Category Archives: The Beguiling

The Decade in Comics Publishing, 2005-2015

At the end of August, Heidi MacDonald and Calvin Reid from Publisher’s Weekly asked me to participate in a survey about the decade of growth in comics and graphic novels, and mine and my colleagues’ responses are in an article that just went live on the PW site.

As the introduction says, in 2005 there were no ebooks or iPads, we were firmly in the middle of the graphic novel (and manga) boom, and even then it was clear that things were changing rapidly. For me, I’d been at The Beguiling a few years, we were just holding the second TCAF in Honest Ed’s Parking Lot, and Scott Pilgrim Volume 2 was debuting (I went to the printer and picked up the TCAF copies myself). I also blogged a lot more back then, just making the transition from writing about the way the industry to be, to doing all the work that I felt needed to be done. It was an interesting time.

For my part, in August when I was asked to participate in this survey, I’d spent the summer penning a few essays and participating in some panels that resonated with a lot of folks working in the industry, and really got under the skin of others. Essays about how, essentially, the graphic novel & manga boom really occurred largely outside of the purview of the medium’s then-gatekeepers, in both the superhero and art comics camps. I really feel the growth was almost entirely from new audiences, from work that was either ignored or denegrated, and I still do, so, it helps maybe explain where my head was at in general when answering. I also thought, and still think, that with more money coming into the industry, and more opportunities, it behooves those of us with a voice and a say in how the playing field is shaped to try and address some of the imbalances in the industry.

It’s a pretty good survey article, and the folks participating are generally the folks I’ve seen gain the most out of the growing graphic novel industry. I think I would like to have seen a few answers from the superhero folks and the artcomics folks, but perhaps representatives were invited and declined to participate. Despite 7 different people all answering from their perspectives, I don’t think there’s much in there I disagree with (at least from the perspectives of those answering), and my friend Librarian Eva Volin in particular ends the article with a great mic-drop. If you have the opportunity, go check it out, let me know what you think in the comments.

  • Christopher

Recommended: 7 Miles A Second (7 Page Preview)

I just got a very welcome e-mail from Fantagraphics, with information about their new, upcoming edition of 7 Miles A Second. This book was revelatory to me as a young man, exposing Wojnarowicz’s struggles as a young man himself, though as a hustler on the streets of New York, and later, as an artist and his unfortunate stuggle with AIDS/HIV. James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook do a phenomenal job at bringing his story to life, and this is a vital and important piece of gay history that had been denied to me as a gay teen, and which has been out of print for far too long.

I’m happy to share a 7 page preview with you, and I hope you’ll consider picking up a copy when it is released in February.

– Chris

7 Miles a Second
by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook

68-page full-color 9″ x 12″ hardcover • $19.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-614-0
In-Store Date: February 3, 2013 (subject to change)

7 Miles a Second is the story of legendary artist David Wojnarowicz, written during the last years before his AIDS-related death in 1992. Artists James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook unsentimentally depict Wojnarowicz’s childhood of hustling on the streets of Manhattan, through his adulthood living with AIDS, and his anger at the indifference of government and health agencies. A primal scream of a graphic novel, 7 Miles a Second blends the stark reality of Lower East Side street life with a psychedelic delirium that artfully conveys Wojnarowicz’s sense of rage, urgency, mortality and a refusal to be silent.

Originally published as a comic book in 1996 by DC’s Vertigo Comics, 7 Miles a Second was an instant critical success and has become a cult classic amongst fans of literary and art comics, just as Wojnarowicz’s influence and reputation have widened in the larger art world. This new edition finally presents the artwork as it was intended: oversized, and with Van Cook’s elegant watercolors restored. It also includes several new pages created for this edition.

“Revolutionary…. a runaway, over-the-top circus… An excursion into areas few, if any, comics creators have tread.” – Jim Steranko

“Seven Miles a Second veers between an almost unbearably gritty naturalism and the incendiary heat of surrealist hallucination.” – The New Yorker

“A revelatory work of art.” – Art in America

“A cult classic… both a celebration of the unlimited potential of the comic book form, and a perfect melding of inspiring, iconoclastic imaginations.” – Jim Jarmusch

ABOUT THE CREATORS: David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) was an artist, writer, filmmaker and activist prominent in the New York City art world of the 1980s. James Romberger is a fine artist and cartoonist living in New York City. Marguerite Van Cook is an artist and musician living in New York City with her husband, James Romberger.

