by BK Munn
Checking in with Canadian comic book news from across the country with the C-List. This weekend is the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in Toronto, so the list is a little TCAF-heavy this time around.

ITEM! As usual, one of the best events of the weekend is the Wright Awards that take place on Saturday night next door to the library at the Marriott hotel. Your chance to hobnob with Canadian comix royalty and see the next gen of killer cartoonists celebrated for their innovative work. The ceremony is always very emotional, especially the Giants of the North Hall of Fame inductions. This year’s inductees are Fiona Smyth and Alootook Ipellie.

ITEM! This year is the 10th anniversary of the Wowee Zonk Collective. The gang publishes zines and comix and curates the punkest, most avant garde salon at TCAF. Critic Kim Jooha looks back at the past ten years of the Wowee Zonk Small Press Browsery on Saturday afternoon, 1:30 to 2:30.
(Toronto Reference Library, Hinton Learning Theatre (3rd Floor))
Toronto’s own Wowee Zonk collective, Mewnette A Lapalmew (Ginette Lapalme), Patrick Kyle, and Christopher Hansen Kuzma, talk about what it has meant to create a space for their peers. What is the Wowee Zonk browsery; Why we need it at TCAF; What the curation process is like; The beginning of the Wowee Zonk collective; Wowee Zonk the anthology; the past, present, and the future of the collective, anthology, and space at the festival.

ITEM! Conundrum is dropping a ton of interesting-looking books this year and as usual has a super aggressive signing schedule for its cartoonists. Check out that list!

ITEM! Ben O’Neil’s Apocalyptica is the only TCAF debut I’ve read in advance and I really enjoyed its junk-culture horror fable vibe, sort of like a Jesse Jacobs-meets-Michael DeForge-meets-Charles Burns thing, so I’m declaring this comic from Mark Laliberte’s new PopNoir imprint “the book of the show”.

ITEM! This is an unusual event that I’m not sure TCAF has done before:Pop-Up Sidewalk Talks with Cartoonist Jonathan Rotsztain Sunday, May 12 at 3 PM, 3:30 PM & 4 PM FENTSTER @ Makom, 402 College Street: according to the TCAF site: “In the FENTSTER window gallery, cartoonist Jonathan Rotsztain presents all new deceptively playful drawings and sculptures based on his “Self-Loving Jew” comics series, showing a cartoonish portrait of a conflicted, anxious yet optimistic thirty-something Jew. The installation makes visible how family, community and social context can unconsciously shape one’s patterns of behaviour. Rotsztain reveals how he inherited fears and successes, guilt and joys, neuroses and values not only from what was articulated to him but also from what went unspoken and unacknowledged. He transforms behavioural patterns into decorative patterns that adorn domestic settings. Artist-designed wallpaper on display in the window is dense with images of Holocaust fuelled fears, intergenerational trauma, and an inner struggle to reconcile a progressive, secular worldview with common narratives about Jewish life. The artist will be on hand on College Street for a series of short talks about the installation.”


ITEM! Another TCAF debut is Cathon’s Pineapples of Wrath from Pow Pow Press, translating underappreciated Quebec comix into English. The publisher will also have artists like Sophie Bédard, Thom, Luc Bosse, and Alexandre Fontaine Rousseau on hand.

ITEM! I’m kind of in love with this gender-flipped poster for a month-long exhibit of French cartoonists sponsored by the French Embassy (Alliance française Toronto – Galerie Pierre Léon, 24 Spadina Road, Toronto, ON Canada, M5R 2S7) with work by Guy Delisle, Meags Fitzgerald, and Erik Kostiuk-Williams,Julie  Rocheleau, Yan Le Pon (Gold of the Dead), Jean-Yves Ferri (Astérix), Hélène Becquelin (Angry Mum), Florence Dupré La Tour (Cruelle), Jérôme Jouvray (Lincoln), Boulet (Notes), Efix (12 rue Royale et les 7 défis gourmands), Nancy Peña (Les nouvelles aventures du Chat Botté), B-gnet (Santiago), Marie Avril (Confidences à Allah) and more.

Check the full sched for all the TCAF events and panels.