Category Archives: TCAF

Great TCAF write-up from the ALA

“Libraries are such an important part of the fabric of a city, not just repositories of information and culture, but community hubs that allow every member of society to access that knowledge,” Butcher said. “What TCAF does, and does very well, is transform the space so that it feels as vital and exciting and important to all the people in attendance as it actually is the other 300-and-some-odd days of the year.” – Me, from the ALA Website

Myself and TPL’s Ab Velasco are quoted pretty extensively in the wonderful write-up of TCAF, from Robin Brenner, appearing at the American Libraries Magazine website. The magazine is the official periodical of the ALA (American Libraries Association), and it’s a pretty big deal. My sincere hope is that it inspires further partnerships between comics organization and public libraries.

Thanks for the great article, Robin!

– Chris

Comics and Community

“Again, it makes me think of TCAF and the effect that the show actually has on the community of Toronto. It’s educational, it promotes literacy and it’s free! It’s not about the money. It’s about creating a new audience and laying a foundation for the future.”
Frank Santoro, The Comics Journal

Go read, it’s an interesting think-piece about where all of this comic-conning is actually taking the industry, and I’d think so even if it wasn’t incredibly complimentary of what we do at TCAF.

“Probably the single issue I’ve most enjoyed in the last little while though? I was fortunate enough to get an advance look at Casanova: Avarita #1 debuting this September from ICON. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Cass fan from before the first issue came out, so it won’t be any surprise to hear that I liked the new issue… but man, it’s great. ”
Me, at Robot 6 / Comic Book Resources

I was the guest on this week’s “What Are You Reading” Column at Robot 6, and in addition to some much deserved love for Adachi’s CROSS GAME I talk about some recent floppies I read and enjoyed.

– Chris

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/


A Short Appreciation of Manga-ka Usamaru Furuya

Hi there! My name is Christopher Butcher and in addition to running this fine blog, I’m also the Director of the 2011 Toronto Comic Arts Festival, or TCAF as we call it. TCAF is an annual comics event held in Toronto, Canada, inside the massive Toronto Reference Library. It attracts about 12,000 people over two days, and features readings, panel discussions, interviews, gallery exhibitions, and a massive exhibition of talented cartoonists from around the world, selling and displaying their wares. The next Festival is May 7th and 8th, 2011, and you can find out more about it at http://www.torontocomics.com.

Earlier this week, it was my great pleasure to announce that TCAF will be welcoming acclaimed Japanese manga creator Usamaru Furuya to the 2011 Festival. Furuya-san will be on hand to support his brand new English-language manga Lychee Light Club, published by Vertical Inc. and which will be debuting at TCAF. Furuya-san’s series for VIZ Media‘s Shonen Jump Advanced line, Genkaku Picasso, will also be finishing its three-volume serialization in May with the third volume possibly making an early appearance at the show. We appreciate the support of Vertical Inc., VIZ Media, and Japanese publisher Ohta Books in making this appearance happen–it’s a rare and unique thing to have one manga creator at a North American event–last week we announced the fabulous Natsume Ono as a Featured Guest–but to have two such talented and Japanese cartoonists is frankly unprecedented.

I want to talk a little bit about Furuya-san’s work. First and foremost, he’s one of my personal favourite cartoonists. He’s a unique, compelling, and incredibly talented creator with a vivid back-catalogue of work. His manga is incredibly varied, first appearing in North America in the cutting edge manga magazine Pulp with the series Short Cuts, published by VIZ Media. This humourous exploration of Japanese youth culture, and where it intersects with the ‘adult’ world, moved rapidly between strips, and sometimes in the same strip, from outré to shocking to laugh-out-loud funny to bizarrely touching, and is fondly remembered amongst alt-manga fans… myself included. Quite honestly much of the deeper appreciation for Japanese culture that I’ve developed came out of Short Cuts and its serialization in Pulp, a fact which is doubtlessly horrifying several of the people who read this. It shouldn’t be so surprising though–Short Cuts engaged an emerging Japanese youth culture and also explained it to a larger Japanese audience, and to have something like that translated for a North American audience was about as ‘inside’ and ‘authentic’ as you could get. Floppy-socked Japanese school girls, taking paid dates and listening to the hottest visual rock bands, all of this is taken for granted as a staple of Japanese culture from a North American vantage point here in 2011; in 2000 it was revelatory for me. The serialization in Pulp and the two-volume collection published by VIZ Media were enormously affecting; I’ve read and lent the series out many times.

