Wednesday, May 14, 2014

TCAF Recap!

Here's my recap from this past weekend's Toronto Comic Arts Festival!

Firstly, it's held in the gorgeous Toronto Reference Library.  It's so pretty it practically DARES you to sit there and read a book. And it's organized by The Beguiling Bookstore, which really has the best selection of comics I've EVER SEEN omg drool.

I was upstairs where I shared a table with Andrew Carl and Josh O'Neill, the Philly fellas who run Locust Moon comics shop/ small press/ annual festival. I can't wait to see their next project coming out this fall, a Little Nemo tribute anthology!
 How about some cute fans?! Meeting readers (and your table neighbors) are the best part of doing a show like this.

Let's talk panels! I was on one with Katie Shanahan, Joan Reilly, Noelle Stevenson, and Lianne Sentar but alas I don't have any pics.  We spoke to a dedicated* group of attendees about what women want as a audience, the female vs male gaze, and our experiences working as a woman in the industry. (*dedicated because it was really hot in our room!)

I attended a few panels myself, including an AMAZING conversation with Canadian cartoonists Lynn Johnston (For Better of For Worse) and Kate Beaton (Hark a Vagrant), moderated rather wonderfully by Raina Telgemeier (Smile).  It was so packed, we had to watch them on the monitors!

Outside of TCAF, I also got to do some exploring around Toronto.
Remember when I used to hang up whoislauralee stickers all the time?

You had to try the poutine (fries + gravy + cheese curds + toppings) which is surprisingly GOOD despite what its name implies.

Mr Duck tagged along on this trip of course! Here he is at the Bach-inspired Waterfront Music Garden.

At night all of us TCAFers crowded the bars. Comic kids everywhere! Alas, no karaoke this time.

What was the best part of my trip?  Thrift store shopping in Kensington Market with comics legend and vintage-clothing-aficionado Trina Robbins! We had a blast, she is such an vivacious inspiring woman. I also caught her entertaining lecture on great women cartoonists, celebrating trailblazers like Nell Brinkley and Tarpe Mills.

In closing: I'd love to come to TCAF again. Since they curate the artists that participate, the overall QUALITY of the work presented at this show is impressive. They bring together really innovative creators and thoughtful programming. And I love that it's free to attend! But money wise, I'll be honest and say it wasn't a profitable show for me when you work in all the travel costs plus getting your merch across the border.

In my effort to save money, I stayed in this almost-completely-empty dorm. Which was creepy. So yeah, next time I head to TCAF....I think I'll splurge for a hotel.
Currently Reading: Buddha, Vol. 1: Osamu Tezuka.

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