It’s time, finally, for another annual installment of the absolutely FREE! Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF)!
TCAF is my personal favourite comic book convention – although it’s not specifically about comic books and it’s not specifically a convention.
Held at the Metro Toronto Reference Library – the perfect setting for a proletariat love of art, both in written literature and visual forms – TCAF successfully brings sequential art to the street.
The festival is so many things to so many people: it’s a convention, yes, where comic books and graphic novels of all sorts, shapes and sizes are sold, but it’s also a place to converse and celebrate the genres of visual storytelling. Creators and readers of all ages and backgrounds are equals here and no faction of society is marginalized. It’s a wonderful and special, weekend, truly, placing Toronto high on the international artistic stage.
In fact, readers, fans and creators from around the world come to TCAF to display their works, walk the aisles, pick up new books, and link up and converse with creators and like-minded individuals. Business happens here, but so does fandom – and all in equal measure.
TCAF may not be the locale for cosplay – that has its place at other conventions – but it is the place to revel in small(er) press publications, online and envelope-pushing publishing, a DIY aesthetic, and writers and artists that you may not find at a larger comic book convention because they either don’t work for a large publisher or because they are based in a far-off country.
Biff Bam Pop! has showcased our love of TCAF through the years and even interviewed industry and fan favourite artists and writers that find the festival their home away from home – like England’s Oliver East (who happens to be back at TCAF again this year) and Toronto-based writer, artists and instructor, Willow Dawson.
With a long list of exhibitors, publishers, self-publishers, book debuts, featured guests, life-drawing classes, panels and programs, TCAF 2018 looks to be the best-ever version of itself. Some highlights this year include:
Eddie Campbell (From Hell, Bacchus, Bizzarre Romance)
James Kochalka (American Elf, Johnny Boo)
Ho Che Anderson (King, Sand & Fury, Godhead)
Inio Asano (Uchu Kara Konnichiwa, Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction)
Michael Deforge (Lose, Any Colony, A Western World)
Cecil Castellucci (The Plain Janes, Shade the Changing Girl, Hockey Noir)
And many, many others!
Bizarre Romance by Audrey Niffenegger and Eddie Campbell
All Summer Long by Hope Larson
Weegee: Serial Photographer by Max De Radigues and Wauter Mannaert
They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki
The Joe Shuster Story by Julian Voloj and Thomas Campi
And many, many others!
To get all the information, don’t forget to download the TCAF Guidebook. See you there!
The ever-growing Toronto Comics Arts Festival runs Saturday May 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Toronto Reference Library at 789 Yonge St. (Yonge and Bloor), the Marriott Bloor Yorkville at 90 Bloor St. E and at The Masonic Temple at 888 Yonge St. (just north of Bloor).
Find our more at www.torontocomics.com.