TCAF Recap: My First Year at the Toronto Comics Arts Festival

This past Saturday I experienced TCAF (Toronto Comics Arts Festival) for the first time at the Toronto Reference Library downtown.

Since it was my first year, I was lost as to what my plan was going to be but, luckily, I had friends who’ve gone in the past to help me figure it out. I met fellow comic lovers, Michele from Just a Lil Lost and Christa from More Than Magic, at the Starbucks next door to the library to chat, get some caffeine and marvel at gasp at the abnormal hugeness of the place (it used to be a bookstore). We then headed into the library and nerve center of TCAF at around 11:30am and browsed the vast number of comics and art up for purchase and/or ogling. We ran into Teddy Wilson from InnerSPACE, spoke to different comic creators and illustrators (Once Upon a Time Machine, Kill Shakespeare, Glitter Kiss etc), looked at beautiful art and met up with Tiff from Mostly YA Lit. I ran into a twitter friend, Maddy, and we got into analyzing comics and comic book movies while the others were buying and getting books signed. By 2:30, we were famished and headed to a restaurant across the street for some food.

Up until then, I did more browsing than buying given that it was my first year and I wanted to pace myself. After lunch, I said goodbye to Michele and Christa and went back in to buy Matt Kindt‘s Red Handed, get him to sign it and also fangirl all over him since I had read his comic, Mind MGMT Vol. 1, the week before. I also bought Beta Testing the Apocalypse by Tom Kaczynski which we were all eying the entire day. To end the day, I decided to join Tiff, at the last minute, to the Fashion in Comics panel which was interesting but didn’t delve as deep into the discussion of the relationship between fashion and comics as I would have liked.

Join moderator Krystle Tabujara in a spirited discussion with Fashion Journalist Nathalie Atkinson (The National Post), Willow Dawson (No Girls Allowed), Kagan McLeod (Fashion Illustrator, Infinite Kung Fu) Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim), Ramon Perez (Wolverine & The X-Men), and Maurice Vellekoop (fashion illustrator, TCAF Featured Guest)

– Taken from the programming page on the TCAF site.

I was sad that I couldn’t go on Sunday as well (It was Mother’s Day) but overall, it was a fun experience. It’s nice to see the diversity in comics and be reminded that DC and Marvel aren’t the only version of comics out there. I was happy to see some homegrown talent as well.

Torontonians should definitely check it out.

A. A. Omer

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