Chris Butcherhas announced that he has stepped down as the Artistic Director for TCAF, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Butcher cites his need to address his “persistent health and wellness issues” that he has neglected.
Butcher has also addressed criticism towards the festival and organization. They have been criticized for a lack of diversity in input and staff from BIPOC, disabled individuals, and trans people. They organization has admitted it can “do better.” There are also charges that those who have spoken up and attempted to volunteer to help the organization have had their input dismissed. And, when they were engaged not given the support needed and then blamed when those tasks aren’t completed.
Simply put, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF)—whose leadership currently lacks Black or Indigenous representation —can do better.
Butcher acknowledges the criticism and in his announcement takes responsibility in the role he “played in devaluing the contributions of members of staff and volunteers.” Part of his stepping away is for himself to “be better.”
We’ll see what steps the festival and organization takes in the coming months and years as they’ve committed this is an ongoing project that they are dedicating themselves to.
TCAF is a comics festival that’s free to attend. It’s a week of comics-related events that includes readings, presentations, panels, gallery shows, and an exhibition area featuring publishers, authors, and artists. It was co-founded by Chris Butcher and Peter Mirkemoe with the first held on March 29, 2003. The show has grown from the original 600 attendees with 25 staff, and 780 creators to over 25,000 individuals in 2016.
Page & Panel opened its doors in 2014 but had to close on March 17 due to the State of Emergency in Ontario. The retail destination is more than just a destination for comics, art, and book culture but has been a supporter of the Toronto Comics Arts Festival.
With the cancellation of TCAF, the shop needs our help as it has lost it’s best weekend for sales which supports the store and the festival.
A GoFundMe has launched to help pay for overhead, make up lost revenue, and retaining and re-hiring staff.
The fundraiser has a goal of $20,000 and so far has raised about a third of its goal as of this post.
The Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF) has announced that it will be canceling its 2020 convention due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was to take place on May 8-10.
After feedback from partners, sponsors, venues, health care officials, and the community, TCAF thought it’d be best to cancel. Restrictions on travel, events, and no end in sight all lead to the decision. While other conventions are postponing the uncertainty of it all and current restrictions made that difficult.
Exhibitors will receive refunds for their tables. They are also putting together a plan to help promote exhibitors and help promote creators in general.
French Minister of Culture Franck Riester, on his first official visit to Toronto, presented the insignia of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres to Christopher Butcher, Artistic Director of the Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF), in the presence of the Ambassador of France to Canada, Kareen Rispal and the Consul General of France in Toronto, Tudor Alexis. The award ceremony took place at the Toronto Reference Library on Thursday, October 10, 2019.
This ceremony is an important symbolic act for France and Canada and at the same time pays tribute to the work accomplished by Mr. Christopher Butcher who has worked for more than twenty years to promote the comic book industry. Mr. Butcher has made a significant contribution to the arts and creativity in Toronto, creating the Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF) in 2013, an event that attracts thousands of visitors each year. Christopher Butcher’s achievements are recognized not only by his peers in Canada but also by the French public.
The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres was created in 1957 to reward artists, writers and others who have distinguished themselves for their contributions to the promotion of the arts and literature in France and around the world. This order aims to establish relationships and develop cultural and linguistic exchanges. To be eligible for the award, candidates must have made “significant contributions to the enrichment of French cultural heritage”.
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) is a comic book festival held annually in Toronto, Ontario. Founded in 2003, subsequent events took place in 2005 in Mirvish Village and 2007 at Victoria College store. Since 2009, the event has been held annually in partnership with the Toronto Public Library at their flagship branch, the Toronto Reference Library. The Toronto Comic Arts Festival exists to promote the breadth and diversity of comics, and what is considered comics, as legitimate medium of literary and artistic worth. TCAF promote the creators of these works in their broad and diverse voices, for the betterment of the medium of comics and to reach as wide an audience as possible for them.
