My name is Christopher Butcher, and I’m the Co-Founder and Festival Director of The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (what we call TCAF). Last month on May 10th and 11th we held the ninth iteration of TCAF, a wonderful celebration of comics, graphic novels, and their creators, from Canada and abroad. On behalf of the entire TCAF team, I’d like to thank all of our attendees, exhibitors, and the staff and volunteers who worked so hard to make 2014 a success.
TCAF 2014 was a pretty phenomenal year for us: we fine-tuned many aspects of the Festival to make them the best that they could be, and introduced new elements to the Festival that will further our mandate to promote and enrich the careers of cartoonists and graphic novelists, with a focus on all of the great work being done here in Canada. As every year, we hope to build on these successes, address deficiencies, and move boldly forward into the future.
As in previous years, the report on our 2014 Festival will be informal, light, and hopefully entertaining, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Oh, but before I start: Could you fill out our attendee survey? We’d really appreciate it! Click here.
TCAF 2014 TimeLapse – The Toronto Comic Arts Festival from Toronto Comic Arts Festival on Vimeo.
SAVE THE DATE: TCAF 2015 takes place May 8th, 9th, and 10th
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is thrilled to announce that it will return to Toronto Reference Library and The Bram and Bluma Appel Salon for 2015. The dates are Friday May 8th (Professional Development), and Saturday May 9th & Sunday May 10th (Exhibition Dates). This continues the wonderful partnership between TCAF and its Presenting Sponsor Toronto Public Library, and secures a beautiful, large, and central location from which to continue building the Festival.
In addition, TCAF will continue to spread its programming and exhibitions through the surrounding neighbourhood and the city, by partnering with venues including The Marriott Bloor Yorkville, St. Paul’s on Bloor, The Pilot, The Japan Foundation, and more. TCAF will continue to grow through its programs and exhibitions, maintaining a strong mix of exhibiting and participating artists each with something unique to offer.
We think it is important to include the Friday May 8th date in the ‘official’ TCAF 2015 dates, as this Professional Development Day is a true extension of our aims and goals. We hope that comics professionals of all stripes, including creative and support professionals, librarians, teachers, archivists, and academics, will continue to support and engage these activities.
And, as in previous years, the Sunday of TCAF will coincide with Mother’s Day. We encourage all Moms reading this to get on board with comics (if they haven’t already!) and to explore the great collections within Toronto Public Library! Failing that, we encourage everyone else with a mom reading this to schedule a nice early brunch before TCAF opens to the public at 11am that day…
Building a better TCAF – Attendance is up! Crowd control is on point.
We’re always conflicted about an increase in attendance numbers, because the physical size of TCAF’s space at the library has not increased significantly since 2011… so we were surprised to hear that attendance was way up for 2014! To us, everything felt like it moved pretty smoothly, and we’re going to do our best to keep things flowing in the Library and all of our spaces in the years to come.
This year’s attendance across all TCAF events was approximately 22,000, up from 18,000 in 2012 and 2013. Both Saturday and Sunday saw considerably more people coming through Toronto Reference Library than last year, based on raw data provided by Toronto Public Library. Sunday in particular was up considerably over 2013 thanks to some really great weather (versus 2013’s hailstorm…).
In addition to the Toronto Reference Library, our space at The Marriott Bloor Yorkville for panels and programming saw vast increases, and our TCAF Kids Day event at St. Paul’s on Bloor hit capacity at several times. Many programs at The Pilot were standing room only, and our Friday professional programming also had respectable attendance, though we recognize there’s room to grow there too!
Our greatest successes came through our wonderful partnership events, particularly all the activities associated with Comics Vs. Games 3: The Bit Bazzar, Comics Vs. Games Showcases, and Comics Vs. Games 3D Gallery. The Bit Bazzar and associated events drew more than 3,000 people, nearly double the numbers in 2013! All of our off-site events this year were very healthily attended. From our kuš Gallery Show “The Last Match” to our screening of the Canadian comics history documentary Lost Heroes to our ever-popular Queer Mixer, events were jam-packed with folks, both those already familiar with the medium of comics and newcomers finding their ‘way in’.
Our continued partnerships and outreach events remain a vital part of the growth of the Festival, and these events will continue to increase in number and diversify in the hopes of reaching the widest-possible audience for comics and graphic novels. Our partnerships with cultural organizations like The Alliance Française, The Japan Foundation, and the Goethe-Institut, and like-minded peers like Bento Miso, the Hand Eye Society, and Attract Mode, will help make this a reality.
Thank you for your support!
TCAF is going to remain a festival that is free to attend, with affordable tables and tons of free (or inexpensive) programming for the public, and we couldn’t do that without the support of our sponsors and partners.
First and foremost, we would like to thank presenting sponsor Toronto Public Library, including the staffs of Toronto Reference Library and The Appel Salon, for their continued partnership and their huge contribution to the Festival. It’s this partnership that helps communicate one of TCAF’s primary goals: the elimination of barriers to entry to the medium of comics. Comics are for everyone, and having TCAF be a part of Toronto Public Library’s rich slate of programming reinforces that fact to the public. Our thanks to TPL for their continued support.
TCAF also couldn’t happen without the retail and logistical backbone that is The Beguiling Books & Art, and Little Island Comics. These two organizations and their staffs contribute mightily to the organization and execution of this event, and their support is greatly appreciated.
TCAF would like to thank the following organizations for their financial support:
- We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.
- TCAF is produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.
- Seneca College School of Creative Arts and Animation for their support of our festival programming.
- VIZ Media for their continued blanket support of the festival.
- We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $157 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
- Guru Studio for their support of the TCAF Welcome Party.
- TopatoCo for their sponsorship of badges and lanyards (a much-requested addition to TCAF!)
