My Saturday at TCAF started really early. I was stuck watching the table for Alternative comics for the morning, so had to get up to the second floor of the Library before the 9am opening. I got to say high some folks from my spot, including the always Excellent, Lacey Micallef. Here she is holding a copy of XOXO.
I was flanked on one side by Leigh Walton and Top Shelf Comix and on the other by Kevin Czapiewski, who had a really great rack of comics, including a bunch by Liz Suburbia. Kevin was kind enough to watch my table for me while I ran out for a couple of minutes, here and there. I got to help out Francoise Mouly as she was trying to find a way to a panel. I like being able to help out someone great like that. By noon, i was free of the table and would not return. Sorry if folks were looking for me there. I don’t like sitting behind a table if I don’t have to.
Downstairs, is where i spent most of time. The comics seemed to be split with the more arty stuff that i am into downstairs. That’s not a comment on quality, just what I enjoyed. Chris Pfizer had a nice selection of goods including this hardcover edition of Jim Rugg’s SuperMag. You can always tell an AdHouse book, because of the attention to detail in creating a really well designed book. We talked about the upcoming Farel Dalrymple artbook. A collection that is a long time coming. He was playing host to Boulet, selling his only solo english work, The Noirness.
Roman Muradov had a mock up of his new book from NoBrow. that’s another great looking goody. Roman’s going to come on the studs when that book is out.
I got a sketch from TAGAME! I picked up his collection, which is as extreme and intense as one could imagine. I will not be leaving it out for guests, or maybe I will be. He was joined by book design superstar, Chip Kidd.
Here is Nina Bunjevac talking with Dave Collier. Two tremendous Canadian cartooning talents.
Hey, it’s Dash Shaw! His new book looks amazing. I already had a copy that Brandon had brought back for me from Stumptown. Dash is one of those guys doing really great/important work and is only getting better with each release. I am frightened to see what 40 year Dash puts out. I went out for dinner with Team Fantagraphics, Jen, Jacq, Dash and Ulli Lust. I explained furries to Ulli, who had not heard of them in Berlin. their loss.
After dinner, it was off to the Doug Wright awards. As a Canadian comics journalist this is a pretty important event for me to go to if i am in the proximity. I was very excited, because Scott Thompson was hosting that night. I grew up a huge Kids In The Hall fan. I still love them.
Here’s Joe Ollmann and Julie Delporte before the ceremony. They were both on the jury for the awards and were going to speak about the winning works.
Dave Collier was the first winner. Seth gave a stirring reflect on Dave’s work as a cartoonist. I can think of many folks that would count Dave as one of their favorite cartoonists and he deserves any accolades he receives. Dave got very embarrassed by Seth’s appreciation, at first cover his face with a seat cushion followed up with assaulting Seth with said pillow. Dave would go on to give his own passionate lecture on the eating ability of Canadian cartoonists vs Australian cartoonists in a passion speech that seemed to go one for an hour.
Caitlin was probably twice as excited as i was to see Scott Thompson. She really wanted to meet him, so Brad Mackay introduced us and Caitlin got the photo!
Here’s a couple of digressions on the Wright Awards for that night. I like what they do for the most part. But it’s still a very east coast event. The Jury is made completly of Montrealers, and the large majority of nominated work is from east of the prairies. There is still some work to do on that front, to really get pan-Canadian. The Ceremony itself could still use some tweaking with most of the audience tuning out or leaving when they covered the work of Albert Chartier.
And here is Jacq Cohen from Fantagraphics and Hip-Hop Historian, Ed Piskor. Everyone ended up at this restaurant at some point. Turns out that Joe Ollmann’s daughter was bar tending, so we had great service. This was the kind of scene you would have at a show like this. Chuck Forsman on side of the photo, Boulet and Kate Beaton in the middle, and over there, it’s Seth and Spiegelman. I had seen Kate earlier that day very briefly, having enough time to exchange, a good to see you high-five. TCAF is busy.
Brad was slow to arrive, after he had gone upstairs in the hotel to change out of his award outfit. I waited a long time for him. Brad, why did you take so long. Here he is with Ivan Brunetti. I like anything Ivan does. Anything. And I met Gilbert.
