by BK Munn
How about that Pascal Blanchet poster?
This week and weekend is TCAF. I’m not sure anyone from Sequential is even going this year? Weird. It looks like such a great event. But then, it looks that way every year. And those years I go, it is! But I’m not going this year, and I’m mildly upset about it, but I guess I’m just a big fat baby.
Anyway, what follows is something of a guide to the events of the next few days in Toronto. At least, this is what I would try to do if I were at the show.
It seems like there are at least two booklaunches every night this week in Toronto, as well as an academic conference and a librarian conference. And Marta Chudolinska will have an opening reception for her exhibition at Ryerson University’s MLC Gallery on Wednesday at 6pm. And and and. Cry cry cry.
The books being launched are by Ethan Rilly, Tin Can Forest, and Jason Kieffer, among others.
As well, there is a big event Thursday night with several French creators (Boulet, Pénélope Bagieu, Etienne Davodeau) and Lorenzo Mattotti, along with Bart Beaty and Angouleme’s Stephane Beaujean, at Théâtre de l’Alliance Française de Toronto, 24 Spadina Road (Bloor/Spadina/Spadina Subway) at 6pm.


Friday there is a ticketed event celebrating the launch of D+Q’s 25th anniversary book. Sean Rogers interviews a giant slate of D+Q cartoonists on stage, including the Queen of Cartoonists, the magnificent Lynda Barry. Not sure if this free event is “sold out” yet but its gotta be close to. This is the official “kick-off” event for the festival but at the same time, there is a book launch across town at The Central, near The Beguiling. Billed as “Spring Thing,” the event features U.S. publishers 2D Cloud, Space Face Books, and Youth in Decline debuting books by some of their star authors authors, several of whom will be on hand for live readings and signings: Blaise Larmee (3 Books), Émilie Gleason (Salz & Pfeffer), Andy Burkholder (Qviet), Katie Parrish (Advice Comics #1), Sam Alden (Lydian), Jason Murphy (Me Nut Nut Nut #3), HTML Flowers (Virtual Candle), Cathy G. Johnson & Sophia Foster Dimino (Lovers Only #1).
Closer to the actual area of the show and the Reference Library and Marriot Hotel is the Pow Pow Press party, which takes place at The Pilot tavern a little bit later in the night and features the launch of four English translations of Pow Pow books that originally appeared in French, as well as Pascal Girard’s new sketchbook collection. These books are the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign; they all look beautiful and I can’t wait to read them now that the language barrier has been evaporated. The books are Vile and Miserable by Samuel Cantin, Vampire Cousins by Cathon & Alexandre Fontaine Rousseau, Mile End by Michel Hellman, and For As Long As It Rains by Zviane! It looks like at least Pascal Girard will be on hand for this launch.


You could have a pretty full day just attending all the D+Q-themed panels on Saturday. One of the best of these is sure to be the earliest, with Kate Beaton (!) interviewing international superstar Marc Bell about his new graphic novel, Stroppy. That starts at 10 AM! Holey Moley! The rest of the day is chock full of events featuring Keith Jones, Lynda Barry, Michael DeForge, Jeet Heer, Chester Brown, a super-rare Toronto appearance by Julie Doucet (in conversation with King Cat’s John Porcellino), and many many more. Check out the full D+Q sched here.
There is also a big Kids Comics event space, located off-site, that features a bunch of kid-friendly events and activities.
Saturday night there are two big official events that I would love to check out. First there is the opening reception for Lorenzo Mattotti’s art show at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura (496 Huron St). This event features the great Italian cartoonist Mattotti and the beautiful artwork from his collaboration with Neil Gaiman on Hansel and Gretel. The reception runs from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, which gives you enough time to amble back to the Marriott for The Doug Wright Awards, which start at 8pm. This entertaining show features an all-star line-up of presenters (Don McKellar, Seth, David Collier) slated to honour the best Canadian comics of the past year (notable exception: Marc Connery’s epic Rudy collection was inexplicably slighted).
There are also several official and unofficial afterparties set to run all night at various locales where cartoonists and commoners can mingle and unwind and whatever people do at parties, there is sure to be one for you. I once met and insulted Jim Woodring at one such event. For true aficionados of the crybaby lifestyle, there is something billed as a “Quiet Party” where you can find yourself a little corner and cry about all the comics you missed out on buying.


The only scheduled event I’m aware of for Sunday is a special screening of the Seth’s Dominion documentary, with both Seth and director Luc Chamberland on hand for a question and answer session. The screening also features the worldwide premiere of two brand-new animated sequences that have not been shown previously, adapting Seth’s shorts “The Death of Kao-Kuk” and “The Great Machine!” This show is 6:00 to 8:00pm
@ The Royal, 608 College St (tickets here)
At the time I’m putting this list together, TCAF hasn’t announced events for some of their big-name guests, including Scott McCloud, Killofer, Charles Burns, Simon Hanselman, although you should be able to get a book signed by most of the guests at some point during the show. Whew, there is just so much!


There are too many debut books to list here, but I am always excited by new work from Marc Connery (new Rudy!), John Porcellino (new King Cat!), Charles Burns, Anders Nilsen, Jason Lutes, Adrian Tomine, Joe Decie, Dakota McFadzean, Julian Lawrence, Nick Maandag, and Seth, to name only a very few.
Plus these:

TCAF Mobile Guidebook app