PREVIEW:

Japan: Tradition. Innovation. @ Canadian Museum of Civilization, May 20th, 2011

Japan: Tradition. Innovation.
May-October 2011. Opens May 20th, 2011.
Canadian Museum of Civilization
100 Laurier Street
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M8
(Just on the other side of the river from Ottawa)
http://www.civilization.ca/cmc/whats-on/event-detail&EventId=302

So, I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this on the blog, but one of the coolest things I did last year was act as a special consultant on popular culture to The Canadian Museum of Civilization, for their new exhibit on Japan opening this week. Japan: Tradition. Innovation. is a unique look at the Edo-period origins of contemporary Japanese technology and design. Focusing specifically on consumer goods–things that we interact with every day–the show breaks down 400 years of cultural innovation into five themes; travel, automation, social status, consumer culture, and entertainment. Comparing woodblock prints to manga, contemporary Japanese street-fashion with armour and traditional garb, robots to mechanized dolls–it’s all cool stuff.

I specifically helped acquire materials for the manga and anime collections, including first-editions, cels, and some cool ephermera. I’m excited to see how it’s been placed into the context of the larger collection. It was an amazing opportunity to dig through all kinds of cool old manga and anime at Mandarake during my last visit to Japan (Oct/Nov 2010), divorced from my normal concerns of finding cool stuff to bring back to The Beguiling. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have a bunch of first-edition Tezuka manga at the store, but I doubt they’d sell with the expediency that we’d need them too to make any sort of profit. Buying for a museum has a very different set of criteria. Oh, and as a special note, I’d like to thank everyone who helped me identify some of those pieces, it was very cool of you and I really appreciate it. Feel free to ask me for a favour in future.

Oh, and speaking of The Beguiling, the awesome comic and graphic novel store which I manage, we also acted as a sponsor of the exhibit! We’ve donated hundreds of manga to the exhibition’s “reading room”, which is essentially a wall of manga you can hang out and read at. It’s also roughly 50/50 French-language and English-language translations of Japanese material, which means we could include a bunch of stuff not yet available in English. I feel really good about the mix of manga included too, because it covers not only popular and contemporary series, but also classics, “art-oriented” works, and works that seek to explain certain Japanese customs, aspects of the culture, and traditions through manga. Oishinbo is as prominently displayed as Naruto, A Drifiting Life and The Rose of Versailles and Doraemon all getting equal face-time. So exciting!

The exhibit has a special opening this Thursday, May 19th at 6pm, for Museum members and the press only. I’m going to be there to see the public’s reaction to it for the first time, and I’m pretty excited! If anyone from the Ottawa/Montreal area will be there and would like to get-together and talk manga, drop me a line! If you can’t make it this week, don’t worry, the show’s on until October and I’m hoping we can put together some exciting programing at the Museum featuring manga and anime experts and professionals over the course of the summer. I’m also going to try to do a report on the exhibit here on the blog, if I can manage to remember my camera. 🙂

For more on the exhibit, check out http://www.civilization.ca/cmc/whats-on/event-detail&EventId=302.

– Christopher

ARTISTS HELP JAPAN: TORONTO FUNDRAISER APRIL 17

Hey everyone, this is an event I’m helping to organize here in Toronto on April 17th. I would love it if you could attend, and help us spread the word!