- Scholastic for their support of our Kids Programming.
- TCAF would like to thank sponsors Revvly, OwlKids, and NOW Toronto for their promotional support.
- TCAF Library and Educator Day was supported in part by the donations of publishers First Second, IDW Publishing, Scholastic Canada, and VIZ Media.
TCAF’s partnerships with peer organizations and businesses help create a unique and engaging festival, and we thank the following organizations for their support in 2014: Midoco, The CSSC/SCEBD, Bento Miso, The Toronto Hand Eye Society, Attract Mode, The Japan Foundation, Videofag, and Narwhal Gallery.
2014: In Review
After the 2013 Festival, I sat down with my team to really re-think the Festival, what worked and what didn’t. The tenth anniversary was a great time to reflect on how things had been going, and to look towards building the Festival in sustainable, creative, and ever-expanding ways. I feel like the 2014 Festival successfully bore the fruits of these discussions, and set the stage for the next 10 years of The Toronto Comic Arts Festival. It was a good year, with great guests and exhibitors, thousands of attendees having a wonderful time, and a phenomenally positive energy that buoyed spirits all weekend long. I am very proud of the staff and volunteers who donated their time and energy to execute this very complicated undertaking.
The highlight for me, personally, this year was standing up and welcoming three enormously talented cartoonists—Kate Beaton, Lynn Johnston, and Raina Telgemeier—to the stage for our Friday night Kick-Off Event. I got to say a few words about this year’s TCAF, about redoubling our commitment to inclusion, diversity, and visibility for comics creators of all stripes, and I got to do it in front of three women whose work I admire tremendously. We try not to be too didactic in our approach, but sometimes it’s important to make a statement about the way things are and the way you’d like them to be, and I’m enormously proud I got to do so in front of a packed audience this year.
I’m also very proud of the diversity and vision of our authorial line-up for 2014. We welcomed creators from more than 19 countries around the world this year, with more than 150 first-time exhibitors and participating authors! TCAF has a consistency from year to year, but we strive to keep it feeling fresh and unique as well. Having a high number of new exhibitors helps accomplish that, but sometimes having amazing and unannounced guests helps that too! Our thanks to ‘unannounced’ TCAF Guests Hideki Anno (creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion), and Randall Munroe (creator of XKCD), and the dozens of cartoonists and illustrators who just dropped by to see the show… we’ll try not to blow your cover.
TCAF 2014 also saw the introduction of new programming streams, new ways of engaging fans of the medium and welcoming newcomers. Our biggest addition was the “Comics Academic Conference” on Friday May 9, run by the Canadian Society for the Study of Comics / Société canadienne pour l’étude de la bande dessinée. We were happy to finally, formally, bring an academic component to the Festival, and we thank the CSSC/SCEBD and Barbara Postema and Glenn Willmott from that organization, for developing this new partnership.
We also introduced Word Balloon Academy, our day of professional development and education for comics creators. Everything from skills-building to health-and-safety (thanks, Kriota Willberg!) to financial advice was available, our way of giving back to creators and strengthening the industry. These programs joined our already-successful Librarian & Educator Day to create a full-day of professional development and educational programming, and we will continue and grow these programs in future years.
TCAF was bigger than ever, with a larger programming slate and more diverse in its approach and presentation than ever before too. It was a year of tremendous growth after a lot of planning and rethinking our whole approach, and, well, that’s why we do this crazy thing every year. Thanks for your support of all of you who attended and worked so hard to make it a success.
We Couldn’t Have Done It Without You
Speaking of the folks who made TCAF a success, we’d like to thank some of them now.
TCAF would like to thank all of the participating artists and authors for exhibiting with us. There wouldn’t be a show without you!
TCAF would also like to thank those who dedicated their time moderate, plan, or otherwise to participate in our large slate of programming. We appreciate the considerable amount of work that goes into moderating and developing a successful program, and TCAF is far richer for your hard work–thank you.
Our sponsors and partners, outlined above.
Our event partners The Alliance Française, Bento Miso, kuš!, Videofag, Narwhal Gallery, Attract Mode & Matt Hawkins, The Toronto Hand Eye Society, Guru Studio, St. Paul’s on Bloor, The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, Buddies in Bad Times, Weird Things, The Pilot, The Japan Foundation, The Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, The Carlton Magic Lantern Cinemas, The Spotted Dick, The Tranzac Club, and Ryerson University.
TCAF would not have as rich, diverse, and international an array of authors without the support of governmental and cultural organizations and publishers working to promote an international vision of the medium of comics. Our thanks to cultural organizations The Consulate General of France in Toronto and The Goethe-Institut, and to publishers Abrams, Conundrum Press, Drawn & Quarterly, First Second Books, Groundwood Books, Koyama Press, Nobrow Press, La Pasteque, Scholastic Canada, and SelfMadeHero.
In addition, we would like to thank Ginette LaPalme, Chris Kuzma, and Patrick Kyle of the Wowee Zonk collective for curating and organizing our small press area, and taking care of an additional 20+ artists and groups. We greatly appreciate your expertise!
TCAF would like to thank the artists of our official Festival Posters, Isabelle Arsenault, Michael DeForge and Lynn Johnston, for creating such gorgeous images to brand and promote the festival. TCAF would also like to thank Sean Phillips, Darwyn Cooke, Steve Murray, Krystle Tabujara, Derrick Guerin, and est em, for providing original artworks to the Festival this year, and to past poster artists Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon, and Natsume Ono for loaning their artwork to our new t-shirts!
TCAF would like to thank Jocelyne Allen, Aki Takabatake, Yoko Galloway, Mimmy Shen, and Stephane Beaujean for their translation support.
