So this past weekend, my boyfriend Tim and I flew out from what is (very nearly) the butt end of Canada (Halifax, Nova Scotia) to Toronto for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. It’s my 4th time at TCAF as an exhibitor. It was also the very first comic convention I exhibited at, so it has a special place in my heart. It is also where I tend to get SICK as a dog, which happened last year, and I was sick a couple days before the show, so I was little apprehensive … Also, Jeff Smith, creator of Bone and pretty much the man whose comics shaped young wannabe comic maker Faith was going to be there. He’s a big deal to me, and I was determined to meet him.
I’m going to put everything behind a cut because the report is quite long and there are lots of pictures, so click to hear about my adventures and whether or not I met Jeff Smith. XD
Heh, yeah. :D On the left is me, then Jeff Smith, then my awesome friend (and host) Noreen (her tumblr is here). It was a big emotional moment for me meeting him, and I’ll probably make a comic about it. But long story short, it means so much when you meet a creator whose work is important to you, and they are kind and nice to your fluttery, hero-worshiping self. Jeff Smith rules.
Pics from TCAF!
The lull before the storm. TCAF is at the Toronto Reference Library, and it’s a unique space. This is downstairs. I was upstairs, which was great. Weirdly enough, everyone I wanted to see (Ethan Rilly excepted) was upstairs.
The doors opened and the people came rushing in! It was a madhouse. TCAF has been getting progressively busier the four years I’ve gone, and this year it reached some sort of insane tipping point. Saturday was madness on a Comicon level.
See? See?? DO YOU SEE THIS MADNESS?? To the credit of the showrunners, the madness was very well handled. The flow of people, while busy, was never claustrophobic. A very enthusiastic thumbs up to all the show organizers and volunteers; you guys are the real heroes.
I had a line up for the entire show, and sold everything I brought. It was amazing. I’ve never had that kind of response before. At one point there was a 2 second lull at my table and I went and hid behind my Mom, I was so overwhelmed. XD. (My family lives close to Toronto, and always come out to support me.)
My table buds! My friends Miriam and Noreen. It’s best when you can share a table with friends.
I was on two panels, one of my very own, a “Hey young comic makers, come see how I made comics my career (and talk to my editor at First Second)” workshop and a Comics and Print, Should They Make Babies or Are We All Doomed? panel. My workshop went very well (thanks to everyone who came out!), the audience was lovely and attentive and laughed at my dumb jokes, and it was great that my fantastic editor Calista was there to provide her perspective on what she’s looking for in terms of publishing-worthy comics. I really enjoyed the whole thing.
(Here is me and my awesome editor. Hope she doesn’t mind me posting this photo… we’ve been working together for something like 3, 4 years now! Time flies. I love her!)
My second TCAF panel was a discussion on the state of comics, both online and off, and on making a living in the current internet Culture of Free. It was really interesting, and I as someone who’s primary income comes from print (but I believe in the internet, and owe my career to the internet), I appreciated it a lot. The panel was modded by Matt Madden and it was me, Box Brown, Matt Forsythe and Jeffrey Rowland.
Some day I will attend TCAF as a visitor and not seller-of-books, and then I’ll actually get to enjoy the many panels and workshops they have going on. I didn’t get to a single one this year, but because I sold out of comics early, I got to do some serious shopping. Here’s what I got:
I really should make a massive list of who and what all this is, so you guys can go buy it too, but … I am still in TCAF recovery mode, soooo, nah. XD I will say I have enjoyed everything I have read, and I’m looking forward to reading everything else. Seriously, it is like there are no crappy comics at TCAF. It is a magical place.
The very first Bone collection I bought, back in the early 2000s, when I was desperate for comics to read.
Signed by The Man himself. It was … it was a big moment for me.
Get outa here! We’re sold out!