Artists Help Japan: Toronto
Toronto’s Illustration Community Fundraiser for Quake and Tsunami Relief
At REVIVAL, 783 College Street, Toronto
…Sunday April 17th, 12 Noon to 12 Midnight
Free To Attend – All Ages

http://artistshelpjapan.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=208247572520178

FEATURING LIVE ART BY:
Kei Acedera [Alice In Wonderland]  –  Kalman Andrasofszky [X-23]  –  Jason Bradshaw [Boredom Pays]  –  Bobby Chiu [Alice In Wonderland]  –  Svetlana Chmakova [Nightschool, Dramacon]  –  Julie Faulkner [Promises Press]  –  Ray Fawkes [Possessions]  –  Agnes Garbowska [Girl Comics, Marvel Comics]  –  Scott Hepburn [Star Wars]  –  Stuart Immonen [Fear Itself]  –  Dale Keown [Pitt]  –  Eric Kim [Oni Press]  –  Ken Lashley [Black Panther]  –  Alvin Lee [Street Fighter, Marvel Vs. Capcom]  –  Jeff Lemire [Sweet Tooth]  –  Francis Manapul [The Flash]  –  Kagan Mcleod [Infinite Kung-Fu]  –  Alex Milne [Transformers]  –  Joe Ng [Street Fighter]  –  Ramon Perez [Captain America]  –  Marcio Takara [The Incredibles]  –  Marcus To [Red Robin]  –  Eric Vedder [Darkstalkers]  –  Chip Zdarsky [Prison Funnies] – Jim Zub [Skullkickers]  +  More To Be Announced!DJ SETS + MUSIC PROVIDED BY:
RIVIERA [PERFECTO,MYTH, KINETIKA NYC], LAZY RAY [NIGHTTRACKIN’], GERRENCE [NIGHTTRAKKIN’], ALVARO G [KINGS OF LATE NIGHT], ROLAND GONZALES [STUDIO+], CARLOVEGA [STUDIO+], JASON ULRICH [LAB.OUR UNION],SHINGO [HOT SAUCE], UNCLE MATTY & DUTTY MAUS [THE BEACS]

TORONTO—Toronto’s Illustration and Artistic Community comes together on April 17th in a 12 hour art-event at Revival. The unique event will raise money to aid relief efforts in Japan following the devastating recent earthquake and tsunami there. Spearheaded by a consortium of Toronto illustration studios, the Artists Help Japan: Toronto event is the local iteration of a charity movement begun by Pixar Art Director Dice Tsutsumi. The Toronto edition will feature live art shows, a silent auction, and dozens of artists and illustrators selling commissioned drawings, with all proceeds benefiting the Canadian Red Cross.

“As artists we are tremendously inspired by Japan and Japanese culture,” says Bobby Chiu, the illustrator, teacher and founder of Toronto’s Imaginism studios behind the Artists Help Japan: Toronto event. “We were all personally affected by the quake, tsunami, and resulting damage. It is important to give back for all that Japan has given us, and we can think of no better way to do so than with our art.”

Artists Help Japan: Toronto will feature more than 24 artists and illustrators from the Greater Toronto Area creating original drawings for 12 hours! This is an unprecedented opportunity for the general public to commission an original drawing from a professional artist and watch its creation in process; the artist’s fee will be donated entirely to the Canadian Red Cross.

In addition:
– Dozens more cartoonists will donate original art, books, and other rare items to be featured in a silent-auction on-site at Revival Bar.
– Live art demonstrations from Toronto Illustrators on stage, with the final pieces to be auctioned off live at the event
– $1 from the sale of every drink at Revival Bar will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross.

Admission to the ARTISTS HELP JAPAN: TORONTO event is free, and all ages are welcome. The event will run from 12 Noon to 12 Midnight.

ABOUT:

Artists Help Japan is a charity movement initiated by Dice Tsutsumi, an art director at Pixar Animation Studios, who was also behind 2008 Totoro Forest Project to help preserve Sayama Forest in Japan and Sketchtravel Project, to gather the force of communities of artists and creative minds around the world. We believe artists have special roles to contribute to the society. http://artistshelpjapan.blogspot.com/

Artists Help Japan: Toronto is spearheaded by Imaginism Studios President and illustrator Bobby Chiu, who was contacted by Dice Tsutsumi to run the Toronto event. Working with Illustrator Alvin Lee, Udon Entertainment CEO Erik Ko, writer/artist Jim Zubkavich, and Christopher Butcher of Toronto comic book store The Beguiling and the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, the team hopes to bring together Toronto’s diverse and exciting artistic community to engage the public in an unprecedented fundraising endeavour.

