|TCAF 2014 Recap!
||[May. 19th, 2014|02:21 pm]
Ellen Lindner - Comics and Illustration
My kitty Fry, helping me get some Strumpet wares ready for TCAF!
TCAF, the Toronto Comics Arts Festival, has been on my list of conventions to attend for years. The buzz has always been, well, fantastic. So imagine my pleasure when I heard that a) I was accepted to table there (along with some of my Gowanus buddies like Robin Ha, Joan Reilly and Hazel Newlevant, and b) two of my favorite cartoonists would be guests of the festival...
The incredible Christophe Blain...and the indelible Moyocco Anno.
Honestly, if I had to name two artists I'd be most likely to fangirl out on, these be them. Happy Mania, Anno's first work to be translated into English, was a huge discovery for me while researching manga for my Camberwell degree...
...and who wouldn't want to draw like Blain? He's like Hirschfeld crossed with Winschluss.
Quai d'Orsay and his other foray into nonfiction, En Cuisine Avec Alain Passard, are two recent favorites of mine....plus I've enjoyed years of the adventure drama Isaac The Pirate and the classic Matotti-influenced Speed Abater...they've proven that he's hugely versatile.
These folks were amply feted at two excellent events, at the local Alliance Francaise and Tokyo Foundation respectively. I was so excited to get my copy of Sakuran signed...wow! And look at this sweet beet Blain drew for Robin!
Table neighbor Robin Ha and her Blain dédicace!
The convention started very early on Saturday, 9am....a source of much comment from the crowds of 'I'm not a morning person' cartoonists...until we collectively realized that, erm, people were already lining up around the block.
A sketchbook commission - the theme was 'bobbed hair'- couldn't help adding some embroidery!>
So...how were sales? The honest answer would be that they were okay at best but I dug the experience as a whole. TCAF is a curated show, and if everyone is fairly decent and has reasonably high production values, it all comes down to the individual customer's taste, and that's very unpredictable. I did okay, and my table mates did even better.
There were lots of great parties in addition to the talks and signings...by the end I was a bit crazed and exhausted. It was definitely the sort of trip where you come back and need to sleep for a week.
One of the embroidered paintings I was selling, in progress!
So, Toronto pluses...the convention is free to attend, always a mark of having the right philosophy, in my opinion - basically to charge the people who are there to sell instead of charging people who just want to have a bit of a browse. How do you expect to attract random interest in comics if you're charging $25 or even $10 at the door?
Joan Reilly and The Big Feminist But!
We stayed in a cute Air BnB by University of Toronto, which wasn't bank-breaking. I'd recommend that neighborhood for some sweet Park Slope type architecture, with relatively little disturbance from the local students, who were well-behaved even on the weekends.
No kitties but we had black squirrels to keep us company!
We had fun eating dim sum in Chinatown, dosas on Gerrard Street and drinking beer at Bar Volo.
Thanks a lot to Peter and Chris from The Beguiling, who along with a boatload of volunteers made the whole experience go as smoothly as possible. Thanks as well to friends who stopped by to say hi. I hope they all had a good time, too!