Comics Vs Games 3!!!

Two years ago, Toronto Comic Arts Festival, in partnership with The Hand Eye Society, Attract Mode and TIFF Nexus, set out to see what happens when cartoonists are asked to think about video games. The end result was the very first Comics vs Games, and pretty things to look at and fun things to play.

Then, in 2013, Bento Miso was brought onboard for Comics vs Games 2, to create a wholly original fusion of zine fairs and arcades. And all three parties are back for Comics vs Games 3, an official TCAF 2014 event that’s both onsite and off. One that promises to be bigger, bolder, and flat out better than ever before!


The Comics vs Games 3D Gallery

Presented by Attract Mode and Bento Miso
Opening Reception May 8, 2014
7:00 PM – 11:00 pm
Bento Miso, #100 862 Richmond Street West, Toronto, ON M6J 1C9
Free Event
Facebook Details

Once again, Attract Mode has gathered the finest cartoonists and illustrators we know of, to offer their unique take on the subject of video games. But this time we’re upping the ante by presenting their work in eye-popping 3D. Red-and-blue tinted glasses will be provided! Artists confirmed for the gallery include: Lamar Abrams, Mariel Cartwright, Steve Courtney, Ashley Davis, Kyle Fewell, JovoVe, Kris Mukai, John Pham, Asif Siddiky, Kelly Smith, Babs Tarr, Jesse Tise, Ventla, and Mikko Walamies.

That’s not all: Bento Miso has commissioned three games that pair comic artists with game makers, with cutting-edge virtual reality tech added to the mix. You’ve all heard that the Oculus Rift is the future of video games, but did you know that it’s the next big things in comics as well? TCAF 2014 is proud to present Toronto at large their very first chance to see the next big step in art and technology.

The collaborations are:

  • Libraria: An adventure game set in a B&W pop-up book created by Kyle Dwyer (creator of 2012 IndieCade Official Selection European Rainbow Training) and Adam Hines (freelance animator/host of the Guys with Pencils podcast)
  • Altar: An exploration of alien tableaus that the player shapes the destinies of by Daniele Hopkins (game artist and creator of the PlayStation controller bra) and Gillian Blekkenhorst (comic artist/Dames Making Games member)
  • An immersive magical girl transformation battle crafted by Christine Love (creator of first visual novel on Steam, Analogue: A Hate Story) and Jenn Woodall (creator of Magical Beatdown Vol. 1).

Bit Bazaar: Spring Fair 2014

Presented by Bento Miso
Saturday, May 10, 2014

11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Bento Miso, #100 862 Richmond Street West, Toronto, ON M6J 1C9
Free Event
Facebook Details

Last year’s experiment in creating a TCAF-esque experience, but showcasing works and wares of game makers, was a bona fide smash success. So naturally, Bento Miso and TCAF are thrilled to present the Spring 2014 edition of Bit Bazaar as part of Comics vs Games 3! This time, over 30 independent game developers and studios from across Canada will be presenting their wares in a one of a kind celebration of the art and craft of indie games, presented in the tradition of zine fairs. It’s not just the chance to see the next big thing in gaming, both digital and physical, but an opportunity to meet their proud creators as well, plus support their efforts by nabbing one-of-a-kind, limited-edition goodies.

PLUS: Bento Miso and Snakes and Lattes are teaming up for the debut of not one, but two board games with major Toronto comics appeal! Be the first to buy your copy of Dinosaur Comic creator Ryan North’s game Machine of Death (co-created with the amazing David Malki !), and be part of the WORLD EXCLUSIVE first play-test of the Kill Shakespeare Board Game with creator’s Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col.

Exhibitors that are slated to appear include:

  • Metanet Software (N++)
  • Ko-op Mode (Gnah!)
  • Uvula/Wild Rumpus/Venus Patrol (Tenya Wanya Teens)
  • Castle Pixel (Rex Rocket)
  • Will O’Neill (The Highwayman)
  • Golden Gear (Fate Tectonics)
  • Love Conquers All Games (Interstellar Selfie Station)
  • Kara Stone (Medication Meditation)
  • and many more!

For more information, check out the Bit Bazaar website!

Comics vs Games Talks


Presented by TCAF and The Hand Eye Society
Saturday, May 10, 2014

12:00 am – 7:00 pm 
Bento Miso, #300 – 862 Richmond Street West, Toronto, ON M6J 1C9
Free Event

After last year’s successful Comics vs Games panel, we’re expanding to a full day of programming! We’ve invited a talented crew of comic and game creators to talk about their work  and the intersection between the two mediums. It’s all happening just upstairs from Bit Bazaar and the Comics vs Games Gallery.  Panels include:

12 pm – 1pm: Comics and Crowds – The Experimental, Massively Multiplayer Comics of XKCD – A Conversation With Randall Munroe
Randall Munroe with interviewer Miguel Sternberg

Whether it’s a single comic that tells a story over four months or one who’s contents change based on live donations to wikipedia, XKCD has a long history of experimental comics that could only work with a large, highly engaged fanbase. In this conversation with creator Randall Munroe we’ll discuss these unusual comics, their similarity to ARGs and other mass participation games, and the general role of playfulness in his work.