All proceeds from Artists Help Japan: Toronto will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross, specifically earmarked to aid in Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief.http://www.redcross.ca/

SPONSORS:

Revival Bar has been entertaining guests, visitors and fans as a premium event space since 2002. Revival has generously donated the use of their main space for the Artists Help Japan: Toronto event, and will be donating $1 from the cost of every drink to the fundraising efforts.http://www.revivalbar.com/


Toronto This Week: Skullkickers, Bill Everett: Fire & Water, and LEWIS TRONDHEIM!

I feel sliiiiightly guilty that I can only seem to find time to post here when it’s something events/work-related, but that passes fairly quickly when I see how awesome the many (many) events we’re doing actually are.  I have big plans (big plans) about getting back on the blogging horse, but they’re going to have to wait until I’m not doing 2 comics events a week. Or in this case, three. 🙂

Anyway, if you’re out in Toronto this week come check all this out, it’s gonna be awesome!

Wednesday September 22nd: Skullkickers #1 Launch Party w/ Jim Zubkavich
Saturday September 25th: Bill Everett: Fire and Water Book Launch w/ author Blake Bell and daughter Wendy Everett
Saturday September 25th: Lewis Trondheim!!!

SKULLKICKERS #1 Book Launch!
With author Jim Zubkavich
Wednesday, September 22nd, 7pm-9pm
@ The Central, 601 Markham Street (right next to The Beguiling)
FREE

Jim Zubkavich is the Torontonian author of MAKESHIFT MIRACLE, a fun little graphic novel that we held a launch party for a few years back. Most recently, Jim came in and did an in-store signing for STREET FIGHTER LEGENDS: IBUKI #1 as he also wrote that one. Well Jim’s got his first all-new series in a few years, and it looks great! It’s called SKULLKICKERS, and the first issue is due out September 22nd from Image Comics.

Come join us at The Central on the release day, September 22nd from 7pm-9pm. Jim will be giving a short presentation, signing copies, chatting with folks, and we’ll probably even make him draw for you too! 🙂

FIRE AND WATER: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner & the Birth of Marvel Comics
Book Launch and Discussion with Author Blake Bell, and speech by Bill Everett’s daughter Wendy Everett
Saturday, September 25th, 4:30pm-6pm
Innis College Town Hall, 2 Sussex Avenue (St. George south of Bloor)
FREE
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=150867711602264

For a Preview of this book, click this link: http://beguiling.com/firewater-8p-pre.pdf

UPDATE: We’re pleased to announce that Wendy Everett, the daughter of Bill Everett, will now be attending this book launch and discussion, and will be participating in the discussion of her father’s work. We couldn’t be more excited, and we’d like to thank Ms. Everett for participating!

In 1939, decades before it would become the powerhouse behind such famous super-heroes as Spider-Man, The X-Men, and Iron Man, Marvel Comics launched its comics line with a four-color magazine starring a daring new antihero: The Sub-Mariner, created by the great Bill Everett.

The Sub-Mariner alone, and his status as the original Marvel (anti-)hero, would have insured any cartoonist’s place in comics history. But Everett was a master of many kinds of comics: romance, crime, humor, and the often brutal horror comics genre (before it was defanged by the Comics Code Authority in the 1950s), for which he produced work of such stylish and horrific beauty that he ranks with the artists who kept the legendary EC comics line awash in blood and guts.

Written by Blake Bell (the author of the best-selling critical biography of Steve Ditko, Strange and Stranger) and compiled with the aid and assistance of Everett’s family, friends, and cartoonist peers, Fire and Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner & the Birth of Marvel Comics is an intimate biography of a troubled man; an eye-popping collection of Everett’s comics, sketchbook drawings, and illustration art (including spectacular samples from his greatest published work as well as never-before-seen private drawings); and an in-depth look at his involvement in the birth of the company that would revolutionize pop culture forever: Marvel Comics!

