is open for three weeks, we encourage you to take your time and put together a strong application. Please direct any questions you may have to exhibitors@cakechicago.com. The application period will run until DEC 9, so we encourage you to take your time and put together a strong application.

We will reply to all questions as quickly as possible.


DEADLINE FOR COMPLETE APPLICATION: DEC 9, 2018
APPLICANTS WILL BE NOTIFIED REGARDING ADMISSION: FEBRUARY 1, 2019

Contact Information (Step 1 of 8)
Name *
Your answer
Address *
Your answer
City *
Your answer
State *
Your answer
Email Address *
Your answer
Personal Gender Pronoun
Your answer
Are you applying as an ARTIST or as a SMALL PRESS PUBLISHER/DISTRO/COLLECTIVE? (Step 2 of 8)
Most applicants should apply as an “artist.” A half table space, (3’ x 2.5’) is the standard size for exhibiting at CAKE. An “artist” half table space can accommodate one or two artists.


Unless you are applying as a small press publisher, a distro, or an organized collective, you must apply for an “artist” half table space.


If you are a small press publisher, distro or collective you may apply for up to two full tables. Space is limited, and we want to accommodate as many exhibitors as possible. CAKE reserves the right to offer less table space than requested by small press publishers, distros or collectives.


If you are a group of friends who always table together, you should each apply as separate “artist,” and request to be placed next to each other. We do our best to accommodate seating requests.

I’m applying as a[n]... *
Introduction to the Jury (Step 3 of 8)
The jury is composed of over 100 members of the alternative comics community in Chicago. Your application will be reviewed by at least five jurors, assigned randomly, who may not be familiar with your work. These questions provide the jury with a better understanding of your relationship with alternative comics.
We want to know about your experience with alternative comics. *
Please take a moment to introduce yourself to us, some things you might want to include are your publishing history (are you a self-publisher, do other people publish you), and how frequently you table at festivals. Limited to 2,000 characters
Your answer
Would this be your first time exhibiting at a comics show? *
CAKE is interested in knowing which applicants have never exhibited at a comics festival before. We want to support and encourage first-time exhibitors who might not have as much work to show as mid-career comic artists; your answer to this question will help the jurors review your application in that context.
Your answer
Would this be your first time exhibiting at CAKE? *
CAKE is interested in knowing how many of our exhibitors are tabling at CAKE for the first time. The percentage of first-time exhibitors may also be used in promotional material. Your answer to this question will not be shared with our jurors.
Your answer
Promotional Information (Step 4 of 8)
If you are accepted, this information will be used to promote your involvement at CAKE. You may enter information for up to two exhibitors. If you are a Small Press Publisher, Distro or Collective, feel free to include additional exhibitors in the comments at the end of the application. We do not encourage more than 2 exhibitors behind a half table space.


Should your table space be listed in our family-friendly comics guide?
CAKE will produce a guide for families to direct them to tables with work intended for kids. If your work is appropriate for children, please mark yes. If you are not sure, please mark no. Your answer will not be visible to jurors, and is solely used for the family-friendly guide.

Your Name (Exhibitor 1) *
As you would like it to be listed on our website, program, and promotional materials.
Your answer
Short Bio *
To be listed on the “Guests and Exhibitors” page on CAKE’s website. Llimited to 1,000 characters.
Your answer
URL
Please only list one.
Your answer
Facebook Link
Your answer
Twitter Handle
Your answer
Instagram @
Your answer
Other Social Media
Any other social media platform account that you'd like to share
Your answer
Please provide a link to a square image to accompany your bio.
Your answer
Would you be interested in participating in any workshops, panels, or other programming?
You may select as many as you would like, and we'll pass your interest on to our programming committee.
Your Name (Exhibitor 2, if applicable)
As you would like it to be listed on our website, program, and promotional materials.
Your answer
Short Bio
To be listed on the “Guests and Exhibitors” page on CAKE’s website. Llimited to 1,000 characters.
Your answer
URL
Please only list one.
Your answer
Facebook Link
Your answer
Twitter Handle
Your answer
Instagram @
Twitter, tumblr, Facebook, etc.
Your answer
Other Social Media
Any other social media platform account that you'd like to share
Your answer
Please provide a link to a square image to accompany your bio.
Your answer
Would you be interested in participating in any workshops, panels, or other programming?
Table Seating Preferences and Needs (Step 5 of 8)
Do you have accessibility or health needs that we should be aware of when assigning table spaces?
Your answer
Do you have a preference for people you would like to sit next to?
Please list up to two people. We do our best to honor seating requests.
Your answer
Submitting Work Samples (Step 6 of 8)
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT COMPONENT OF YOUR APPLICATION, and we would like to see work most representative of what you will be exhibiting at CAKE.