1pm – 2pmThe Last of Us – Making American Dreams
Faith Erin Hicks
Ignoring the usual cookie cutter approach to licensed videogame comics the The Last of Us’s creative director Neil Druckman tapped comic creator Faith Erin Hicks to co-create their prequel comic “American Dreams”. The characters and locations from the comic have gone on to influenced both the game and its DLC “Left Behind” in ways both subtle and significant. In this talk Faith Erin Hicks discusses this unique collaboration between an AAA game studio and independent comic creator.

2pm – 3pmPlay my Life – Autobiographical Comics and Games
David S Gallantmerritt kopasAnnie MokKelly Phillips with moderator Soha El-Sabaawi
While comics have a long history of autobiographical work, this is an area that game creators have only recently started to explore, creating works ranging from the intensely personal to the intentionally banal. In this panel, creators from both mediums discuss the similarities and differences in how they approach real-life personal themes and narratives in their work.

3pm – 4pmPutting Pixels on Paper – Game Zine Revolution
Elizabeth SiminsAshley DavisMathew KumarMatt Hawkins with moderator Adam Hines
At the same time as traditional game magazines are dying off, the last few years have seen a videogame zine renaissance. Featuring critical and personal writing on games, fan comics and illustrations and taking forms ranging from hand bound silk screen art objects to glossy full color magazines Our panel of experts discuss their own zine work, the movement in general and why physical zines are important in a time when publishing online has never been easier.

 4pm – 5pmFurnishing Gone Home – Creating a House That Tells a Story
Kate Craig
Comic creator and game artist Kate Craig talks through the creation of the mansion in the award-winning story exploration game Gone Home, revealing how she helped tell the game’s central story of love and self discovery visually, through individually crafted environments and found objects.

5pm – 6pm: The Yawhg Post Mortem – Crafting A Multiplayer Choose Your Own Adventure.
Damian Sommer and Emily Carroll
Originally created as a jam game for the first year of Comics vs Games, the Yawhg went on to be developed into a full commercial release nominated for multiple Independent Games Festival awards. Game developer Damian Sommer and comic creator Emily Carroll discuss the creation of their darkly humorous multiplayer narrative game.

6pm – 7pm: Out of Order – Playing with Sequential Art in Framed
Joshua Boggs
Will Eisner and Scott McCloud define comics as “Sequential Art”, but what happens when you make a game around re-arranging that sequence? Josh discusses the effects of creating a “comic-book-game” that plays with the order of events, from both a game and narrative design standpoint.

The Comics vs Games 3 Showcase @ TCAF

Presented by TCAF and The Hand Eye Society
Sat May, 10 9am-5pm – Sun May 11, 11am-5pm

Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St, Toronto
Free Event

The Comics vs Games Showcase is back at the TCAF Reference Library location offering a chance to play a range of strange and inspiring independent games in the library!

This year we’re bringing back a selection of favorites from the original Comics vs Games. These are original games created by indie comic artists and game makers specifically for the TIFFnexus Comics vs Games project. In the two years since they were originally presented some of them have made it out into the wild while others are still secreted away from the public, only available to play at events like this.

Also making their Canadian debut will be several games from ARTXGAME, the Attract Mode project that originally inspired Comics vs Games. It’s a groundbreaking collaboration between Attract Mode and Giant Robot featuring games created by illustrators and game makers.

All the games will be playable at the MeetUp, the island of space age furniture on the second floor of the reference library.

Comics vs Games
Black Church Brigandage - Miguel Sternberg & Andy Belanger
Cumulo Nimblers - John Martz & Farbs
We’re no Angels – Steve Manale & Jamie Fristrom
The Yawhg – Emily Carroll & Damian Sommer

Calvin and Hellen’s Bogus JourneyHellen Jo X Derek Yu
JottobotsJ. Otto Seibold X Kyle Pulver
UntitledDeth P Sun X Cactus
UntitledSouther Salazar X Petri Purho
Return of the Quack – Matt Furie X Chevy Ray Johnston
Catburger – Beau Blyth X Jeni Yang

Special Guest (Sunday only):
Framed – with developer Joshua Boggs from Love Shack Entertainment

Comics vs Games 3 is a Toronto Comics Arts Festival event sponsored by Bento Miso and co-organized with The Hand Eye Society and Attract Mode.