In celebration of this book, The Beguiling will be welcoming author Blake Bell to Toronto to discuss this new book, and the life and career of Bill Everett. Special guests may also be on hand to help us celebrate this release, keep watching this space for details…!

FIRE & WATER: Bill Everett, The Sub-Mariner, and the Birth of Marvel Comics will be available for sale at this event, alongside other classic Marvel Comics collections and previous books by Blake Bell.

Lewis Trondheim, In Conversation et “Rencontre Desinée”
Saturday, September 25th, 7PM
@ Innis College Town Hall, 2 Sussex Avenue (St.George south of Bloor)
FREE
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=100335500031016

The Beguiling is proud to be partnering with The French Consulate in Toronto and The Alliance Francaise de Toronto to welcome the bestselling French cartoonist Lewis Trondheim to Toronto! Mr. Trondheim will be in the city for the last two weeks of September, and we are thrilled to have the chance to present this English-language engagement with him.

Trondheim is the creator or co-creator of such wonderful series as Dungeon, Little Nothings, Kaput and Zosky, ALIEEEN, Tiny Tyrant, Bourbon Island 1730, Mister O & Mister I, and more, and those are just the ones in English! He’s created dozens of albums in French as well, and is one of the most famous and respected cartoonists in the entire world—this is quite possibly a once in a lifetime event.

Mr. Trondheim will be giving a drawing presentation and will be interviewed in an event that will primarily take place in English, but will have some small French-language components that will also be translated.

Books are currently available for sale at The Beguiling and will be available for sale at the event.

– Christopher

Did you cover The Beguiling’s Scott Pilgrim Midnight launch party?

How I Spent My Monday Night: Chatting with hundreds of people at the Scott Pilgrim Costume Contest. Photo by Alex Davies from http://www.rgbfilter.com/?p=6631

So about 8 hours after I got home from the Scott Pilgrim event, I hopped in a cab and headed to the airport to hit the San Diego Comic Con. It was fun times! But then so was the big event, but because of the timing and rush of it all, I didn’t get to really read any of the event coverage, or thank the fine folks who covered it or mentioned it or had a great time. While Google is turning stuff up, I’d hate to miss anything, so if you covered or attended the Scott Pilgrim v6 Midnight Launch at The Beguiling and wrote about it online, please drop a link to the coverage in the comments section here! I’d really appreciate it.

All the best,

– Christopher Butcher

TCAF 2010 Wrap-Up!

The 2010 Toronto Comic Arts Festival Wrap-Up

Hi Friends!

My name is Christopher Butcher, and I’m the co-founder and festival director of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF)! As you might know, TCAF is dedicated to celebrating comics and graphic novels and their creators, with a specific focus on all of the great comics that Canadian creators have to offer. I had the pleasure of presiding over our fifth festival last month, and I’m pleased to report it was our most-successful and best-attended yet. Perhaps the best example of this is that TCAF was the number 3 trending topic on Twitter in Canada for much of the Sunday of the show, even beating out Canadian supercrush Justin Beiber. It’s a heartening example of how many people TCAF speaks to, and to their affection for the event.

Rather than send out a big PR, and in keeping with our tradition, on behalf of the staff and executive of TCAF — and whom I thank for their hard work and dedication — I’m sending out the following informal note talking about TCAF 2010 and announcing exciting plans for the future.

Thanks For All Of The Support!

We’d like to thank our partners and presenting sponsors Toronto Public Library for supporting, promoting, and hosting TCAF 2010 at their fantastic flagship location, Toronto Reference Library. By incorporating the gorgeous new Bram & Bluma Appel Salon into the TCAF floorplan we were able to comfortably more-than-double our footprint for 2010, expanding to more than 200 exhibitors and honoured guests, and dozens of comics-related readings and symposiums. The increased space allowed us to easily accommodate a great increase in public attendance — a record high 12,000 TCAF-specific attendees visited the Festival over the weekend (a 10% increase over 2009)! 2010 marks TCAF’s second year of partnership with TPL, and it’s a partnership that reinforces that TCAF is a not-for-profit event. We’ve always maintained that making TCAF free removes a key obstacle – finances – for anyone who might be interested in the comics medium, and TPL continues to be a wonderful partner in that goal.