Thanks to the staff and organizers of The Doug Wright Awards for another great year, and Happy 10th Anniversary!
TCAF would like to thank the the following individuals for their support in various roles: Leyla Aker, Corey Mintz, Chip Zdarsky, Erik Ko, Kim Hoang, Georgia Webber, Darwyn Cooke, Miguel Sternberg, Jennie & Henry Faber, Jim Munroe, Ryan North, Denise Anderson, Julie Tait, Aki Yanagi, Ed Chavez, Terry Nantier, Peggy Burns, Julia Pohl-Miranda, Kathleen Glosan, Matt Hawkins, Robin Smith, Barbara Postema, Glenn Willmott, and the numerous folks who helped pull together different parts of TCAF.
TCAF would like to thank the Staff of The Beguiling and Little Island Comics, Alex, Arthur, Bettina, Chris, Christine, Derek, Genève, Halliday, Helen, Jason, Jerry, Jim, Jonathan, Laura, and Paul, who contribute mightily to seeing TCAF become a reality each year.
Thank you to TCAF’s head volunteers and site coordinators for 2014: Ahmed Aljumaa, Radwa Auda, Connor Baker, Luc Becker, Pip Bradford, Cassiopeia Burrell, Bled Celhyka, Eva Cherney, Murad Hemmadi, Kim Hoang, Kerrie McCreadie, Tiff Preney, and Sally Sparrow.
Speaking for myself, I would like to thank the rest of the staff at TCAF for their hard work and dedication to the Festival this year. More and more TCAF becomes a year-round commitment for many of the folks involved, and I appreciate that you are all willing to rise to the challenge. My thanks to Miles Baker, Andrew Townsend, Andrew Woodrow-Butcher, Gina Gagliano, Krystle Tabujara, Dan Seljak, Georgia Webber, Kim Hoang, Lindsay Gibb, Parish Kilthei, Jamie Edwards, and Nathalie Atkinson. We’ve built an awesome team here.
Finally, TCAF would not be possible without the support of its many volunteers. Our sincere thanks to all of the volunteers and everyone who has donated their time to help make TCAF a success.
TCAF 2015 and beyond!
So we’ve already begun planning for TCAF 2015. Guests are being confirmed, publishers lined up, venues booked. I wasn’t kidding when I said TCAF was becoming a year-round job. Applications for TCAF 2015 will open at http://www.torontocomics.com on August 1st, 2014.
It’s also becoming a year-round festival in many ways, as TCAF begins to exhibit as an organization at other shows around the world, fulfilling our mandate to promote Canadian authors and their works. This year, if all goes according to plan, we’ll hopefully see you in England, Japan, and France. Developing these international relationships, opening up opportunities for our exhibiting artists at home and abroad, that’s what we’re all about, and we’re really looking forward to further growth along those lines in the years to come.
If you are a creator who has exhibited at TCAF who is interested in joining us on one of our overseas adventures, contact us and let us know! We’ll be offering more details here soon.
So in closing, please fill out our attendee survey!
But seriously though, on behalf of myself and the entire staff, I’d like thank everyone who contributed to make The Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2014 such a success. We’ll see you all next year, if not sooner…
Christopher Butcher, Festival Director and Co-Founder
On behalf of…
Peter Birkemoe, Co-Founder
Miles Baker, Managing Director
Andrew Townsend, Support Manager
Andrew Woodrow-Butcher, Kids Programming Director
Gina Gagliano, Programming Coordinator
Krystle Tabujara, Logistics Manager
Dan Seljak, Volunteer Coordinator
Georgia Webber, Guest Services Coordinator
Lindsay Gibb, Library and Educator Day Coordinator
Parish Kilthei, A/V and Site Coordinator
Jamie Edwards, Site Coordinator
Kim Hoang, Site Coordinator
TCAF Event photos used in this post by Toronto Public Library. Additional photos by me.
TCAF video produced by Joanna Wong, joannawong.ca
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is proud to announce that we have partnered with two upcoming Festivals! TCAF will be a screening partner for both The Toronto Japanese Film Festival, taking place June 12-27, 2014, and TAAFI, The Toronto Animation Arts Festival International, taking place June 13-16, 2014.
Toronto Japanese Film Festival: TCAF will be partnering to present The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji, the new action/comedy by Director Takashi Miike (Ichi The Killer, Audition). The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji is based on the (sadly untranslated) manga by Noburo Takasashi, and full to the brim with action, bawdy comedy, and incredibly garish yakuza fashion. It looks like a hoot. The Toronto Japanese Film Festival takes place June 12-27, 2014, at The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. More info at http://www.jccc.on.ca/en/
CONTEST: The Toronto Japanese Film Festival has provided 5 pairs of tickets to TCAF to attend the exclusive, one-night only, June 13th screening of The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji for us to give away! We are giving them to people signed up to our mailing list, so sign up in the upper-right-corner of this page! Details at the bottom of this post.
Toronto Animation Arts Festival International: TCAF is proud to partner with TAAFI, The Toronto Animation Arts Festival International, to present a screening of CHEATIN’, Directed by legendary animator Bill Plympton. The Screening will take place Saturday, June 14th, at 6:45pm. Tickets are available at http://taafi.com/festival/events/?id=138. TAAFI 2014 takes place June 13-16, on Toronto’s Waterfront at Corus Quay & George Brown – Waterfront Campus. For more information on TAAFI, visit http://taafi.com/
CONTEST: WIN ONE OF 5 PAIRS OF TICKETS TO SEE: THE MOLE SONG: UNDERCOVER AGENT REIJI
To enter to win one of five pairs of tickets to see The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji on June 13th at 7:00pm, all you have to do is make sure you’re subscribed to The Beguiling mailing list (sign-up is in the upper-right corner of this site), and send an email with your name, phone number, and “ICHI” to firstname.lastname@example.org before Monday, June 2nd, at 11:00am. We’ll draw and e-mail the winners that day.