Please provide us with up to five links to comics you make. Alternately, providing a single page with up to 5 links to your work is also acceptable. Please refer to http://www.cakechicago.com/work-samples-example/ as an example.

Your links should direct jurors to specific examples of your work, making it as easy as possible for our jurors to view your comics.

DO NOT provide us with five cover images, or with illustration work. We want our jurors to see comics pages.

DO NOT provide us with links to the front page of your website or just your tumblr URL.

DO NOT link to Gumroad or any other website that will require jurors to download content. All links should direct jurors to comics visible online.

If you are unable to provide us with links, and need to submit your work samples by a different method, please email us at exhibitors@cakechicago.com.

Upon reviewing your application, Exhibitor Services staff may contact you and ask for different samples. We do this when we believe your samples do not give our jurors a clear enough impression of the comics you produce. We do this to help you have the strongest application possible. Providing different samples is optional.

Link 1
Your answer
Link 2
Your answer
Link 3
Your answer
Link 4
Your answer
Link 5
Your answer
Additional Comments (Step 7 of 8)
Is there any additional information our jurors should know about your comics work that you were unable to include elsewhere on this application?
Your answer
Terms and Conditions (Step 8 of 8)
Please acknowledge that you have read and understand these terms.
The Application Process *
Filling out this application does not guarantee you a table space at CAKE. All applications submitted on or before December 9, 2018, will be reviewed during December and January, and applicants will be informed by February 1, 2019, as to the result of the jury process. While reviewing applications, CAKE strives to put together a show that includes a wide variety of talent and experience behind our tables. We are looking more for an indication of a passion for alternative comics than for an established reputation. We also hope to present a strong selection of artists from the greater Chicago area and are eager to host and promote first-time exhibitors. Exhibitors should have for sale at least one title that they feel strongly represents their talent and personal voice as a comics creator. CAKE reserves the right to request more information about your table merchandise. No table space is reserved until you receive confirmation from CAKE.
Required
The Jury Process *
All applications submitted on time will be reviewed by at least 5 jurors, who will rate the work of the applicant on a scale from 10 to 1. The jurors’ primary concern is selecting exhibitors who reflect alternative comics's rich and varied styles. Each applicant’s ratings will be averaged together, and all applicants will be ranked based on their averaged score. CAKE organizers will then have an opportunity to advocate for applicants who may have received a lower ranking due to inexperience or a unique style. Your score is only seen by CAKE organizers and Exhibitor Services staff. We will not share your score with anyone outside of the CAKE organization.
Required
Exhibitor Fees *
An exhibitor fee of $75 for each half table (3’ x 2.5’) granted is due within three weeks of being invited to exhibit at CAKE. If you are invited to exhibit, you will receive instructions on payment. PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT ANY PAYMENT WITH THIS APPLICATION! CAKE loves crafts and baked goods, but we ask that exhibitors focus their tables on comics. No animals, except service animals, are allowed at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo.
Required
Refund Policy *
In the event of table cancellation, CAKE will refund table fees as long as we can fill the table space from our waiting list. Refunds will be issued within 30 days. TABLES CANCELLED AFTER APRIL 30, 2019 WILL ONLY RECEIVE A 50% REFUND IF WE CAN FILL THE TABLE SPACE.
Required
Privacy Policy *
Exhibitor’s contact information will be kept private. CAKE will not sell, trade, rent, or give away submitted contact information to a third party.
Required
Safer Space Policy *
CAKE does not discriminate against any person with respect to race, color, sex, gender identity, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military discharge status, or source of income. CAKE is a safe space: actions or merchandise that is considered hateful or that makes any attendee, staff member, or exhibitor feel unsafe will not be tolerated. Offended parties are encouraged to approach CAKE organizers to mediate and resolve the situation. CAKE reserves the right to remove any party from our events. Participants agree to not hold CAKE, its staff, or Center on Halsted responsible for any lost, stolen, or damaged merchandise. The CAKE safer space policy is intended to make our event a supportive, nonthreatening, and safe environment. If you experience harassment, abuse, assault,or any other kind of violation of our policy during CAKE, or if for any other reason you need support, please notify CAKE organizers or CAKE staff; our on-call exhibitor services team will help resolve the situation.
Required
Wait List Contact Options *
Unfortunately, not everyone who applies will be able to show at CAKE. In the event that your application is placed on the wait list, we'd like to know when we can get in touch with you if a spot opens up. We recognize that not everyone will be able to travel with a reduced lead time, so please let us know the latest point of time at which we should contact you regarding an invitation to the show.
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