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival has announced that it will welcome the incredible creative team of Kid Koala and JonJon to the 2019 Festival as they present Floor Kids Jam, an Art X Music X Games interactive event featuring their new game Floor Kids! The event takes place as part of The Toronto Comic Arts Festival, during its programming at The Marriott Bloor Yorkville, Conference Level (one block from Toronto Reference Library), on Saturday May 11 and Sunday May 12, from 11am-5pm each day. Admission to the event is free, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Kid Koala is the ground breaking Canadian Scratch DJ, music producer, composer, and award winning graphic novelist(!) who has contributed to Gorillaz and Deltron3030, toured with Arcade Fire and A Tribe Called Quest, contributed to the scores of ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. The World’ and ‘Baby Driver’, and created the graphic novels Space Cadet and Nufonia Must Fall. JonJon (aka Jonathan Ng) is the award-winning, multi-disciplinary animation filmmaker who created the award-winning film Requiem for Romance, and is best known for his NFB film Asthma Tech. Together this incredible duo has teamed to create the original, hand-drawn animated B-boy/B-Girl Freestyle Battle Video Game FLOOR KIDS! Now they’re taking the show on the road for a two-day exhibition of the game featuring Floor Kids Arcade consoles, behind the scenes looks at the creation of Floor Kids, and even Mini Scratch DJ and Animation workshops with Kid Koala and JonJon!
This event is part of Comics X Games, TCAF’s ongoing collaboration with the Hand Eye Society to explore the crossovers between comics, video games, and new narrative experiments. Look for more Comics X Games announcements soon.
In addition to the Floor Kids Jam: Art X Music X Games, Kid Koala is also bringing his Music to Draw To live event to TCAF! On Sunday, May 12th, from 2pm-5pm, join Kid Koala and friends for a a chill afternoon of quiet-time records and creativity! Kid Koala will play a 3 hour all vinyl set of his favourite ‘drawing tracks’ in a very special environment–the 5th Floor ‘Red Room’ of The Masonic Temple Concert Hall, 888 Yonge Street. Bring something quiet to do… Draw, Write, Finish that Screenplay, Knit that Scarf, Cofe that video game. Join Kid Koala and a room full of creative quiet types and get some work done!
TCAF continues an incredible year of Featured Guest announcements as it proudly unveils its Featured Kids Graphic Novel Authors for the 2019 Festival! A who’s-who of bestselling authors will be debut new books at TCAF, including Raina Telgemeier (Smile), Shannon & Dean Hale and LeUyen Pham (The Princess in Black, Real Friends), Judd Winick (HILO), and Colombian cartoonist Lorena Alvarez (Nightlights), who has also created TCAF’s second official Festival poster for 2019!
TCAF will featured non-stop programming for kids on both days of TCAF: Saturday, May 10, 9am to 5pm, and Sunday May 11, 10am to 5pm. This year we’re happy to announce that the TCAF Kids Area will return to the centre of the Festival, in the Beeton Auditorium on the ground floor of Toronto Reference Library, with select additional kids programming at the nearby Masonic Temple and The Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel. Programs will include live presentations, book readings, interactive drawing activities, and more! The full programming schedule will be unveiled in early April.
Now, keep reading to be introduced to this year’s Featured Kids Graphic Novel authors, and see the gorgeous poster created by Lorena Alvarez!
TCAF 2019 Official Poster by Featured Guest Lorena Alvarez
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is honoured to debut our second official Festival poster of 2019, by the incredible Lorena Alvarez! Hailing from Colombia, Alvarez is the author of the book Nightlights, and will be debuting her newest graphic novel Hicotea, both from publisher NoBrow. Alvarez will also be Featured as part of TCAF’s 2019 spotlight on Colombian cartooning, produced in association with the Colombian Entreviñetas Festival.
This poster joins the already-announced poster by Junji Ito.
TCAF 2019 Featured Kids Graphic Novel Authors
Lorena Alvarez was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia and will attend TCAF in support of her Festival debut Hicotea, the second book in the Nightlights series, published by NoBrow Entertainment. Lorena Alvarez is also part of TCAF’s 2019 spotlight on Colombian comics, and the artist of one of our official festival posters.
Kazu Kibuishi is the creator of the New York Times Bestselling Amulet graphic novel series (working with Jason Caffoe), which is published by Scholastic Graphix. Kazu has been exhibiting at TCAF for over a decade, creating the 2016 Festival poster, and is the editor and co-creator of the Flight and Explorer anthologies, which helped launch the careers of many of your favourite graphic novelists! Kazu attends TCAF in support of Amulet Book Eight: Supernova, which debuted in September 2018.