RULES & REGULATIONS:
- Subject line MUST contain entrant’s name, phone number, and “ICHI”, and must be sent to email@example.com.
- Entries must be made from an e-mail address subscribed to The Beguiling’s mailing list. Signup on the front page of http://www.beguilingbooksandart.com. (Seriously, we check and we disqualify people not subscribed to the mailing list.)
- Entries must be received before Monday, June 2nd, at 11:00am.
- Employees and family members of The Beguiling are not eligible to win.
- One entry per person/phone number.
- No purchase necessary, void where prohibited, no cash value, odds of winning depend on total number of entries received, etc.
- Sole screening on Friday, June 13th, at 7:00pm. Please don’t enter if you know you can’t attend, thanks!
For those of you still in Toronto, and not burnt out on comics, may we recommend two really cool comics-related gallery shows opening tonight?
First up is Videofag Presents: Hungry Bottom Comics 2012 – 2014. This special four-day exhibition celebrates the simultaneous release of Hungry Bottom Comics 3 and The Collected Hungry Bottom Comics – the final releases from Eric Kostiuk Williams’ queer memoir project! This exhibit features over 60 original, 11×15 comic book pages, spanning three issues and over two years of work. TCAF partnered with Videofag for kuš: The Last Match, and Williams debuted the third and final issue of the Hungry Bottom trilogy at the festival this year!
For more information, please check out their event page.
Also opening tonight is Total Gleepglops. This show at Weird Things features new work by Patrick Kyle and Daniel Rocca. Weird Things were kind enough to host the super popular 2D Cloud book launch during TCAF, and Patrick Kyle debuted the latest issue in his ongoing New Comics series, New Comics #3.
For more information, please check out their event page.
Big night for comics art in the city!
TCAF is happy to welcome renowned fantasy author, and creator of The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle! Peter will be signing Saturday morning in the Basement Signing Area, then he is free to enjoy the festival! Just like you!
Peter S. Beagle is an American author of novels, nonfiction, and screenplays, especially fantasy fiction. His best-known work is the aforementioned The Last Unicorn (1968), a fantasy novel he wrote in his twenties, which Locus subscribers voted the number five “All-Time Best Fantasy Novel” in 1987. During the last twenty-five years he has won several literary awards including a World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2011.
IDW Publishing released a six-issue comic book adaptation of The Last Unicorn beginning in April 2010. The collected hardcover edition was released in January 2011, premiering at #2 on the New York Times Hardcover Graphic Novel bestseller list. It will be followed by an adaptation of A Fine and Private Place.
- Saturday, May 10th – 11am – 12:30pm @ Basement Signing Area
This year The Toronto Comic Arts Festival has partnered with artists and publishers to produce a great array of exclusive materials! The books and prints listed below are all strictly limited editions. They will make their debut at TCAF, and should any copies remain they will be available at The Beguiling Books & Art in late-May. All goods will be available at The Beguiling Store On-Site, located on the second floor, outside of The Appel Salon.
Just a quick note: People always ask us how they can support TCAF when the show is free to attend! Welp, buying merchandise is a great way to support TCAF!
TCAF Postcard Set – $10
You asked for it, and we made it!
It’s a set of 10 postcards (suitable for mailing OR for framing) featuring artwork from The Toronto Comic Arts Festival! Includes poster and promotional illustration artwork by Daniel Clowes, Darwyn Cooke, Evan Dorkin, James Jean, Konami Kanata, Taiyo Matsumoto, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Seth, Jillian Tamaki, and Maurice Vellekoop.
10, 4″ x 6″ postcards printed on high-quality cardstock, with a matte gloss front and matte back (so you can write notes!) Makes great souvenirs or omiyage .
TCAF 2014 Poster by Lynn Johnston – $5
Do you like the cover to the program guide? Then come pick up a print of TCAF’s 3rd official poster by Featured Guest Lynn Johnston! The poster is 11″ x 17″, and can be yours for only $5!
Available at The Beguiling sales table on the 2nd floor.
“Fatale” Limited Edition Giclee Print by Sean Phillips – $50
TCAF is proud to team with Featured Guests Sean Phillips and Ed Brubaker, to produce this original, limited edition giclee print featuring an exclusive piece of art from their hit-series “Fatale.”
This high-quality giclee is printed with archival-quality inks on a special cotton-rag paper, to create the highest-possible quality reproduction of Phillips’ watercolor artwork. It is printed at 11″ x 17″, a size suitable for framing and perfect for collectors of fine artwork.
The print is created in an edition of 125, and the prints will be individually numbered. Fans get purchase the prints at The Beguiling Store On-Site, or directly from the artists at their signings and events.
Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips Signings:
Saturday, 12pm-1:30pm, Marriott
Saturday, 8pm, The Beguiling, 601 Markham Street
Sunday, 1pm-2:30pm, Library, Basement
“est em Exclusive Print” – $10
TCAF has teamed with Toronto’s Color Code Printing and 2014 Featured Guest ‘est em’ to produce an exclusive, limited edition risograph print.
Meant to mirror a similar print produced by TCAF in 2014 for Gengoroh Tagame, this print by est em is influenced by Spanish culture and the matadors in her popular works Golandrina and Carmen.
This print is a 3-colour risograph on special rice paper, in an edition of 200. It will be available from The Beguiling On-Site Store, and at all of est em’s signings and appearances.
est em: Saturday, 10am-11:30am, The Beguiling Store On-Site, 2nd Floor
est em: Saturday. Marriott Bloor Yorkville, 2:30pm-3:45pm, Marriott
est em: Sunday, 11am-1pm, The Beguiling Store On-Site, 2nd Floor
“est em” Carmen, English-language doujinshi – $5
TCAF has teamed with est em to produce an exclusive, English-language doujinshi, available exclusively at TCAF!