Of course there’s no Festival without great creators and works to celebrate, and so we’d like to thank all of the wonderful cartoonists, publishers, writers, artists, and other agencies that took the time to exhibit and present at TCAF 2010, it made for a truly diverse and excellent look at the medium of comics, touching on every corner of the medium. Special thanks to featured guests Daniel Clowes, Roger Langridge, Jeff Lemire, Paul Pope, Dash Shaw, James Sturm, Charles Vess and Jim Woodring, all of whom chose to premiere their wonderful new projects with TCAF, and for participating in panels and workshops and presentations and general support.

About The Festival…

TCAF tried a number of new initiatives this year that used Toronto Reference Library in new and unique ways, and we found them to be generally quite successful; our Publisher’s Pavilion was significantly cooler than last year, our Sunday kids area was packed all day, and the new Webcomics Pavilion was busy all weekend! Of particular note were our art installations. The biggest and boldest installation from Toronto art collective Trio Magnus (Clayton Hanmer, Aaron Leighton, and Steve Wilson) was fantastic, featuring a massive installation, live drawing, and a unique and vibrant set-up! Canadian webcomics collective Transmission-X transformed a learning centre into something unique and fun, and the fine folks at indie-lit magazine Broken Pencil and artist group WOWEE ZONK teamed up to create “The Small Press Schooner,” a rotating assemblage of fantastic non- and nominally-narrative artists, producing unique visual works over the course of the weekend. It was a great space with a great vibe and Chris Kuzma, Patrick Kyle, and Ginette LaPalme deserve big thanks for their hard work making it look so good.

At TCAF we’ve definitely strived to integrate ourselves into the rich fabric of cultural events and exhibitions that happen around Toronto, and a big part of that has been the support of the local and national media that help to draw out comics aficionados and newcomers from all corners. Again this year, the Arts & Life section of the National Post newspaper went above and beyond in their coverage of TCAF, running over a hundred Q&As with TCAF exhibitors and cartoonists in addition to numerous feature articles—the kind of coverage they reserve for massive events like NXNE and The International Festival of Authors. Our 2010 lead media sponsor Eye Weekly ran a cover story and many other pages of coverage on the 2010 festival and guest Daniel Clowes, and cross-town rivals NOW Magazine got in on the act with a cover feature on TCAF-debut graphic novel KENK. We also received fantastic coverage from the CBC, Toronto Star, Torontoist, BlogTO, Publishers Weekly, Quill &Quire, Sequential, The Walrus, Comics Reporter, RGB Filter, Open Books Toronto, plus dozens of blogs, thousands of tweets, and a general increased awareness of what we do and why we do it was the end result. Thank you!

We Couldn’t Have Done It Without…

Finally, we’d like to thank some of the organizations and individuals who worked to make TCAF 2010 such an unprecedented success:

  • – Sponsors & Partners Toronto Public Library, Eye Weekly, Owl Magazine, The French Consulate in Toronto, Broken Pencil, The Walrus, HeartsandFlours.ca, and especially The Beguiling Books and Art for their ongoing financial support.
  • – Venue partners The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library, The Merril Collection/Lillian H. Smith Library, The Miles Nadal JCC, The Pilot, Clinton’s Tavern, Fuzion Lounge, Tequila Bookworm, and The Cadillac Lounge.
  • – TCAF 2010 Poster artist Daniel Clowes, and Drawn & Quarterly’s Tom Devlin for helping us put the poster together.
  • – The staff of Toronto Public Library, Toronto Reference Library, and The Bram and Bluma Appel Salon for all of their work, and especially TPL’s Ab Velasco for his tireless efforts to make TCAF a success.
  • – Our many programming hosts and moderators including Mark Askwith (SPACE), Robin McConnell (Inkstuds), Gil Roth, Matthew Kumar, Jason Thompson, Bart Beaty, Holly Post, Dan Nadel, Robin Brenner, Kathryn & Stuart Immonen, Jeet Heer, Jose Villarrubia, Jason Azzopardi, Scott Campbell and Graham Annable, Larry Marder, Jim Munroe, Walter Dickinson, MK Reed, Brad Mackay, Eva Volin, Matt Forsythe, and Jaleen Grove.
  • – The hosts and staff of The 2010 Doug Wright Awards for throwing a great event Saturday evening.
  • – The staff of The Beguiling for working on their weekend off
  • – Peggy Burns from Drawn & Quarterly for excellent organization and coordination of guests.
  • – Chip Zdarsky for his wonderful maps and expert assistance.
  • – George Rohac for his early support!
  • – Nadine Lessio for the fantastic new web-presence.
  • – The always shrewd advice of Nathalie Atkinson.
  • – Finally, and especially, our volunteers. I’m convinced that we have the greatest assemblage of volunteers of any major comics event, and this year’s crew were efficient, helpful, and praised by all of our exhibitors. Thank you for all of your hard work, dedication, and support, and we hope to see you back again in 2011.

