Fantagraphics at CAKE 2018

Next weekend, June 2nd and 3rd, Fantagraphics will head to the Windy City for the 2018 Chicago Alternative Comics Expo. Read on for special guests, debut books, and some very exciting programming.

Fantagraphics Tables #317-#318

Special Guests:

Nicole Hollander — Table #314

Nicole Hollander is best known for her syndicated comic strip, Sylvia. Her work has been archived in the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library at Ohio State University, alongside Roz Chast’s, Bill Watterson’s, and other greats. She has published fifteen books and blogs at She’ll be debuting her new graphic memoir, We Ate Wonder Bread, a chronicle of her childhood in a Chicago community that has since disappeared into an expressway.


Carol Tyler — Table #220

Carol Tyler is a cartoonist whose autobiographical stories reflect her struggles and joys as an artist, worker, wife, and mother. In 2016, Tyler received the Cartoonist Studio Prize from the Slate Book Review. The legendary cartoonist Robert Crumb describes her work as having “…the extremely rare quality of genuine, authentic heart. Hers are the only comics that ever brought me to the verge of tears.” Her new book is Fab4 Mania, is a facsimile of the diary that Carol Tyler kept throughout 1965 depicting her Beatles obsession, and culminating in her trip to Chicago on August 20th to see the Beatles in concert.


Georgia Webber — Table #301

Georgia Webber is a cartoonist living in Toronto, where she is the Comics Editor for carte blanche and a freelance comics editor working directly with artists to realize their best work. Fantagraphics will publish Dumb, her autobiographical comics series about living with a vocal disability, in August and advance copies will be available at the show!


Jim Woodring — Table #315

Jim Woodring’s cartoons chart a course through some of the most surreal imagery ever seen in any artistic medium, drawing visions from the realms of the subconscious to create a graphic world of dreams. Jim’s work has taken him around the world, from Australia to Alaska to Oslo, and has garnered him numerous awards, including an Artist Trust Gap Award in 2003, a 2008 Artist Trust Fellowship; an Inkpot Award at the 2008 Comic-Con International in San Diego; a Rasmuson Foundation, and The Stranger named Jim their 2010 Literature Genius. His newest book is Poochytown, the latest and greatest installment in the ongoing saga that began with Congress of the Animals, began again in Fran, and now begins anew.


Other Fanta Guests:

Emil Ferris — Table #316B

Emil Ferris grew up in Chicago during the turbulent 1960s, and is consequently a devotee of all things monstrous and horrific. She has an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. In a previous life, Ferris was an illustrator and toy sculptor for a diverse range of clients. My Favorite Thing Is Monsters was Emil’s first, but not last, graphic novel and garnered her multiple 2017 Ignatz awards, a 2018 Bram Stoker Award for horror writing and the 2018 Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize.


Ivan Brunetti — #317 Signing 1-2pm Saturday & Sunday at the Fantagraphics table

Ivan Brunetti won a 2006 Ignatz Award for his series Schizo and his work is frequently displayed on the cover of The New Yorker. We’ll have copies of the oversized finale issue Schizo #4 and Ho! The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti.


Fanta-relevant Programming/Workshops:


3:00-4:00 Hollander, Pond, Woodring: Nicole Hollander, Mimi Pond, Jim Woodring, moderator Carol Tilley










Three comics legends and CAKE special guests come together to discuss their decades-long careers in comics. Native Chicagoan Nicole Hollander’s much-loved Sylvia ran from 1981–2012, and she most recently she has completed a graphic memoir, We Ate Wonder BreadMimi Pond has created comics for the Los Angeles Times, Seventeen Magazine, National Lampoon, and many other publications, and recently released her two part memoirs, Over Easy (2014), and The Customer is Always Wrong (2017).  Jim Woodring has published dozens of books featuring some of the most surreal imagery ever seen in any artistic medium. They are joined onstage by Carol Tilley, Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whose scholarship focuses on the intersection of young people, comics, and libraries, particularly in the United States during the mid-twentieth century.


3:00-4:00 Drawing the Inside Out: Art, Listening, and Autobiography

In this workshop, comics artist Georgia Webber poses the question “Why do we write about ourselves?” and invites you to join her investigation. Georgia’s comics work has intuitively described her anxiety, chronic pain, and health crises, demonstrating how she uses story to navigate health and the self. Though this workshop will not require its participants to share any personal details, we will see that when we explore our personal language of health and art, discoveries of the self inevitably emerge. Participants will engage in listening exercises, drawing games, and group discussion of how we translate our inner experience to the outer world, and how we value those translations for the connection and understanding they inspire.


Sunday, June 3rd:

3:00-4:00  FANDEMONIUM: Carol Tyler, Gina  Wynbrandt, Bianca Xunise and moderator Megan Kirby

Three phenomenal cartoonists and CAKE special guests come together to address their relationship to fandom! Comics luminary Carol Tyler’s most recent book, Fab4 Mania, recreates the exhilaration and excitement of Beatlemania at its height in 1965, her personal obsession with the Beatles, and the odyssey that leads her to the famous Beatles Chicago concert later that year; Chicagoan Gina Wynbrandt’s hilarious book of short stories, Someone Please Have Sex With Me, largely centers around fandom and obsession, from Justin Bieber to Sailor Moon to Kim Kardashian; and Bianca Xunise’s work covers a weird variety of topics, including her immense love of music and goth culture. A self-professed One Direction scholar, moderator Megan Kirbybrings these three together for what promises to be a lively discussion about what it means to be a fan.


3:00-4:00  99 Problems But a Pitch Ain’t One

Comics editors work their magic quietly, behind the scenes. Their efforts can make good comics great, but how do they do it? And what should cartoonists know when pitching their work or preparing for editorial input? Join Sweaty Palms editor Sage Coffey, freelance editor Georgia WebberLumpen publisher Joe Tallarico, and publisher/editor Dan Stafford of Kilgore Comics as they reveal the ins-and-outs of the editing process and how to present your best work for consideration. Moderated by Tyrell Cannon.
This panel is sponsored by Chicago Printmakers Collaborative.


Quick Links:

CAKE Website

Full Programming Schedule

Where is it? How do I get there??


Alrighty, that’s all for now! Hope to see you there!