Jason Caffoe is an artist and illustrator from Seattle, Washington. He is best known as Kazu Kibuishi’s assistant on the Amulet series from Scholastic, Graphix! Caffoe has also contributed original stories to the TCAF-debuting anthology Tamamo the Fox Maiden and the Explorer series of graphic novels.
Shannon Hale & Dean Hale are the award-winning husband-and-wife team behind the Princess in Black series, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, and the duo behind the novelization of Marvel Comics’s Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Shannon Hale is also the author of the Newbery Honor novel Princess Academy as well as the New York Times best-selling series Ever After High.
LeUyen Pham is the illustrator of many books for children, including the graphic novel Real Friends by Shannon Hale (First Second). Pham attends TCAF in support of The Princess Wears Black: Science Fair Scare, debuting at the 2019 Festival. LeUyen Pham lives in California.
Chris Kuzma is an artist living in Toronto, ON with his wife, two children and their cat. He divides his time between drawing comics, doing freelance illustration and teaching at OCAD University. He is one-third of the Wowee Zonk comics collective, celebrating their 10th Anniversary of curating space and creator participation at TCAF! Kuzma attends TCAF this year in celebration of his debut graphic novel for kids, Lunch Quest, published by Koyama Press!
Aaron Leighton is an award-winning illustrator and art director, as well as a fan of all things occult. Aaron Leighton and his collective Trio Magnus contributed significantly to early TCAF’s through beautiful art installations and live-drawing! TCAF is thrilled to welcome him as a guest this year, in support of his debut children’s picture book release A Children’s Book of Demons, published by Koyama Press. Aaron lives in Toronto, ON and spends his free time wrestling with a black cat.
Chad Sell grew up in a small town in central Wisconsin, and lived in a neighbourhood very much like the one in his debut graphic novel The Cardboard Kingdom (Penguin Random House). Affirming the power of play during the most important years of identity-searching and emotional grown, The Cardboard Kingdom is a favourite of kids and adults alike, and we’re thrilled to have Chad at the show this year!
Raina Telgemeier is the author and illustrator of the graphic novels Smile, Drama, Sisters, and Ghosts, all #1 New York Times bestsellers. She also adapted and illustrated four graphic novel versions of Ann M. Martin’s Baby-sitters Club series, and has contributed short stories to many anthologies. Raina’s accolades include three Eisner Awards, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, a Stonewall Honor, and many Best-of and Notables lists. Raina lives and works in San Francisco, and is attending TCAF with the support of Scholastic Canada, and in celebration of her brand-new TCAF-debuting graphic novel Share Your Smile!
In addition, Raina Telgemeier will be the keynote speaker for the day of professional programming for industry members, including the ‘Librarian and Educator Day’ and ‘Word Balloon Academy’ programs. Telgemeier will also have multiple public appearances Saturday and Sunday, details TBA.
Judd Winick is an award winning cartoonist who has done all kinds of storytelling! He has written for animation on TV, and superhero comics, and written and drawn his own comic strips, graphic novels! Judd is currently still hard at work on his New York Times bestselling HILO series, published by Penguin Random House.
All Featured Guests will be available for autograph opportunities on both Saturday and Sunday of the Festival, at either the Little Island Comics signing area, or at their respective publishers’ booths. Look for final signing times in late April at the TCAF website.
Building on years of great author appearances, debut books, and a variety of programming, The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) presents its first-ever official Young Adult programming stream and Featured Guests for the 2019 Edition. Highlighting a strong array of debuting work for readers across the Young Adult age-range of 12 years old to 18 years old, TCAF aims to create a great experience for fans of the YA category and genre at the 2019 Festival, taking place May 11th & 12th, in Toronto, Canada.
This year, TCAF’s 100+ hours of programming will have a clearly labeled “YA” stream in all panel descriptions and grids, and clearer search tools and pages on the TCAF website. In addition, the website and program guide will feature a YA program overview so that even casual attendees can discover these authors and their works at the Festival.
TCAF’s full slate of programming will be unveiled in April, ahead of the main Festival May 11th and 12th. The YA stream will encompass readings, panel discussions, and creative workshops, in addition to author autograph sessions.
Now, keep reading to be introduced to some of this year’s Featured Young Adult Authors!