An excerpt from Short Cuts. © Usamaru Furuya

A page from Palepoli. © Usamaru Furuya. Click for full size.

His debut manga Palepoli ran in the seminal underground manga magazine Garo, and has been lightly excerpted in North America in the sadly out of print works Secret Comics Japan (an amazing anthology of alternative Japanese comcis featuring the likes of Junko Mizuno and others) and Tokyo Edge (a mostly-text guide to Japanese underground culture written by the Editors of Pulp). Furuya’s mix of surrealism, superior craft, and an unwillingness to be bound by social mores in Palepoli was instantly appealing to me, and repeated rereadings of those precious few pages have revealed even greater depth, meaning, and humour. I wish, one day, that the series would be translated into English.

And that was it for a while.

Pulp sadly folded, taking with it the majority of alt- and underground manga releases for a little while, and seriously stalled manga-for-grownups for a little while, and the industry became very focused on boys adventure comics and girls romance comics for a little while. Not a bad thing, but not generally where my interests lie. Luckily Furuya’s career continued unabated in Japan, and surprisingly, in France. Owing to our bilingual heritage we stock French comics (including manga) at The Beguiling where I work, and new works from Furuya would appear from time to time. His manga are championed by Nouvelle Manga movement originator Frederic Boilet (whose own comics have been published in English by Fanfare/Ponent-Mon), and consequently where anglophones had a 9 year gap between Furuya projects, popular series like La Musique de Marie, Le Cercle du Suicide, and the recent Tokyo Magnitude 8 have continued to impress French audiences. His work is also very popular amongst scanlators and the grey market, it must be said, though I feel like popularizing that fact will hinder future releases of his work.

On that note, it was on my trips to Japan starting in 2007 that I started picking up Japanese editions of Furuya’s manga. By Japanese language skill is still almost non-existent, but anyone who’s looked at one of Furuya’s manga will agree that you can get a lot out of the drawings. I own 10 or 11 of his works in Japanese, and I’d love for them all to be replaced one day with English editions. His 51 Ways To Save Her was one of the announced but unreleased works from the doomed CMX manga line. Will we see it one day?

Recently, surprisingly… almost bizarrely, Furuya showed up again at VIZ with Genkaku Picasso, a gloriously demented short manga series about the inner lives of teenagers, and a boy tasked by God with helping the lives of those around him using his profound artistic talent. One element of Furuya’s work I haven’t touched on is his incredible draftsmanship. His work has a clarity and skill that is above average even in Japan, and he’s an expert at the human figure (especially cute girls…). He’s also incredibly creative, drawing objects and situations that most people couldn’t conceive of… and when you’re drawing the dreamish, nightmarish inner worlds of teenagers, that is a skill that will serve you very well. The series looks great, and is hilarious and disturbing and entertaining… of much more interest to an older audience than the “Shonen Jump Advanced” tag might imply.

Which brings us to Lychee Light Club, debuting at TCAF from Vertical Inc. I’ve got the Japanese version, and while gorgeous it’s certainly bizarre–learning that the series is actually a comedy (a dark comedy), set against the beautifully rendered violence and gore of the original? Well that’s going to add a lot I feel. But really, let me say again, the book is gorgeous. I’m really looking forward to reading it in English.

It was also just announced that Vertical has picked up another 3 volume series from Furuya, debuting this September and being released every two months, so I have that to look forward to too! And quite honestly, so do you. I feel incredibly lucky to share the work of one of my favourite manga-ka with all of you, and for those of us who’ll be in Toronto this May getting to meet him will be an additional thrill. Even if you can’t come, make sure to check out Genkaku Picasso, track down the two trade paperbacks of Short Cuts, and pick up Lychee Light Club when it appears in stores this spring.

