This weekend marks the first of two new comic conventions here in Chicago—CAKE (the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo) and the South Side Comic Con. Although comic conventions are nothing new to our city, both of these new cons bring something we’ve been waiting for. CAKE highlights indie, underground, and alternative comics—leaving the mainstream stuff to the bigger cons like C2E2 and Wizards World. CAKE will be going on all weekend, June 16-17 at Columbia College, and is free and open to the public.

Chicago’s had a rich history of alternative comics and CAKE aims to bring workshops, panel discussions, exhibits, and of course indie books for sale to the Chicagoland comics community. They’ve put together a really impressive list of local talent, including cartoonist Jeffrey Brown, whose new book, Darth Vader and Son, seems to be popping up everywhere.

I’ve seen this book in comic shops, bookstores, and even at Urban Outfitters. Appropriate for Father’s Day weekend, Darth Vader and Son is a collection of comic panels featuring fatherhood and set in the Star Wars universe. Inspired by Brown’s own experience as a dad, it stars a young Luke and a clueless Vader playing ball, going to the zoo, and sharing ice cream—all the while dropping in well-known Star Wars quotes in a completely different context. Adorable, funny, and super nerdy, I see why CAKE brought this guy in for Father’s Day.

This weekend is also home to the first-annual South Side Comic Con, which debuts Sunday, June 17. A joint effort between Onli Studios and First Aid Comics, the South Side Con is a place to pick up original art, action figures, comic books, and meet up with South Side comic creators and collectors. The Comic Con, which has completely free admission, will be at 34th and Racine, on the 4th floor gallery. After having to trek north every time a comic convention pops up, Chicago finally has a convention on the South Side! And James, owner of First Aid, tells me there’s free parking, which is awesome. The South Side Comic Con promises to return next year, also on Father’s Day, as a time for families (and especially dads) to enjoy comic books together.