Thursday, May 19, 2016

Short TACF 2016 report

The two-day TCAF is over.  I'm sure I should have mentioned it on the blog, but mostly likely if you are interested in comic books and live in Toronto, you were already aware of it.  It is hosted around this time each year at the Toronto Reference Library.  I double-checked the times and Sunday, they started at 11, while the library itself opens at 1 pm.  And indeed, they had quite a few areas where the books were sealed off with police tape until 1!

This year and last year as well, the audience is an interesting mix of mostly young people, all over the map in terms of their hipster vs. nerd quotient.  There were quite a few women in the crowd, confirming, as if it really was in question, that women do indeed read comics.

I was hoping that the folks from Pixie Trix Comix would be there again, but they skipped TCAF this year.  I suspect that Dakota McFadzean was there, whom I met last year, but I really didn't have a lot of time to check each booth.  I had about 20 minutes to poke around before jumping back on the subway to go up to North York Centre to see The Model Apartment (more on that soon).  So it was a very superficial visit.

Upstairs, there was a booth that seemed largely dedicated to Darwyn Cooke, a Toronto-based comic book artist who sadly died right before TCAF. 

I was intrigued by Octopus Pie, though not quite enough to pick up a book.  I know it isn't entirely fair, but after I checked out the strip on-line, I was dismayed and kind of disgusted by the comments of the core followers, who virtually all thought it was totally ok for the main character to toss a drink in the face of her ex-boyfriend.  I have a pretty limited time to add more web-comics to my list, and in fact I basically only follow Girl Genius and the suite of comics at Pixie Trix.  Occasionally, I will dive into another strip for a while, but so far at least none of the others have stuck.

I picked up a book for my daughter and an odd book about time travel called We Can Fix It (at least part of the time she goes back to watch her younger self working at a movie theatre -- if only Annie Baker had thought of that for The Flick...).

I came pretty close to buying a issue of Toronto Comics, but the line was just a bit too long for me to deal with.  The weird thing was that I thought that they had 3 or even 4 volumes available, but at this site, there are just two volumes plus a mini-comic, though Kickstarter seems to indicate #3 is almost ready and perhaps that was what they were showcasing.  I'll definitely try to check this out soon.

I was worried that I wouldn't actually meet any creators at the festival, but then I stumbled across the team that does Super Science Friends.  It is essentially a parody of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but with scientists infused with superpowers.  Anyway, they actually managed to animate an episode here, and then had a new comic out (2099), which I picked up.  I'll try to keep an eye out for more activities from this team.

So it was a good but short trip.  If it wasn't so crowded, I might take my son to TCAF next year.

I should have posted this yesterday, but I guess it's not too late.  There are always a few official posters for TCAF, and this one by Kazu Kibuishi is my favourite poster from 2016.

Edit (5/23): One more minor update: the mysterious man behind the Puck comic does not come to conventions (or at least not openly), since he is trying to keep his web-comic and his real job (as a teacher in Hamilton, Ont.) separate.  I haven't decided if I will follow this or not, though the storylines are fairly droll.  What will probably keep me coming back is that the setting is Hamilton, and in this alternative universe Satan is the mayor of the city.  Harsh but perhaps fitting.

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