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It Must Have Been Love

GOOD LORD, you people left us with nothing! We mean this in a good way. Let us explain…

So we went to Chicago for some CAKE, aka the Chicago Alternative (K)omics Expo. Despite blinding flash storms in the great state of Ohio, the books arrived smooth and clean as a whistle. It took a minute, but we managed to assemble at a gay arcade (and you wonder why we love Chicago?) before heading to a gay, bird-themed bar (or a bird, gay-themed bar) for a late night feeding. Ben Sears kept drawing and refused to even look at us. Some people respect their deadlines. Ahem. We attempted to keep the pre-gaming short, but Dustin Harbin kept mansplaining cunnilingus to us.



We snuck in a disco nap at our sweet, sweet Boystown loft, our dreams haunted by the world’s most unintentionally phallic logo lurking outside our windows. Somehow, we rallied and got set up on time. It felt easy, but that might be because we were a quintet. Aaron Costain and Reid Pslatis reprised their TCAF roles, with newborn books Entropy and Kingdom/Order. Corinne Mucha returned to the Secret Acres gang with her reborn Get Over It! Edie Fake, who insisted on getting every last Secret Acres book on the tables, stole the show, making everything a Little Stranger. The goddesses even blessed with the best sixth man ever, our table bunkie and Cupcake Award winner, Adam Griffiths. Just try to go wrong with a gang like that.



We needed everybody to satisfy the needs of the CAKE hordes. Maybe we imagined the whole thing, but it seemed like attendance had tripled over the past couple of years. Aaron asked the most adorably Canadian question about comics shows: are they all so inclusive as TCAF and CAKE? We wish we could say yes. Hosted by the beautiful Center on Halsted, CAKE makes the most of everybody, and it shows in the crowd, all love and smiles and pronoun stickers. They all love some comics at CAKE, too, taking away every Little Stranger we had. Yes, Edie Fake sold out. Anybody out there wondering whether CAKE can compete with the big shows in the sales department needs to stop. Comic con economics be damned; we can pay some debts now. We offer our sincere thanks to CAKE’s organizers. When everybody feels like they’re invited, they don’t want to go home, let alone go home empty-handed.



We took a ton of stuff home with us, too. We scored an original Adam Griffiths. We raided Spit and a Half for the new Porcellino and Sally and Zervakis, who keep getting better, which would be scary if they weren’t so damn generous. Perfectly Acceptable made us feel woefully inadequate with their exquisitely printed Dog Nurse. Old friends Czap and Knickerbocker brought new comics. OPP brought comics from Italy. Domino hipped us to E.A. Bethea. Georgia finally gave us Dumb, but her table was a disaster. Get it together, Georgia. We may be the last people on the planet to fall for Isabella Rotman, but better late than never. Fifi Martinez received our So Fucking Depressing Award 2018. We won’t count our Kilgores, sine that was a Kickstarter thing, but: new Sergel! Of course, one the best discoveries of the weekend has no name on it. Tell us who you are, maker of the mini with the keyboard cover (the title of which we are too stupid to figure out)!



CAKE was great, really, but the best part for us happened off the floor. You should try it. Take the chance when you get it to chat with the aforementioned Porcellino and Sally because you’ll keep thinking about everything they say. Enjoy mediocre Thai food with new friends like Mr. and Mrs. Fiona Smyth and Kilgore Dan. Check out Reid howling through Zevon at karaoke. Let Edie drag your ass to the middle of nowhere for a Polish buffet with the most awesome Marian Runk belting out Roxette at the table. Follow the original CAKE baker, Grace Tran, to a basement reading by Lale Westvind. Talk binder fashion with superstar Carta Monir. Head back to the gay arcade and watch silver fox Dustin put the moves on some dude named Eric. We try to make it count because we never see the people we love and admire enough. Do you?

Forgive us, but we’re wiped out. Summer calls. See you in September…

Your Pal,


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