Thursday, May 23, 2013

TCAF 2013

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival celebrates 10 years as the cool comics convention for creators. And it's still free!

For the 10th consecutive year, TCAF has come and gone, and, as usual, it was a breath of fresh air. The event presents an opportunity to see beyond the conventional world of comics conventions. Though always packed, TCAF is not exactly for the masses; it’s a show for the thinking comics nerd. This year there were nearly 400 creators from 19 countries, plus some very distinguished guests, among them Brian Lee O’Malley, Art Spiegelman, Paul Pope, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, Chip Kidd, Maurice Vellekoop and acclaimed Japanese artist Taiyo Matsumoto. (For a complete listing of guests, check out TCAF’s website.)

Source: Dorkshelf
During this year’s TCAF, the 9th Doug Wright Award (“awarded annually to the author of the best Canadian work and the most promising talent published in English in the cartooning medium”) was given to to "The Song of Roland", by Montrealer Michel Rabagliati. Hosted by hilarious "Kid In the Hall" Scott Thompson, the “fun and unpredictable ceremony” was attended by more than 300 people. For a complete list of winners, check out the Wright Awards’ blog.

TCAF is also a great chance to hear artists and writers talk about their craft. Throughout the two-day festival, creators took part in a variety of panels that were both entertaining and enlightening. The programming was jam-packed and varied, from exploring Melbourne’s cartooning scene to political comics to gay erotic art and Finnish cartoons. I was lucky enough to catch Toronto writer Jim Zub ("Skullkickers") talking about his work and giving some great free tips in a workshop called Comics from an Author’s Perspective.

A laid-back show, with nary a cosplayer in sight, and you never know who you might end up brushing shoulders with at TCAF: it could be a geeky comic book collector or maybe an editor from Vertigo. It was also awesome to see Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez in a panel – but I was too shy to ask Gilbert to autograph my copy of "Julio’s Day"

What did you think of the show?


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