“What if Jose and the bullfighter in ‘Carmen’ were lovers?” This is that idea, brought to life. Bizet’s classic opera ‘Carmen’, turned into a sexy, sensual, and deadly BL doujinshi by internationally acclaimed author ‘est em’!
32 pages, black and white. English translation by Jocelyne Allen.
TCAF 2014 Posters by Isabelle Arsenault and Michael DeForge – $10 each
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival’s official 2014 posters are here! Featuring original artwork by Isabelle Arsenault (left) and Michael DeForge (right).
Each poster measures 15.5″ X 25″, and is printed on a great matte stock.
Posters will be available at The Beguiling On-Site Store.
TCAF T-Shirts! Featuring Art by Gabriel Ba & Fabio Moon – $20
Get your T-shirts here! TCAF had produced its first ever t-shirt available for sale, and it’s awwwwwwwwwwwwesome! Featuring artwork from the TCAF 2012 poster by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon, this high-quality American Apparel coral shirt comes in mens and womens’ sizes, and will be available for sale at The Beguiling on-site store.
TCAF Kids & Adult T-Shirts! Featuring Natsume Ono Artwork! – $20
Woo hoo! We’ve got a shirt for kids too (and grownups). Featuring the art of Natsume Ono, from a 2011 promotional piece that she created! Shirt is available in unisex childrens’ and unisex adult sizes, and is just adorable.
TCAF 2014 Totes – $10
Need a great bag to haul around your stuff… especially your TCAF purchases? Check out this amazing TCAF tote!
Featuring a logo treatment and illustration by Jillian Tamaki, and the traditional TCAF logo on the reverse, this water-resistant tote is super tough and durable, and features an exterior pocket and two interior pockets!
Previous designs/colours (black, dark blue) may also be available, buy lots! You’ll need them to carry all of your TCAF 2014 purchases!
As a reminder, previous TCAF posters, select shirts, and other merchandise and books will be available at The Beguiling on-site store. Your patronage is appreciated!
We’re excited to announce that the special guest moderator for our 2014 Kick-Off event is none other than Raina Telgemeier! Raina is the creator behind the mega popular Smile and Drama, as well as the forthcoming Sisters. Plus – she’s an admitted fan of boy Kate Beaton and Lynn Johnston! Come join us for what is sure to be a lively discussion!
ALSO, it’s true that the kick-off event is currently sold out online, but please note that there will be a rush line at the library. So if you’re dying to see these three cartooning superstars, there’s still a chance!
What a great way to start the festival!
***Original Posting Below***
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival would like to thank Lindsay Gibb, writer and (until recently Editor of Broken Pencil) for all of her hard work on the festival, specifically Library & Educator Day, Friday, May 9th. Lindsay has been invaluable in helping plan this event, and has volunteered all weekend, and we greatly appreciate it.
Due to a copy editing error, Lindsay’s name doesn’t appear in the Festival Guide this year, and we’re incredibly sorry about that. We wanted to make sure she got the credit where it was due.
- Christopher Butcher, Director, TCAF
TCAF is here!
It’s already happening! TCAF! If you check the #TCAF hashtag on pretty much any social media, you’ll see tons of photos, tweets, Vines, and Snapchats of people having a good time at TCAF related events! (I can’t verify the Vines and the Snapchats, but I’m sure it’s real…). What other cool things are happening at TCAF? Read on!
Create Aliens & Monsters with Adobe Illustrator
Sat May 10, 2014
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The Toronto Reference Library’s Digital Innovation Hub is hosting an Adobe Illustrator drawing workshop at TCAF! Learn to harness the powers of Adobe Illustrator so that you can creating amazing monsters and aliens! This workshop is geared towards young budding artists and authors. Learn how to turn your drawings into creative vector illustrations for your personal projects. The workshop promises to be fun, insightful and welcoming to beginners.
This workshop is facilitated by Jay Wieler. Spots are limited and are first-come, first-serve.
For more information on TCAF’s workshops and programming, check out our Programming Page.
Please welcome Eric Kim, Megan Kearney, and Lane Milburn to TCAF 2014! We’re so happy we could squeeze them in.
For more information on these and all TCAF exhibitors, please see our Full Exhibitor List.
On the one hand, bummer about all the trees we’re losing. But on the other hand, CHECK OUT ALL THE COOL BOOKS DEBUTING AT TCAF!!!
- LetGo by Marta Chudolinska
- Beauty and The Beast: Act One by Megan Kearney
- NonCanon New Adventures #1: Let’s Talk About Our Fears Via Comics by Tom McHenry
- The Star-Spangled Angel by Scott Roberts
- Dreamlife by Salgood Sam
For more information on these and all debuting books, please visit the Debuting Books page.
Cancellations: We’re sorry to say that Z2 Comics, Paul Pope, Dean Haspiel, and Stefan Berg have had to cancel their appearances at the festival.
Help Support TCAF! Check In @ the Festival!
This year we’ve partnered with Revvly in an effort to help better understand the people who attend TCAF.
Why would we do that? Well, for money of course! Wait – let us explain.
As a not-for-profits arts organization, TCAF relies on money raised through grants and sponsorships to operate every year. Demographic information helps us make a case of for why funding agencies should invest in TCAF. Right now we’re just interested in basic information (age, where you’re from, etc.), with a more full survey being e-mailed to you later in the future. Does that make sense?
