TCAF 2014 a Terrific Comic Arts Festival!

Where to begin on my first visit to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival? How about arriving on Thursday and having wonderful times, such that when I woke up this Saturday morning, I thought, “This is a great show! Oh, wait, it hasn’t officially started yet.”

Aside from amazing dinners with friends and colleagues, let’s talk about official show activities. A reception at the Japan Foundation last night honored the visiting manga guests of the show, Moyoco Anno, est em, and Akira Himekawa (two people). That was followed by the kick-off event, “Lynn Johnston and Kate Beaton in Conversation” as moderated by Raina Telgemeier. It was impressive, full of honest, informative observations.

Me, Sam Alden, Gabrielle Bell, Pascal Girard, and Jon Chad at TCAF 2014

Me, Sam Alden, Gabrielle Bell, Pascal Girard, and Jon Chad

Today my show began with moderating an early panel, “Debut Books Spotlight”, covering the work of Sam Alden (It Never Happened Again), Gabrielle Bell (Truth Is Fragmentary), Jon Chad (The Bad-ventures of Bobo Backslack), and Pascal Girard (Petty Theft). All provided new insight into their work, and for a start to the show, it was a strong one. The discussion, I thought, was good, even though about only 20 people came to the upstairs of the bar where it was held. If you’d like to see some sample pages of the titles, here’s the presentation (PDF) I put together as an introduction.

TCAF crowds

TCAF main floor viewed from the second, 11 AM ish

After that was the show floor! Packed already mid-morning, I was lucky to make it into the second floor gallery (which is limited by fire code to a certain number of occupants). When I left, an hour ago, they were lined up to get in, which couldn’t happen until someone departed.

It wasn’t my smartest move, given the limitations of international travel, but I decided that this was a show at which I wanted to bring several books to be signed. Gracious artists who autographed their work for me included:

Faith Erin Hicks and me

Faith Erin Hicks and me

  • Faith Erin Hicks, The War at Ellsmere, whose every book I have loved, and whom I finally met in person.
  • Jesse Lonergan, All Star, who is working on a gorgeously moody Western called “Vengeance” as his next project.
  • Mike Maihack, Cleopatra in Space, a fun read I want to tell you more about soon. (It’s not a reprint of the webcomic, but a new story.)

Then I bought things, as shown here. Biggest lesson of the show? Bring LOTS of cash, the plastic Canadian kind, because few people can use Square or take credit cards.

TCAF purchases

Yes, that is the second volume of What Did You Eat Yesterday?, my new favorite manga series. And the round thing is a pizza-based three-dimensional minicomic by Beth Hetland. I love seeing people experiment this way!


3 Responses to “TCAF 2014 a Terrific Comic Arts Festival!”

  1. Andrew Shuping Says:

    you got Tomboy???? I didn’t think it was out yet! :( jealous!

  2. Johanna Says:

    It’s a promo chapter ashcan, not the full book. I’m looking to see that too!

  3. Viz Licenses Sailor Moon Anime to Start Hulu Run Monday » Manga Worth Reading Says:

    […] was brought home to me at TCAF that Sailor Moon was responsible for an entire generation of comic artists. Young women, […]

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