And learn French. Musique de Marie and Suicide Circle are highly unlikely to be released in English.

For more on Furuya, check out:

– Unofficial Website: http://www4.airnet.ne.jp/mikami/UsamaruFuruya/en/index.html

– Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Usamaru-Furuya/204452936604

– Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usamaru_Furuya

– Lambiek (Short Cuts era): http://lambiek.net/artists/f/furuya_u.htm

– Anime News Network: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=7174

– Future Shipwreck’s Appreciation: http://futureshipwreck.com/2010/07/usamaru-furuya/

– Christopher

So I run a comics festival…

Short Version: Hey, sign up for the TCAF mailing list in the upper right corner of every page at http://torontocomics.com.

Long Version: I wanted to post something because putting up Evan Dorkin’s FUN strips on the weekend makes it look like I post even less frequently than I actually do. I can’t really think of anything better to post about than what I’m working on right now, which is the 2011 Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF), because nothing I could post about is better than the work I’m doing on the Festival right now.

While a version of this post goes up every year, this one isn’t going to beg your forgiveness for lack of updates–I’m pretty determined to keep writing this year, and I’ve got a cool little Japan travelogue in the queue, about 3/4 finished. It’ll probably go up today or tomorrow.

No, I wanted to post this to remind everyone reading that TCAF IS AWESOME. I’m really proud of every TCAF we’ve thrown, but last year was really the first year it “clicked” for me, where the vast, vast majority of what I wanted to accomplish actually got done. The show ran more smoothly than it ever has, we had some amazing guests, amazing press, and we learned (more-or-less) everything it takes to put on this show. Which means that 2011 will be the year that just works. I’m already so, so happy with our guestlist, with phenomenal German cartoonist Mawil heading up a massive German Comics art show, Jillian Tamaki did our amazing Festival poster, Chester Brown is launching his first-ever original graphic novel and first new work in 8 or 9 years, and Chris Ware is Chris Ware… that’s an amazing line-up of featured guests, and doesn’t include the other 175+ confirmed exhibitors. Or the amazing featured guests who are confirmed, but not yet announced (gotta cross the t’s and dot the i’s). It’s a good, good year.

So yeah, I’m stoked about 2011, which is good, because I’m spending a lot of time on it, as I mentioned. I want to invite you to spend a little time with TCAF as well. We’re going to be sending out weekly-ish updates on the TCAF mailing list (it’s in the upper-right corner of every page at http://torontocomics.com), and whether you’re an exhibitor, potential attendee, or a member of the comics media, it’d be great if you could sign up. One of the things I’d really like to do this year is highlight some of our guests that are doing great, important work, but who might not otherwise make it into the spotlight with all of the big stuff happening. So every week, we’re going to try and talk about new guests and existing groups of interesting guests, giving a little bit of backstory to the people you see sitting behind those tables at the show, and maybe finding you a new favourite. It’s an extension of what we try to do with the Festival itself, drawing attention to great comics and the people making them, but it only works when people are reading our mailing list 🙂

So, yeah, sorry if you read all the way through this looking for hints about guests or the show or whatever. I just wanted you to know what I was up to, and give you an opportunity to keep up to date. I’ll try and keep the TCAF posts here to a minimum in case you cannot go this year, and therefore resent the hell out of the situation and/or me.

Thanks for reading,

– Chris

TCAF Stuff

This weekend we finally got through the 300+ applications for next year’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival, and picked our 2011 exhibitors.

This evening, I started sending out acceptance letters, welcoming cartoonists who were chosen to exhibit to the festival.

About a third of the way through sending out those letters, I realized that I would be sending out rejection letters tomorrow morning, 4 days before Christmas. Honestly, the date and timing did not occur to me until about 10 minutes ago, as like all things TCAF, we just work as fast as we can to get it all done, and we’re already a little late on sending out the notes.