I caught up with my roommates back at the hotel. They realized that they did not get a photo of them in their outfits. We went out in the hall to take photo’s, since the hotel room was kind of a mess and not a great backdrop. We ran into my publisher, Andy Brown and stylin’ Joe Ollmann. Brad Mackay was watching us from down the hall. It’s TCAF. Everyone is everywhere.
Sunday was not as much fun for me. After getting to bed prety late, I woke up at 630 in the morning. Tried but couldn’t get back to sleep, finally getting up at 8am to sit on the floor where no one could see me and kill time checking my email and other web crap. I had a horrible stomach bug that beat the shit out of me all day. It really sucked and explains why I hardly took any photos. I tried to take it as easy as possible.
The talk on everybodies lips was that Tom Spurgeon was singing Bette Midler at Karaoke the previous night. Here’s Tom with Justin Hall. Justin had sold right out of No Straight Lines. The queer comics anthology that he edited for Fantagraphics. It’s pretty great when a book like that is such a success. As far as I know, it has sold out at the publisher level. Congrats Justin.
Ivan Brunetti gave me some comic anthologies that his students had put together. They are excellent.
I was on a panel with a group of UK publishers. It was a bit weird, as I didn’t know exactly who would be on the panel until Friday evening (leaving me little prep time), and the panelist’s themselves weren’t told I was their moderator until I mentioned it to them over the weekend. I had heard from others that had similar story of last minute challenges. How can you prepare images for panel about a visual medium if you’re told about your panel while on a plane to said event? With what is normally a pretty smooth operation at TCAF, the programming felt rushed. I was only on one panel which was fine, but would of liked to do something with creative folks, since I don’t generally tend to talk to publishers on Inkstuds.
I did not record the panel, but I think someone in the audience did, so if I get audio of it, I will be posting.
Seeing Matt Forsythe was an unexpected surprise.
I stopped by the tail end of Bryan Lee O’malley’s panel. That guy is so generous and kind with his fans. It’s pretty great to watch the enthusiasm they have when they meet him and how that experience is really good, so they leave feeling any better. I have had shitty experiences with folks, whose work I greatly respected, so this was nice to see. I know Brandon Graham tries to do the same thing.
TCAF had a limited signing, with only 75 folks allowed, but Bryan was fine with going until whenever. I got to look through his original art for while he was signing and getting his picture taken. This was marked as not for sale, since it was his favorite page from Lost At Sea.
At the end of the show, while everyone is exhausted and ready to head home. The Beguiling will by comics from the exhibitors. This has to be one of the coolest things they do. Everybody lines up and brings what they have left for the Beguiling to pick through. While watching the line move, it seemed that everybody sold something to the store. My favorite moment was Scott Campbell trying to move a stack of boxes and out of nowhere, Chris Butcher sends a swarm of volunteers to help Scott move his boxes. It’s a smooth operation.
I was wiped by the end of the day, and went for dinner with Jacq and Jen again, who seemed to be stuck with me. We were joined by Jaime Hernandez. It’s really neat to hear him talk about life and family and see how important is wife and mother are to him on mothers day. I went back to the hotel and was asleep by 930 at night, while everyone else was out enjoying the final night of TCAF partying.
The next morning I was bright and ready for a final day in Toronto. I ran into Rutu Modan in the lobby, who I talked into joining us for breakfast. We were also joined by William Cardilini and Brazillian cartoonist, Murilo. We next went off to the Beguiling, joined by Theo Ellsworth. I bought some good stuff. The Elfquest is for Brandon. The Beguiling on Monday after TCAF is crazy. I had to sit down out front because it was so busy. While i was out front, the Wowee Zonk and Closed Caption Comics Collective showed up.
Jen and Theo joined by on the steps. It was nice to sit and relax. We ended the day by going to the Taiyo Matsumoto show. I had already seen it, but no one else had. While we there, Matsumoto was at the foundation, having on last look and goodbye before heading home. Jen somehow got her photo with him. She can talk. When we were leaving out front, the staff were taking photos of him and asked us to be in a photo as well. I took that opportunity to get the travel buddies with him too.
Theo gave Matsumoto a copy of one of his minis. Here is he is going to shake Theo’s hand. It was a pretty sweet moment and amazing way to end the weekend on top.
And here is a look at my haul!