Flavia Biondi: Born in Castelfiorentino, Italy, in 1988, Biondi is an accomplished Italian graphic novelist whose breakthrough work, Generations, was published in English in 2017 by Lion Forge. This story of a gay young man returning home to the small town he had fled resonated with readers across the world, and we’re so pleased to finally welcome her to Toronto. Flavia Biondi’s participation is supported by EuropeComics.
Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau: Co-creators Panetta and Ganucheau attend TCAF in support of BLOOM, a new teen LGBTQ romance graphic novel published by First Second. The team behind numerous popular licensed comic books have turned their attention to this charming new story of generational responsibility and first loves in a seaside bakery, debuting at the 2019 Festival.
Renee Nault: Author of the popular webcomic Witchling, creator Renee Nault has turned her considerable skill to adapting Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale into a graphic novel, published by Penguin Random House Canada. Debuting at TCAF 2019, Nault will be attend TCAF in support of this lush, unsettling new adaptation.
Ryan North: Toronto writer Ryan North broke into the medium with Dinosaur Comics, his experimental formalist daily webcomic. Since then, he has won an Eisner and become a New York Times Bestselling Author, with his most recent work being the nonfiction How To Invent Everything, and chronicling the continuing adventures of smash-hit The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl for Marvel Comics.
Sarah Winifred Searle: Australia-based Searle is the author of numerous comic short stories, and attends TCAF for the debut of her first full-length graphic novel, Sincerely, Harriet, published by Graphic Universe! Sincerely, Harriett explores the power of imagination and storytelling a beautiful graphic novel intended for younger YA readers.
Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell: Canadian Governor General’s Award-winning author Mariko Tamaki (Skim, This One Summer) joins illustrator and Eisner-nominee Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (What Is Left) to bring to life the LGBTQ graphic novel Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, published by First Second Books and debuting at TCAF. A sweet and spirited tale of young love, it asks us to consider what happens when we ditch the toxic relationships we crave to embrace the healthy ones we need.
Coleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw: Eisner-nominated Colleen AF Venable and acclaimed illustrator and cartoonist Ellen T. Crenshaw team for the TCAF Debut YA graphic novel Kiss Number 8. A coming-out story about family, friendship, and a young woman’s first love, Kiss Number 8 is published by First Second and will debut at TCAF 2019.
Tillie Walden: Critically acclaimed cartoonist and illustrator Tillie Walden hails from Austin, Texas. Born in 1996, she is a graduate of the Centre for Cartoon Studies, has published 3 books (with Avery Hill Publishing), and was nominated for an Eisner Award. Walden will attend TCAF in support of her most recent release, On A Sunbeam, published by First Second.
Japanese manga creator and horror sensation Junji Ito will participate in TCAF (Toronto Comic Arts Festival) as a featured guest and is also the poster artist of the 2019 festival. TCAF is being held May 11-12, 2019 in Toronto, Canada.
Junji’s works include Uzumaki, Gyo, Tomie, and “The Enigma of Amigara Fault,” and he’s heading to the show to support his new short story collection Smashed: Junji Ito Story Collection, to be published this April by VIZ Media.
Junji Ito will participate in an on-stage interview, live drawing, and special ticketed autograph sessions whose details will be announced later.
Featuring more than 350 exhibiting creators, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2019 runs Saturday May 11th, 9am-5pm, and Sunday May 12th, 10am-5pm, at the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto, Canada. Attendence is free to all events. Some events with Junji Ito will require ticket, info TBA.
It was new comic book day yesterday. What’d you all get? What’d you enjoy? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below! While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.
Europe Comics, the all digital all European graphic novel venture, will be bringing four European creators to Canada for a series of events on May 10-20.
French creators Lewis Trondheim (Dungeon, NBM; Poppies of Iraq, D&Q; Maggy Garrisson, Europe Comics) and Brigitte Findakly (Poppies of Iraq, D&Q), Spaniard Nico Naranjo (Toucan Patrol, Europe Comics) and Belgian Wauter Mannaert (Weegee – Serial Photographer, Conundrum Press; El Mesias, Europe Comics) will be featured guests at TCAF. After TCAF, Lewis Trondheim and Brigitte Findakly will travel to Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver for a series of public events and school workshops, ending their tour at VanCAF.