With that in mind, please check-in at TCAF! Please fill out the registration form below or check in with the social media platform of your choosing! Check-in with Twitter, with Facebook, with anything! It all helps!
If you check-in, not only do you get the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve contributed to TCAF, but you also get a free postcard! That’s right! This year we’re printing up special commemorative postcards featuring some of your favourite TCAF art from our now 10+ years in existence. By checking in at the festival, you get a free postcard! When you arrive at the Toronto Reference Library, head over to the TCAF Info Booth with either your printed ticket or smart phone to receive a free TCAF poster postcard!
Please note that TCAF will not sell your information! Click here to learn how this information will be used.
TCAF is pleased to present the inaugural Word Balloon Academy, a full day of creator-focused programming on Friday, May 9th at the Marriott Bloor Yorkville, located at 90 Bloor Street East (Bloor/Yonge Subway).
Please note: Word Balloon Academy is now open to the public!
Word Balloon Academy is a full day of presentations and workshops aimed at comic creators and industry members, and will include two streams of programming: one for creative workshops, and one for business topics and professional concerns. These programs require registration, but will be completely free to attend.
Please head to the Evenbrite for Word Balloon Academy to see and register for our full day of fun programming! Learn from the best! Become the best!
Feature Presentation: Personal Health and Management, with Kriota Willberg
TCAF and the Word Balloon Academy are proud to welcome Kriota Willberg, a teacher of anatomy and injury-prevention at various institutions including The Centre for Cartoon Studies and The Society for Illustrators. Willberg will be giving a workshop workshop describing common injuries from long hours of drawing, presenting guidelines that can help prevent injuries of the hand/wrist, neck, and back, and teach simple exercises that can help reduce the risk of getting injured. More about Kriota Willberg at http://torontocomics.com/exhibitors/kriota-willberg/
For the full schedule and registration, please visit our Eventbrite.
Want a chance to meet some of your favourite creators? Feel like getting the ULTIMATE piece of TCAF memorabilia (aka a signature)? Then check out the list below of signing times for TCAF’s Featured and Signing Guests! Available in both text and grid form, this schedule can also be found in the festival program and the digital Guidebook.
UPDATE: TCAF welcomes Ivan Brandon, writer of Wolverine, Viking, and Editor of 24Seven. Ivan will be signing Saturday from 1pm-3pm and Sunday from 2pm-4pm at The Beguiling Store On-Site, located outside of The Appel Salon on the 2nd floor.
Returning visitors to TCAF, the sixth consecutive festival to be held at the Reference Library, will notice something new and exciting on the main floor: the Digital Innovation Hub.
Opened in February, the Hub is a making, learning, and collaboration space that offers anyone with a Toronto Public Library card access to a wide range of digital tools and software – including two Makerbot 3D printers, audio and video production and editing tools, and more.
Artists and comics enthusiasts may be interested in the Hub’s graphic design-related tools and software:
- Four iMac workstations
- Wacom Intuos Touch Graphic Tablet, Mac Book Pro laptops, and tablets including iPad Air
- Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection
- Autodesk 123D Design, Sculptris, Blender and other 3D design software
- Lytro light field camera
- Flatbed, film, and 3D scanners
The Digital Innovation Hub also offers a wide range of free programs – including Monthly MeetUps and classes on Photoshop, Web Design and 3D Design.
An Innovator in Residence program in hosted by the Hub in Spring and Fall. The Spring 2014 residency featured 3D printing expert and fabrication artist Derek Quenneville. The Fall 2014 residency is expected to focus on film.
During TCAF weekend, the Hub will host comics-related activities from 2 to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Hub staff members are also happy to answer any questions TCAF guests may have about 3D printing and other areas of the service.
For more information:
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival has released its floor maps for the 2014 Show.
Find out where your favourite cartoonists will be this weekend! Nearly 450 creators are represented in the two maps below, our biggest festival to date!
Keep reading behind the cut…
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is very excited to announce its full line-up of programming for the 2014 Festival. Put together by the TCAF programming team of Gina, Andrew, and Christopher, and with the support, input, and suggestions of TCAF exhibitors and the general public, the 2014 programming schedule illuminates and explores the medium in ways sure to engage and delight both newcomers and the initiated.
Programming will take place at 4 separate venues on Saturday, and 3 venues on Sunday, with a total of 8 distinct programming spaces. Readings, interviews, panel discussions, workshops and demonstrations, not to mention the robust academic programme provided by TCAF’s partnership with the The Canadian Society for the Study of Comics/Société canadienne pour l’étude de la bande dessinée , mean that attendees to The Toronto Comic Arts Festival will have multiple ways with which to engage and interact with the medium we love.
To get the full picture of TCAF 2014 Programming, the festival strongly recommends downloading our app, Guidebook, for iOS, Android, and select Blackberry devices. More information at http://guidebook.com/g/a2bgo6mq/?ref=badge&gid=13301.
Highlights of the 2014 programme include:
Saturday May 10, 1:30pm-2:30pm, The Marriott Bloor Yorkville
The spectacular Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) has produced a number of excellent shows that highlight comics and graphic novels, in and amongst their massive installations and world-famous touring shows. TCAF invites you to join Andrew Hunter, the AGO’s Frederik S. Eaton Curator of Canadian Art, as he discusses the gallery’s inclusion of cartoonists and their work. Joining him will be two lauded Canadian cartoonists who have recently participated in AGO events: Chester Brown, currently featured in the AGO’s “Chester Brown and Louis Riel” exhibit, and David Collier, who will produce an 8 page comic that will accompany the AGO’s upcoming summer retrospective of painter Alex Colville. Also, a very special announcement will be made at this panel, so don’t miss out!
