And lo, another comic convention has come to pass. The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo took place at the Columbia College campus in lovely (sunny, windy) downtown Chicago.
The man you see stoically trotting towards the entrance is none other than Greg Means, mastermind of Tugboat Press and all-around good guy. Greg is a fellow Portlander and it was good to see him in this far flung locale.
The Midwest! It has been a few years since I was last here. I had almost forgotten about the oppressive muggy heat and the friendly generous natives. I stayed with my college drinking buddy Charlotte, her husband Ed, and their two cats. Duck (pictured below) is the nice one. Squishy, the mean one, I only glimpsed once. I asked what would happen if I put my hand near him. I was told, there will be blood.
CAKE itself was a laugh and two halves. My tablemate Reid and I scored a totally sweet spot right next to the entrance. We were lucky enough to be standing beside my wonderwall Kenan and his tablemates, Betsey and Penina. Just around the corner you could find Chicagoland resident Tyrell Cannon (yes that is his real name), who next year will be sharing a table with me at [SPOILER ALERT] Emerald City Comicon in Seattle.
CAKE was my first comic convention not on a coast. This made it doubly special, since my first convention in the midst of the country was also my most successful since the first year I began going to conventions. It makes me giddy to think of all the folks who are now reading Falling Rock, Jack Ketch, and Tomb of the Zombies (not to mention my foldy comics). Thank you, Chicago, for making me feel so welcome. Thank you also to the tireless organizers, without whom CAKE would not have been the hit it was in its very first year.
If you’d like to see more CAKE next year, I suggest patronizing Quimby’s comic book shop either online or in person. I was finally able to visit that fine shop and found myself overwhelmed with the selection and presentation of low- and high-brow literature. I would also suggest checking out the impressive list of exhibitors CAKE brought to the (metaphorical and literal) table.
It was an excellent, but altogether too brief, excursion into the White City. I hope to be back next year.