But honestly? No one wants to get a rejection letter at Christmas. Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, this can be a really difficult time of year and having that compounded by finding out that you won’t be getting to exhibit at an event that meant a lot to you? Awful. I don’t want to be the guy that does that to anyone. And so we’re going to delay sending out the rest of the responses until Monday, December 27th.

The worst part is, we’ve sent out about a third the acceptance letters, so lots of people already know that they’ve gotten in. Lots of people _don’t_ though, and I’m aware that I’ve succeeded in making the next 7 days more stressful for them. I am truly sorry about that, we don’t have very many major missteps with the Festival, but this is one of them and its squarely on my shoulders. And as stressful as I’ve made it for some folks, I didn’t make it _shitty_ for anyone, and that is a small comfort.

If you’re one of the folks who applied and is waiting to hear from us, again, I’m very sorry. Please know that we took the utmost care with your application, reading every biography, visiting every link, and experiencing as much of your work as possible. We will get back to you in as expedient and professional a manner as possible on the morning of the 27th, and we hope you’ll understand that waiting these extra days may have ensured a much happier holiday for many of your peers.

Sincerely,

Christopher Butcher, TCAF

Congrats to Zach Worton on THE KLONDIKE!

Congrats to my buddy Zach Worton! He’s been working on his first big graphic novel, The Klondike, for years now, and the official solicit just showed up in my inbox from the good folks at Drawn & Quarterly. Seems like the book will appear in the January Previews for Items shipping in March, and the book will be appearing March 23rd or thereabouts. The full solicit info is below… – Chris

The Klondike
By Zach Worton
Trade paperback, 320 pages / 7 x 9 inches / b&w.
$ 24.95
978-1-897299-87-6
Published by Drawn & Quarterly

The history of the Gold Rush brought to life

The Klondike gold rush shook the Yukon on the eve of the twentieth century and stands today as the defining era in the taming of North America and especially Canada’s Great North. The history of how a handful of colorful characters sparked the largest mobilization of gold seekers in history is brought vividly to life in this debut graphic novel by the cartoonist Zach Worton. His stunning depictions of the Canadian wilderness are as much a part of the action as the key players: the prospector George Carmack; the racist prospector Robert Henderson; “Skookum Jim Mason,” a Native American posthumously credited with discovering gold; “Soapy Smith,” a noted con artist; Belinda Mulrooney, perhaps the first female involved in the gold rush to become rich; and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.Worton draws the reader into an absorbing historical tale of political intrigue and personal adventure, played out amid the free-for-all atmosphere of the Wild West.

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

More Me Than You’ve Gotten In Months…

The lovely Tom Spurgeon asked me for an interview, following the enormous success of TCAF 2010, and I decided “what the heck,” and went along with it. You can find the interview at:

http://www.comicsreporter.com/

It’s a bit of a long one, and it was almost entirely written between the hours of midnight at 4am, so it is considerably more honest and off the cuff that I originally intended, but I think it holds up okay. I kinda wanna give it another edit, but that’s life.

Originally I was going to save any official commenting on the show until our wrap-up, but as that’s been a while in coming I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to thank our staff and volunteers for all of their hard work, and Spurgeon’s is a pretty prestigious website upon which to send out those thanks. There’s still an official wrap-up coming of course, where we name names… in thanking all the wonderful people who helped out. And talk a little bit more about how things went, and what we’re going to do next time.

Also of note, not sure I mentioned it but there are a ton of photos of TCAF 2010 up online at flickr including my own. Here’s all the tagged TCAF 2010 shots:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/tcaf2010/

Alright, nuff of me. More commenting coming soon.

– Christopher

My Weekend…

From the @torontocomics account, this is a screenshot from Sunday at about 6:30pm. Check out that trending list.

So yeah, it went pretty well. Thanks to everyone who helped out and came out. TCAF will have a more official response a little later, but for now, we all feel pretty good about stuff. But man do I miss blogging…!

– Chris