Kids Fall Graphic Novel Preview
Sunday May 11, 2:45pm-3:45pm, The Marriott Bloor Yorkville
Believe it or not, not every great comic book is debuting at TCAF this year—we left some for this fall! If you’re a kid or a fan of kids and young adult graphic novels, come check out this panel which will feature a preview of the fall’s hottest titles by superstars of the industry! Preview Amulet Volume 6 and Explorer: The Hidden Doors with Kazu Kibuishi, Sisters with Raina Telgemeier, Cat Dad, King of the Goblins with Britt Wilson, A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories with John Martz, and Maddy Kettle with Eric Orchard. Moderated by Scott Robins (Toronto Public Library, School Library Journal).
Women in the Manga Industry
Saturday, May 10, 4pm-5pm, The Marriott Bloor Yorkville
In an industry much larger and more diverse than their North American counterpart, comic artists in Japan who are women have a contrasting experience in both their creative and marketing processes. Learn about this and much more from the leading artists in three distinct genres of manga: Moyoco Anno (Insufficient Direction, Sakuran), Est Em (Tableau No. 20, Golondrina), and Akira Himekawa (The Legend of Zelda, My Little Pony). Interview will be conducted by Deb Aoki (Comics Manga Comics), with English/Japanese interpretation by Jocelyne Allen and Aki Takabatake.
The Funny Pages in Canada
Sunday, May 11, 1:30pm-2:30pm, The Marriott Bloor Yorkville
Comic strips and syndicated cartooning have had a rich and vibrant history in Canada, and this panel of authors and experts will come together to talk about where the medium has been, and where the medium is going. Featuring Lynn Johnston, creator of For Better Or For Worse; Jeet Heer, an expert on the history of comic strips; Warren Clements, cartoonist and publisher; Steve Murray (aka Chip Zdarsky), comics author and artist, National Post illustrator and cartoonist. Subjects will include speaking about experiences in syndication, the boom times of newspapers, leaving the paper behind for new mediums, and the future of comics in newspapers.
Saturday, May 10, 10am-11am, The Marriott Bloor Yorkville
Crowdfunding has become the newest and one of the most popular methods to bring a creative project to market. But like every method from DIY to international distribution, the path can be fraught with pitfalls and even very successful Kickstarters and Indiegogos can run into major problems! We’ve assembled some of the smartest folks in comics crowdfunding to help answers your questions and successfully crowdfund your comics project! Featuring George Rohac (Breadpig), C. Spike Trotman (Smut Peddler), Jeff Ellis (Cloudscape Comics), and Jamie Tanner (Kickstarter).
For the complete list of programmes and venues, please keep reading!
Canadian Reading Series – Saturday May 10
10am-11am: Special Presentation: Jack Tremblay and the Canadian Whites
TCAF is honoured to welcome Canadian Golden Age Cartoonist Jack Tremblay for a special presentation on Saturday, May 10, at 10am.
In this special presentation, journalist and historian Jeet Heer will interview Tremblay on the his work and time in the comics industry, including the important “Canadian Whites”, which were comics published in Canada during and just after The Second World War.
Tremblay will also be welcomed into “The Giants of The North”, the Canadian Comics Hall Of Fame, as part of the 2014 Doug Wright Awards ceremony. The Doug Wright Awards will take place Saturday, May 10, at 7pm in the Forest Hill Ballroom at The Marriott Bloor Yorkville, 80 Bloor Street East.
Our thanks to Rick Trembles for his assistance in putting this event together!
TCAF is here! You’d think there’d be a calm before the storm, but the storm just keeps on coming!
We’ve just been told that Golden Age cartoonist Jack Tremblay will be a signing guest for Saturday at TCAF! Mr. Tremblay is being inducted into The Giants of the North: The Canadian Cartoonists Hall of Fame during the 10th Annual Doug Wright Awards held that evening.
Also confirmed exhibiting at TCAF are Natalie Andrewson, Wren McDonald, Andrew Gregoire, Sam Noir, Josh Rosen, and signing guest José Villarrubia!
For more information on these and all exhibitors at TCAF, please see the Full Exhibitor List.
We’ve announced a bunch of new events! Check out our Events Page for information on all of our off-site events. You’ll see new things like Christophe Blain & Abel Lanzac present Weapons of Mass Diplomacy, Toshio Saeki Solo Exhibition at Narwhal Art Projects, Akira Himekawa and The Future of the Manga Industry at the Japan Foundation, the TCAF 2014 Welcome Party (sponsored by Guru Studios), and so much more!
We’re creeping closer to the 100 Debut Books goal I gave us last week, with three fantastic new books debuting at TCAF:
- I Used to be a German Shepherd by Murilo Martins
- The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal, Volume 3 by E.K. Weaver
- Hana Doki Kira by Various Artists
For more information on these and all debuting books, please visit our Debuting Books page.
Like Huey, Dewey and Louie always said: “Check the TCAF Guidebook!”
Since we last reminded you about Guidebook, we’ve updated Maps, Off-Site Events, Exhibitor Bios, and all of our programming information to now include times for the Academic Conference, the Canadian Reading Series, all Kids Programming (including TCAF Kids Day), as well as our workshops series!
Remember: Guidebook is a free app for your smartphones or tablets that you can download, so it’s like you have the entire TCAF program guide in your pocket!
Cancellations: We’re sorry to announce that Paul Fricke, Lyra Hill, Bill Kartalopoulos, John Hankiewicz, Lyra Hill, and Larva Magazine have had to cancel their appearances at the festival.
Just a quick update, we’ve added the following panel to our workshop programming.