The BIG News…!

Yes, you read that correctly: TCAF will occur annually for the foreseeable future. Save the Date: the next Toronto Comic Arts Festival is on for May 7 & 8, 2011, at Toronto Reference Library. It is once again Mother’s Day weekend. (Thanks, by the way, to all of the cool Moms who came out for the event on the Sunday.)

Our number one request for years now, from our partners, sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, and staff, has been to make the show a regularly occurring annual event. After our trial year, we feel confident that we can accomplish TCAF to our satisfaction on an annual basis. We’ve looked at what worked, and what didn’t, and we’re ready to take all the necessary actions to make TCAF an annual show, even if that means some change.

A big part of going to an annual event is the recognition that we’d like to make TRL our home for the foreseeable future, that we’d like to offer a space for new exhibitors and artists every year but our physical presence is not going to increase much year-over-year, and that the Festival’s landscape and texture must continue to change every year in order to ensure a fresh and exciting event. We’ve always tried to strike a balance between innovations to improve the show and creating a familiar and welcoming experience for exhibitors and attendees, and that won’t change… But some changes will be made to how the show operates and interacts with the comics community in order to create the best event possible. We ask for the support and understanding of all of our exhibitors and attendees going forward in the years to come, and you can expect further announcements this August. We promise all of you reading this: we are committed to making TCAF 2011 our best comics festival yet, and any and all changes we make will be towards that goal.

In Conclusion…

On behalf of myself and the entire staff we’d like to thank all everyone who made The 2010 Toronto Comic Arts Festival such a fantastic success. We greatly appreciate your support, promotion, and most-of-all your attendance at all of our Festival events. We’re looking forward to presenting great shows for years to come.

Best,

Christopher Butcher, Festival Director & Co-Founder
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival

On behalf of…

Peter Birkemoe, Co-Founder

Miles Baker, Assistant Festival Director

Nathalie Atkinson, Media Coordinator

Rob Broughton, Sean Rogers, and Tory Woollcott, Site Coordinators

Kate Dickson and Gina Gagliano, Programming Coordinators

Scott Robins, Kids Programming Coordinator

Andrew Woodrow-Butcher, Volunteer Coordinator

Parrish Kilthei, Tech Coordinator

Just a reminder…

I work for The Beguiling, and make about 95% of the blog posts at Beguiling.com. They’re not often terribly in-depth, but we do get a lot of neat stuff that doesn’t show up through normal retail channels, and it might be a neat addition to your daily reading. I’ll even occasionally recommend books and things.

– Chris
Shown: A collection of early-aughts shoujo manga anthologies (top) and Claire Wendling’s new sketchbook Daisies (bottom).

Come, mingle with Comic Geeks

From Atwood to Polkaroo: Highlights of Word on the Street events
The stars of CanLit mingle with comics geeks, dub poets, the TVO Kids gang and many other fans of the written word

I suppose all press is good press?

Still, it is a nice little nod in The Toronto Star about tomorrow’s Word On The Street fest. Second in line behind only the stars of CanLit…!

Hope we’ll see you out at the event tomorrow!

– Chris