After cancelling their 2020 event due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s first wave, which hit before their event, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival is back in 2021 with an all digital event in partnership with Canzine and the Hand-Eye Society. The event will run online during May 8-15 with an online marketplace, digital panels and workshops. TCAF’s new exhibition website is being made in partnership with Canzine (the festival of zines) and the Toronto Hand Eye Society. Zinesters and indie video game creators will be among the 600 virtual exhibitors in May!
Based on the announcement it appears Q&As and Panels will be on-demand but it is possible they may add live stream events as well. Both of these formats have been common to replace the in person comic panels which usually occur at conventions. TCAF has a long history of extensive and excellent panels so it will be interesting to see what they put together without the limitation of guests having to even be in Toronto.
The core of TCAF is the array of comics, graphic novels and zines to purchase directly from creators and publishers. While we’ll miss the interaction of discussing the books with the creators, TCAF will still provide this shopping opportunity in a great way. To minimize shipping costs and environmental impact, virtual attendees will be able to order their books from multiple vendors all in one transaction. Then creators ship what they sold to a central warehouse which will then combine them into the various orders. This should keep shipping costs reasonable and makes for a great experience for everyone involved. This will mean it will likely take many weeks for your order to arrive. This central marketplace will also help to support creators directly who are struggling without the usual opportunities to sell their comics in person.
Applications to exhibit at TCAF 2021 are open until March 3rd, 2021. CLICK HERE TO APPLY.
Applicants will have the choice to apply for TCAF, Canzine OR Comics x Games. Accepted exhibitors will have a customizable online shop page where they can upload up to 5 items for sale. More details on the TCAF website.