4pm: Special Presentation: Bitstrips: Democratizing Comics
@ Toronto Reference Library, Learning Center 2, 4pm-5pm
Bitstrips is the international phenomenon that allows the average person to express themselves through comics! Bitstrips has democratized comics creation, and through its Facebook and Mobile apps put that power into the hands of users world wide. But is that such a good idea after all? Join Jacob Blackstock, CEO and Founder of Bitstrips, as he discusses his immensely popular app, its successes, pitfalls, and where it’s going next! Includes a demonstration of Bitstrips and info on how you can start making your own comic strips!
Best 53 Restaurants in Toronto
Or, 53 places that I recommend for eating, divided by price range.
By Corey Mintz, Special to The Toronto Comic Arts Festival
If it’s May in Toronto then it’s time for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, organized by Friend-Of-The-Column, Friend IRL, People’s Champ Chris Butcher. If you need to know which gym locker rooms are best for cruising, ask Chris. For food, let me make some suggestions.
The list is divided into three categories, low medium and high. At the low end, you can get a meal for under $20, in the middle, to comfortably enjoy dinner with wine, tax and tip, expect about $50 and, at the high end, luxury places where you’ll spend in excess of $100.
For no-reservation restaurants you know to get there at 6 or be prepared to wait, right?
Also, Butchie turned it into a swell google map.
TCAF is proud to present a series of short workshops on comics creation, by noted comics experts! All workshops start on the hour, and last for 50 minutes. The Comics Workshop Space is located on the first floor of Toronto Reference Library, next to the TD Gallery in Learning Center 2. Seating for these panels is limited to 35 participants, and we recommend attendees have at least a basic understanding of concepts to be discussed.
Toronto Reference Library: Comics Workshop Space
SATURDAY MAY 10
9am-11am: “Zine Workshop”, presented by Seneca College
11am: “Creating Kids Comics” with Rafael Rosado (Giants Beware!)
12pm: “Drawing Music,” with Renaud Dillies (Abelard, Betty Blues)
1pm: “Inking” with Becky Cloonan (By Chance or Providence, Batman)
2pm: “Drawing” with Christophe Blain (Weapons of Mass Diplomacy)
3pm: “Writing From Life” with Liz Prince (Alone Forever)
4pm: “Writing Characters from Other Media” with Jim Zub (Samurai Jack, Skullkickers)
12pm: “Webcomics” with Danielle Corsetto (Girls with Slingshots)
1pm: Special Presentation: “How to Fight Censorship” with Charles Brownstein, CBLDF
Many take it for granted that censorship couldn’t possibly be an issue in 21st Century North America, but the sad truth is that the issue is growing more serious every year. From bans & school funding cuts because of comics like Bone & Fun Home in the United States, to serious criminal charges against manga readers at Canada Customs, the freedom to read is very much imperiled. Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Charles Brownstein presents an overview of the censorship challenges facing readers right now, and talks about ways you can make an impact to combat censorship in your communities at this informative presentation.
2pm: Gesture & Comics with Ben Hatke (The Return of Zita the Space Princess)
3pm: Graphic Activism w. Nicole Guiniling (Ad Astra Comics)
4pm: Special Presentation: Bitstrips: Democratizing Comics
Bitstrips is the international phenomenon that allows the average person to express themselves through comics! Bitstrips has democratized comics creation, and through its Facebook and Mobile apps put that power into the hands of users world wide. But is that such a good idea after all? Join Jacob Blackstock, CEO and Founder of Bitstrips, as he discusses his immensely popular app, its successes, pitfalls, and where it’s going next!
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The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is proud to present the inaugural Canadian Reading Series at TCAF 2014. This special program is a re-commitment by TCAF to feature and spotlight Canadian graphic novel authors by giving them an unique and dedicated space in which to present their work. A fantastic mix of authors from across the country will participate, both independently and professionally published, all of whom have produced magnificent comics and graphic novels!
Canadian Reading Series
@ Toronto Reference Library (Second floor)
Appel Salon, Novella Room
Free to attend, no registration required.
All Canadian Reading Series events begin on the hour, and are 50 minutes long. They are comprised of a reading/presentation from each author, followed by a short Q&A.
SATURDAY, MAY 10
10am-11am: Special Presentation: Jack Tremblay and the Canadian Whites
In this special presentation, journalist and historian Jeet Heer will interview Tremblay on the his work and time in the comics industry, including the important “Canadian Whites”, which were comics published in Canada during and just after The Second World War.
11am: Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault for Jane, The Fox, and Me / Jane, le renard, et moi.
12pm: Tony Cliff for Delilah Dirk. Jordyn Bochon for The Terrible Death of Finnegan Strappe.
1pm: Maurice Vellekoop for “The Best of Everything” from Descant #164. Elisha Lim for 100 Crushes.
2pm: Karl Kerschl for The Abominble Charles Christopher. Ryan North for Adventure Time, The Midas Flesh, and Dinosaur Comics.
3pm: Pascal Girard for Petty Theft. Réal Godbout for Amerika.
4pm: Special Presentation: Ben Rivers Presents: SNOW: Comics to Video Games to Film.
Join Benjamin Rivers, author of the Toronto-set graphic novel Snow as he reads from the work. Rivers will be joined by special guests from the forthcoming “Snow” film, including director Ryan Couldrey and leads Nina Iordanova and Kira Hall, to discuss the process of translating the graphic novel to the screen—and to show off a TCAF-exclusive preview clip!
SUNDAY MAY 11
12pm: Mariko Tamaki for This One Summer.
1pm: Diane Obomsawin for On Loving Women. Julie Delporte for Everywhere Antennas.
2pm: Britt Wilson for Britt Wilson’s Greatest Book on Earth. Joey Comeau and Emily Horne for a softer world.
3pm: Tory Woollcott and Kean Soo for Travelogues.
4pm: Special Presentation: Tin Can Forest, book reading and animation screening.